2019 Dog Bite Fatality: 4-Year Old Boy Killed by Pit Bull His Family Was Housing at Their Hazel Park Home

pit bull kills boy hazel park
Benjamin Cobb, 4-years old, was killed by a pit bull his family was housing in Hazel Park.

New Details Released
UPDATE 10/31/19: New information has been released about the pit bull that "detonated" late Monday in a Hazel Park home, brutally killing 4-year old Benjamin Cobb. The male pit bull, named Bolo (Be On the Look Out), is 1-year old and light brown colored. The child's mother, 38-year old Brandi Halterman, was in the room when the dog attacked. She tried to fight the pit bull off by stabbing it, first by using nearby scissors, then a steak knife she ran to the kitchen to retrieve.

Bloody and injured by the multiple stabbings and zings from high powered Tasers, the pit bull was still able take off after the attack.

When police arrived, the pit bull was still "actively attacking" the boy. Police fired Tasers at the dog. Then the pit bull bolted from the home and was spotted by a resident about a mile away. "It appears as if this was just a sudden attack," Hazel Park Police Chief Brian Buchholz told the Detroit Free Press. The situation was so horrific that even the officers and firefighters who went to the house were traumatized. "We don't know what may have sparked it," Buchholz said.

Regarding the "foster" language initially used by police, this is summed up best by Nolan Finley of The Detroit News: "Apparently, the mother, who survived, was housing the dog on behalf of acquaintances who could no longer keep it while a permanent owner was found." That is a form of fostering and is loaded with red flags, however, it is not the actual meaning of a dog being placed with a foster by a rescue or shelter. The "source" of Bolo still has not been released by police.

The neuter status of this 1-year old pit bull has not been released either. If the dog was altered by that age, it likely came from a shelter or rescue.

On Wednesday, The Detroit News reported that a crew dressed in hazmat suits could be seen removing furniture from the home. In a surreal photograph by Sarah Rahal, one sees a crew member in a hazmat suit with orange shoes near the home and a large orange pumpkin in the background. The image depicts the horrific and bloody reality after a pit bull, which allegedly had "never shown aggressive behaviors" before, literally detonated like a bomb inside that home.

No one in that household was spared. Brandi witnessed the attack on her son and received about 20 stitches. Benjamin's 14-year old sister made the 911 call. “They heard the screaming," Chief Buchholz told 7 Action News. "And they didn’t know what they were responding to. But they knew it was bad." Police and firefighters rushed into a scene that must have looked like a warzone -- none of them were spared either. Then the hazmat cleanup crew, whose job must have been grim.

The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office said the boy suffered blunt force trauma to the neck, a perforated neck artery and possible asphyxiation from dog bites to his neck. The manner of death was ruled an accident, but it should have been ruled a canine homicide. Bolo (Be On the Look Out) continued executing the killing bite despite Brandi using lethal force on the dog. Then Bolo bolted after being struck by Tasers. Bolo singlehandedly turned that home into a hazmat site.

The Owner of the Pit Bull

Police have not released any details about Bolo's owner. According to Brandi's family, the mother made "a kind gesture to help a friend in a time of need." Police said the boy's family had been watching the dog "for less than a day for a friend, who was staying at a Madison Heights hotel." Finley interpreted (or was told) these ambiguities mean that the mother was housing the pit bull "on behalf of acquaintances who could no longer keep it while a permanent owner was found."

The violent attack "has taken an unimaginable toll on our family, friends, and all those who knew our sweet boy," states the family on their GoFundMe page, which as of Thursday had reached $23,000. It's taken a toll on police, fire, the doctors who tried to save the boy and the entire Hazel Park community as well. For all of these reasons and more, over 1,000 jurisdictions in this country regulate this dog breed in order to prevent these sudden and often deadly detonations by them.

10/30/19: Pit Bull Kills Boy in Hazel Park
Hazel Park, MI - A 4-year old boy is dead after being brutally mauled by a pit bull his family was fostering. The attacked occurred about 6:45 pm near East 9 Mile Road and John Road, according to police. During the attack, the mother began stabbing the dog, but the animal got away. Police located the dog and Tased it. The pit bull was later euthanized. The young boy, who suffered bite injuries to his body and neck, was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Neighbors told WDIV the family had only moved into the home a few months ago and the 60-pound pit bull was a recent addition to the family.

Hazel Park is located in Oakland County and lies within the Detroit Metropolitan Area. In August, 9-year old Emma Hernandez was brutally killed by three pit bulls while riding her bike in an alley behind her home in a southwest Detroit neighborhood. The owner of those dogs, Pierre Cleveland, was later charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and possessing dangerous animals causing a person's death. His criminal trial is expected to be held next year.

Wednesday Morning Updates

The deadly attacked occurred in the 500 block of East Woodruff Avenue. The boy's 14-year old sister called 911 at about 6:45 pm and said her mother was trying to stop the dog from attacking the boy in her home. Investigators said the mother used a knife, cutting the dog, while defending her son. The family had been fostering the male, 60-pound pit bull, according to police. No information was provided regarding the "source" of the dog or whether the dog was neutered.

"A preliminary finding appears that this case was a tragic incident and the investigation continues to determine why the dog attacked the boy."

When police arrived at the scene with the Hazel Park Fire Department, the pit bull was still "actively attacking" the 4-year old boy. Multiple Tasers were fired to free the boy from the jaws of the pit bull. The dog then bolted from the home. Officers later located and secured the animal. The dog was taken to a local veterinarian and euthanized, investigators said. The boy's 38-year old mother was also taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening dog bite injuries.

WWJ Newsradio identified the victim as Benjamin Cobb. A GoFundMe created for the family stated the fostering situation was a "kind gesture to help a friend in a time of need, for a dog that was said to have never shown aggressive behaviors." Tiffany Bieniewicz, the fundraiser organizer, added, "We have learned that we are far from alone in our struggle, as diligent and loving parents from all walks of life have suffered this catastrophic loss under similar horrifying circumstances."

Knew Dog Less than One Day

The Morning Sun reports the boy's family had been watching the dog for less than one day for a friend, who was staying at a Madison Heights hotel, according to police. The mother was with her son when the dog attacked. "The boy was in his bedroom and his mother was working on a wall in the room," said Hazel Park Police Chief Brian Buchholz. "The mother heard the dog growl when the attack started. It was very sudden." Police arrived to the dog still actively attacking the boy.

"It was hard for our officers and myself to see, so I can’t image what the family is going through." - Hazel Park Police Chief Brian Buchholz

The Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office said the boy suffered blunt force trauma to the neck, a perforated neck artery and possible asphyxiation from the dog biting his neck. The manner of death was ruled an accident. After the pit bull had been stabbed by the boy's mother and Tased by police, finally freeing the boy, the dog bolted from the family's home and ran for about a mile before it was spotted by a resident. The dog was later taken to a veterinarian and euthanized.

City Repealed Pit Bull Ban

In 2008, Hazel Park declared pit bull dogs "dangerous" (08-08), effectively banning new pit bulls. Existing pit bulls were grandfathered in with licensing and containment requirements. News reports, however, refer to this as a February 2012 ordinance. In July 2015 (0-15), at the request of pit bull owners, the city repealed the ban, but left some restrictions in place, including a 6-foot fencing requirement for pit bulls and proof of insurance. Mayor Jan Parisi signed the partial repeal.

In May 2017 (04-17, 05-17, 6-17), all references to breed were removed, along with special requirements for pit bulls. Mayor Jeff Keeton signed these repeals. Neither is serving the Hazel Park community any longer. Previous fatal dog maulings in Oakland County include: infant Holden Garrison, killed by a family "catahoula cattle hound" in Davisburg in 2014 and Samantha Black, 2-years old, killed by two family dogs, a husky and a malamute, in Waterford Township in 2005.

pit bull kills boy hazel park

Hazel Park home where a 4-year old boy was killed by a pit bull his family was housing.

hazel park killed by pit bull

Statement released after Benjamin Cobb, 4, was killed by a pit bull his family was housing.

Graphic Medical study: Pitbull Mauling Deaths in Detroit, by Cheryl L. Loewe MD et al., The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Vol 28, December 2007.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google State Map: Michigan Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Related articles:
10/21/19: Special Event at the Michigan State Capitol Building Honoring National Pit Bull Victim...
08/19/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: 9-Year Old Girl Killed by Three Pit Bulls on Detroit's West Side
06/24/15: Pit Bull Attack: Explosive Aggression, Unprovoked Attack, Executes the Killing Bite

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

Special Event at the Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing Honoring National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day

Responsible Citizens for Public Safety is Holding This First-Ever Event

National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day Event, October 24, 2019 at the Michigan State Capitol.

Special Event
Lansing, Michigan - On October 24, in recognition of National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day (October 26), members of the Responsible Citizens for Public Safety (RC4PS.org) will congregate on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing to hold a special tribute to the victims who have suffered or died in attacks by pit bulls. The event will include survivor and expert testimony, a live musical tribute, and a presentation about the need for robust Breed-Safety Laws.

Included in the event program is Oneil Colley of Detroit, who was awarded a Hero Award after saving U.S. Postal letter carrier Todd Bridges from a vicious pit bull attack in February. The entire attack was captured on Colley's dash cam. Representatives from S.C.A.R.S. Kids, an organization that supports children suffering trauma level injuries due to dog attacks, will also be present, along with medical professionals, and victims and survivors who will recount their traumatic experiences.

Keynote Speaker: Colleen Lynn, founder of DogsBite.org, the first national dog bite victims’ organization in the United States dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks.

Please join us for our Tribute to Victims and Survivors on October 24, 2019 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm on the steps of the State Capitol. Be a part of the change you want to see in the world!

Please also sign the related We the People Petition to the White House to Declare a National Pit Bull VICTIM Awareness Day. It needs many signatures to get a response from the White House.

New Statistics Released

Last week we released new statistics to better understand fatal pit bull attack victim trends. The gender is changing. Women ≥ 30-years old are now the most frequent victim of fatal pit bull maulings. 73% of adult deaths due to dog attacks are inflicted by pit bulls and nearly half of all infant deaths due to dog attacks are inflicted by pit bulls. The other items include a chart showing the most frequent fatal pit bull attack victims and the age, sex and crude rate for these victims.

Responsible Citizens for Public Safety releases new video in advance of the upcoming event.

responsible citizens for public safety

See more photos of the National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day event in Lansing, Michigan.

Related articles:
04/15/19: 2019 Dog Bite Prevention Week: Protect Your Postal Carrier from Damaging Dog Bites
10/24/15: National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day Arrives
10/14/15: Coalition of Victims' Groups Announce National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day

A Pit Bull Adoption Disaster: Animal Aggression, Anti-Anxiety Medication, Ceasing to Document Behavior and More

Results: Two Dead Cats, One Returned Pit Bull and Deep Regret

pit bull adoption disaster

This account of a pit bull adoption disaster shows why the public is losing confidence in shelters. The adopter wrote to DogsBite.org on the day of the disaster. The dog had not been returned yet.
In addition to many public shelters routinely "encoding" and "concealing" aggression in adoption advertisements, some are also using medications to dull the behavior of unadoptable dogs.
Read firsthand what the adopter experienced, the red flags he admits to afterward, and how his belief of assuming the shelter "had the best interest of the dogs in mind," is now gone for good.

A Pit Bull Adoption Disaster

DogsBite.org - We begin this post with an image from dog bite attorney Kenneth Phillips, who began a Do Not Adopt a Pit Bull campaign in 2018. His latest video shows how the federal government mobilized after six vaping deaths, but the government says "nothing at all" about the many deaths inflicted by pit bulls over the past decade. The CDC is the "nation's health protection agency," that "saves lives and protects people from health threats," states the federal website.

Nearly 400 Americans have been fatally attacked by pit bulls since 1998, the year the CDC stopped collecting breed data in fatal dog maulings.

Enclosed is a letter from Steve (not his real name) who recently adopted a pit bull from a county shelter. When his partner asked if the dog was good with kids or cats, the staff replied, "We don't know." The "cat test" instead occurred inside the adopter's home leaving two family cats dead. The adopter also said that he was given a supply of Trazodone (anti-anxiety medication) to take home with the pit bull "to help him transition to living with us." The advice and medication did not work.

Letter to DogsBite.org

Dear DogsBite,

I learned the lessons you all are writing about the hard way today. My partner and I were at a county dog shelter and she begged me for a pit bull that she fell in love with. I resisted and took her out for lunch so she could be out of that emotional environment to make a better decision. I wanted her to think about it for a few more days. But she begged me, and I caved. We took the dog home and put him in the bedroom initially. I later opened the bedroom door to show my brother our new dog. When I did, I grabbed him by the collar with a good grip, knowing I would need to control him from harassing our cats in the kitchen behind me.

I thought he would be easy to control for three reasons. He seemed friendly. He was obedient. And he "sat" when I told him too. I am also a pretty strong guy. I honestly thought I could take the dog in a fight. Now, I am much more humble. When I first opened the door and gripped his collar, our four cats sat still and seemingly unalarmed. The dog acted curious, but not dangerous. Then he yanked hard toward the cats. His force was very strong for a 75-pound creature. I was kicking him extremely hard and beating him over the head with a chair, but the pit bull was unfazed. I think those blows would have killed a human.

Upon realizing my powerlessness, and now two dead cats, I grabbed our remaining two cats, fled that room and locked the door behind me. I have a 3-year old son, so this could have been much worse. I can't believe this happened on day ONE of the adoption. I am so happy my son is safe, and I feel like such a coward for caving to her begging and an idiot for thinking this had a chance to turn out good. My partner has to drive the pit bull back to the shelter tomorrow and although she is not scared of him, I am terrified of what might happen on the way over there. I want you to know, this shelter I think, disguises the dog's aggressiveness by giving them Trazodone while they are there. They gave us a one week supply to help him transition to living with us. That did not even help!

We certainly have seen in past years that some public shelters will use Trazodone, Solliquin or other anti-anxiety medications to turn an unadoptable pit bull into an "adoption candidate" suitable for the adoption floor. As we stated in our 2016 examination of Sonoma County Animal Services, always request the "full disclosure" of all behavior memos, medical memos and bite records for a dog prior to adoption." Please understand that "disclosure" is not the same as "full disclosure."

"Requesting these records will be much easier than 'returning' a shelter dog due to aggression." - DogsBite.org, September 20, 2016

The adoption story of Steve and his partner also addresses the emotionally charged environment of a shelter, which often supersedes rational thinking and thoughtful refection. What will you actually do once the dog is in your home, and in this case, sharing your home with four cats? This particular pit bull adoption disaster unfolded in just one day. Two pet cats lost their lives and the animal-aggressive pit bull was returned to the shelter to start the adoption cycle all over again.

What the County Shelter Told Him

We asked Steve some follow up questions, such as, "Do you recall the adoption listing? Did it say anything like, 'Must be the only dog in the home?'" Or, "Not cat tested?" Or, "Shelter favorite?" The adopter replied with more information, indicating that the shelter was fully aware the pit bull was animal-aggressive, so much so, it could not even be around other dogs. Steve saw other red flags too, but as he states, he just "assumed these people had the best interest of the dogs in mind."

It was just basic information [that the shelter provided]. I looked through the dog's records and I thought it was unusual that they only documented medical stuff but did not seem to document any behavior.

Another red flag I should have picked up on was they instructed us to keep him away from other dogs when we went for a walk with him. I thought that was maybe normal procedure but they had a fenced in dog area with like 20 dogs playing together1 so the instruction to do that when they were socializing other dogs was odd.

The only information I got about the dog was that he was a stray and he was 4 years old. They said that was the only information they had. It is information I personally asked for because if he was formerly in dog fights or anything I wanted to make sure we would pass on that opportunity.

He was not a "staff favorite" but other "staff favorites" were listed. I was even thinking that we should perhaps go for a staff favorite because it may have had a higher chance of being friendly, but your tone suggests that "staff favorite" is a ruse to offload certain dogs for whatever reason. The thing is, when out shopping, I am on alert for scams, but that sort of spammy "staff favorite" maneuver just flew over my head because I assumed these people had the best interest of the dogs in mind.

I have more to say because the situation seemed unusual. My partner asked the staff who deal with the dog regularly if he would be good with kids or cats and to their credit they did just say, "We don't know."

After we returned from lunch, in order to give more thought about adopting the dog, and when I caved, I was surprised at the quickness of the process. I asked if there is a waiting period. They said no, just give us $18 (he was on sale because he was there longer than 2 weeks).

It didn't stop me from proceeding, but I thought it was terrible that they would allow impulse purchases like this to occur. It made me second-guess if they had the animal's best interest at heart.

They didn't ask us for much information. They just handed over not only what is possibly a dangerous creature to us without proper vetting, but let's not forget they did not even do the minimal due diligence to ensure they were giving the animal to somebody who could love it instead of an impulse purchaser who would grow bored or some sort of animal hoarder.

When I was inside looking at the dogs I saw another red flag, which I ignored. Some of the dogs had been returned. Now this could be because they make it easy to make impulse purchases. But when I read the reasons for return, the word "behavioral" was rare. It sounded like bullshit reasoning. For example, I saw "wrong breed" as a reason for a return. Now I am wondering if behavioral issues are being covered up by just making up stuff like "wrong breed." I mean the animal was rescued from a shelter -- not bought from a certified breeder or anything.

In addition to private and county shelters routinely "encoding" and "concealing" aggression in adoption advertisements and "dropping" breed labels in their zeal to reach the holy grail of a 90% "save rate," they are using medications (drugging the dogs) to stunt the behavior of unadoptable dogs, and as this case shows, ceasing to document or perform any behavioral evaluations at all. "We don't know" translates into "We don't want to know" for liability or adoption purposes.

What happened to Steve and his partner is not unusual; it has become typical. After this pit bull adoption disaster, hindsight came at a high cost. Soon after our brief reply to his first email, asking a few questions, the pieces flew together for him. They were duped. They walked into that shelter vulnerable and without the understanding of what many shelters have become today. "Close the adoption" as fast as possible to reach the single metric 90% "save rate" peddled by "no-kill."

Public trust in open admissions shelters continues to erode. This couple wanted a vetted pit bull, but were duped into an animal-aggressive one.

For these reasons and more, the largest community-based shelter in Colorado, the Denver Dumb Friends League, began embracing Socially Conscious Sheltering in March, instead of the toxic "no-kill" equation. Please review the eight tenets of Socially Conscious Sheltering, which includes the priority of safety for people and pets. On the heels of the League adopting these tenets, the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association issued a statement opposing the no-kill movement.

Pit Bull Adoption Prompts "Sudden Death"

Another theme in this pit bull adoption disaster is "Sudden Death." Attorney Phillips uses this theme in his 2019 Super Bowl video. Victims in these attacks are dozens of times more likely to be pets than people. Two of the couple's cats suffered "Sudden Death" fairly instantly after the new pit bull spotted them. But the adopter quickly realized it could have been worse. "I have a 3-year old son, so this could have been much worse," he wrote. "I am so happy my son is safe."

Lastly, the very first tenet of Socially Conscious Sheltering adopted by the League states, "Place every healthy and safe animal … Safe means that the animal has not exhibited behavior that is likely to result in severe injury or death to another animal or person." The sixth tenet addresses aggression as well. The no-kill movement is 100% tolerant of adopting out animal-aggressive dogs. The safety of family pets already living in a "forever home" is not a priority of no-kill.

It is too early to tell if Socially Conscious Sheltering is just new jargon with no safety priority at all.

1What Steve is describing, "they had a fenced in dog area with like 20 dogs playing together" is called a "Playgroup," which has become a trendy way to magically resolve behavioral problems in dogs, such as fear aggression or dog-aggression. Throw the dog into a playgroup and it's aggression issues will surely disappear. When do shelters opt to not place a dog into a playgroup? When the dog has serious animal-aggression. This Pit Bull Adoption Disaster account shows the adopted dog may have even failed at "A Challenging Dog's First Playgroup" (Page 11). How's that for "disclosure" of the dog's behavior by the county shelter?

Related articles:
05/11/18: Shelters and Humane Groups Often 'Encode' and 'Conceal' Aggression in Adoption....
10/21/17: Pit Bull Attacking Decoy Dogs Shown to Courtroom; Judge Orders Dog-Aggressive...
09/20/16: Many Shelters Candy-Coat Dogs with Aggressive Behaviors in their Zeal to Increase...

Fatal Pit Bull Mauling Suspected: Man Found Dead, Covered in Blood Inside Modesto Home

Dustin Bryan - suspicious death pit bull
Investigators suspect the suspicious death of Dustin Bryan is a fatal pit bull mauling.

Man Found Dead
Modesto, CA - Police say a 21-year old man discovered dead and covered in blood inside a La Loma neighborhood home may have been mauled by one or both pit bulls living in the home. He was discovered about 7:00 am Tuesday by family members he was staying with at a home in the 100 block of Village Road. His death is being treated as "suspicious" until an autopsy is conducted and the cause of death is determined, said Sgt. Kalani Souza of the Modesto Police Department.

According to Souza, the family and the victim went to bed Monday night and investigators do not believe the victim left and returned at any point. Jacob Anderson, who lives at the home, said the victim (who is a family member) was sleeping on the couch. Anderson said he did not hear any noises of an attack and said the pit bulls "had never been aggressive in the past." As many pit bull owners have said before him, Anderson said a seizure could have caused the gruesome attack.

**Detectives Investigating Suspicious Death**

Preliminary investigation suggests the male may have been attacked by two pit bulls, which belong to the owner of the residence. The two dogs were placed into quarantine by the Modesto Police Department Animal Control Unit. The 21 year old male was visiting the residents of the home, and had stayed the night last night with their permission. The investigation is continuing, and Detectives are treating this investigation as a suspicious death. An autopsy has been scheduled with the Stanislaus County Coroner’s office in the coming days. - Modesto Police

Earlier this year, a 52-year old man was killed in the middle of the night by his pet pit bull of 10 years. Police suspected Homer Utterback suffered a seizure before the attack. This does not excuse the disproportionate response by the dog -- brutally killing its owner. Of the 500 dog bite fatalities we have recorded since 2005, pit bulls have been implicated in every fatal attack while the victim was actually, or purportedly, having a seizure, except for one case involving a rottweiler.

Other persons, most commonly the dog's owner, killed by a pit bull due to an alleged seizure include: Della Riley, 42-years old (Cleveland, OH, 2018); Jamie Owsley, 21-years old (Quincy, IL, 2017); Charles Hagerman, 44-years old (Chicago, IL, 2012); Tonia Parks, 39-years old (Rockford, IL, 2011); Kelli Chapman, 24-years old (Longville, LA, 2008); Brandon Coleman, 25-years old (Morgantown, WV, 2006); Lorinze Reddings, 42-years old (St. Louis, MO, 2005) and likely others.

Evening Updates

The man's sister identified the victim as Dustin Bryan on Facebook and to Fox 40 News. Sgt. Kalani Souza also reiterated the horrific scene: "It was horrific enough for our officers to call and treat this as a suspicious death. So investigators did respond to just ensure that what was going on." Stanislaus County Animal Services provided photographs of the pit bulls to the news outlet as well. Police believe "Beze," 13, and "Saxon," 5, attacked Bryan in the upper body, killing him.

Beze, at 13-years old, marks yet another senior pit bull involved in a fatal dog mauling. The culprit that killed Utterback was at least 10-years old.

During the rabies quarantine period, both pit bulls will be monitored for aggression, according to Stanislaus County Animal Services Executive Director Annette Patton. She also said the shelter was in "lockdown" mode. "The animals need to be separate from the public and they need to be quarantined for 10 days," Patton said. "So, we have a lockdown situation here at the shelter, which means it is locked behind closed doors so we don't put anybody at harm or at risk," Patton said.

Though police do not know how much interaction Bryan had with the dogs in the past, he had been a frequent visitor to the home on Village Road. Notably, by nightfall Tuesday, the Fox 40 footage shows that the couches and chairs that had been discarded outside of the home's front door earlier in the day had been removed. Bryan had been sleeping on a couch when he was discovered dead and covered in blood by family members at about 7:00 am Tuesday morning.

Disproportionate Response

The suspicious death of Bryan falls into a frequent pattern of pit bulls -- a disproportionate response due the selection for abnormal aggression (high arousal and aggressivitiy in a safe environment). As animal behaviorist Alexandra Semyonova stated in 2006, "The environments (the fighting pit, the baited bull) for which these behaviors were selected as an adaptive response are so extreme that in fact there is no appropriate context for these behaviors in normal life."

There are many fatal pit bull maulings that fall into this category, including the majority of fatal attacks by pit bulls. The pit bull breed appears disproportionately in fatal dog attacks due to this very trait. In addition to the disproportionate response by pit bulls in these cases, the lack of any identifiable trigger is why the pit bull breed is uniquely dangerous. Whether the victim suffered a nocturnal seizure is less relevant given that no identifiable trigger can proceed a violent attack.

suspicious death pit bull modesto

Two family pit bulls, 13 and 5-years old, are suspected in the fatal dog attack of Dustin Bryan.

suspicious death pit bull modesto

Furniture seen discarded outside of home where police suspect a man was killed by pit bulls.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: California Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
11/04/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Neighbor's Pack of Pit Bulls Kill Modesto Man, Critically...
05/09/09: Alexandra Semyonova: Heritability of Behavior in the Abnormally Aggressive Dog

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.