ANIMAL WATCH - The growing number of attacks by Pit Bulls which are considered family pets across the U.S. is startling and terrifying. While Bully-breed advocates say it is the owner—not the dog—victims and their families, and officials are noting the statistics that show an inordinate number of Pit Bulls attack are on their owners and family members, including young children and the elderly.
CAN PIT BULLS TURN ON THEIR OWNERS?
Yes, Pit Bulls can turn on their owners, experts say. Pit Bulls also ranked first among dogs who tend to be involved in dog attacks. In fact, from 2005 to 2020, “Pit bulls accounted for 64.8% of the fatalities caused by dogs.” Says KMLegal.com.
There is growing awareness and admission of the propensity of Pit Bulls to attack other animals—from livestock to tiny pets that pose no threat, but it is couched in such phrases as Pit Bulls being strong and athletic.
WHY ARE AMERICANS IGNORING STATISTICS AND REPORTS?
A Google search for the above question brought up nothing but positive reports on the breed as the “Velcro” dogs, loving, loyal and gentle with children and family members. So that must make us question why they are by far the most relinquished or abandoned/stray dogs in animal shelters all over the country.
Are prospective adopters or owners attracted to this breed believing it will provide protection, but then finding the dog uncontrollable? Or do many want a dog that frightens or harms others and then find it is/could be spontaneously lethal and the liability is too high?
Regardless of the owners’ reasons, should dog ownership be a “right” to endanger the innocent—whether they are humans or animals? And why do the “humane” organizations and animal shelters that promote them ignore the danger to employees, volunteers and victims—unless they are sued, which costs taxpayers millions of dollars?
Some of the recent attacks below provide important information as to whether the owner or the Pit Bull—or both—are the cause of violent attacks.
JUDGE WHO ORDERS PIT BULL EUTHANIZED AFTER MAULING A CHILD, FINDS HIS OWN DOG DEAD
A Pit Bull named Diesel savagely mauled a 6-year-old girl in Hancock County Mississippi on October 20, 2023. The child was so severely injured that she was airlifted to a hospital. This was not the first attack by Diesel resulting in serious injury. Diesel had a history.
Based on prior vicious attacks on record with local animal control, and the corresponding attempts to persuade the owner to control his dog, on Friday, November 11, Mississippi Justice Court Judge Desmond Hoda ordered Diesel to be euthanized because he was a danger to the community, according to the Biloxi Sun Herald.
However, the next day, Norman Archer, Jr. (picture above), the 59-year-old owner of the tan-and-white Pit Bull, Diesel, reportedly broke into the Hancock County Animal Shelter and removed his dog before it could be euthanized.
JUDGE’S DOG MISSING AFTER TRIAL
Later that night Judge Hoda posted on Facebook that his 8-year-old German Shepherd, named Achilles, was missing from his yard.
That was followed by the post that Achilles “was later found dead and authorities and appeared to have been poisoned.”
Archer, the Pit Bull owner, had reportedly been seen by a neighbor near Judge Hoda’s property earlier on Saturday.
The man and his Pit Bull were located by authorities on the following Wednesday, when Hancock County deputies arrested him on charges of “commercial burglary, larceny and retaliation against a public official,” according to the report.
The Sun Herald added that Judge Hoda and other judges had “tried unsuccessfully over the past year to get Archer to keep his dog confined and to post warning signs on his property.”
In issuing the euthanasia order for the dog, Hoda had noted the dog’s repeated and unprovoked attacks, in addition to the horrifying mauling of the young girl.
An animal control officer testified to having witnessed Archer’s Pit Bull attacking other dogs on more than one instance and having to use his Taser to stop him, according to the report.
Hancock County Court Judge Trent Farve signed the criminal affidavits for the arrest of Archer on the three charges Tuesday. (Justice Court judges had to step aside because of their prior involvement with Archer.)
Hancock County Sheriff’s Commander Christopher Robbin confirmed the additional retaliation charge “is connected to the death of the judge’s dog.”
Judge Hoda declined to talk to reporters about the issue because it is an ongoing investigation and the “emotional toll surrounding his dog’s death.”
Archer argued that his “dog was gentle and wouldn’t attack people.”
“THESE DOGS HAVE MY BABY IN THEIR MOUTHS”
On July 3, 2023, Live5News reported that an 18-month-old child was recovering at MUSC (Medical University of South Carolina) for severe lacerations to his face, neck and leg after being mauled by three dogs (later identified as Pit Bulls) in Colleton County (SC) on Sunday.
His mother, Lynn Boyd, told reporters, “It felt like a typical Sunday afternoon.” She had taken her children to a friend’s house to hang out.
The moms were all watching the neighborhood children play together outside.
Then she went inside to use the restroom and after coming outside, her 6-year-old was at the door, saying, “Mom, they’ve got him,” Boyd said. “When I get up to the gate, these dogs have my baby in their mouth.”
She said a lot of what happened is “fuzzy” but she remembers screaming and crying and doesn’t know how she got the dogs to release the baby. But, she said, “I just remember grabbing him and cupping the wound on his leg and using my face to put pressure on his [face].”
“She said she then picked him up and started running, screaming for help with the three dogs at her heels,” according to the report.
“I just kept screaming … somebody call 911,” Boyd said. “I raced inside, and I remember just trying to get all the blood off him, all the blood and the dirt and all the saliva.”
She said as she struggled to put pressure on all the wounds, her 6-year-old asked her, “Mommy, is he going to die?” She said she responded, “Baby you got to breathe, the calmer you are, the better it’s going to be for him. She said she also told her 6-year-old that the baby was not going to die and to “go get me towels,” Boyd said.
Colleton County Fire and Rescue officials said they treated the baby on-scene and transported him to the Shawn Jenkins Children’s Trauma Center at MUSC, according to Live5News.
The distraught mother is now left wanting answers, “and more importantly—accountability,” the report states.
She also expressed concern for other children, saying, “This is something my child is going to live with for the rest of his life. And if nothing is going to be done about these animals, what happens to the next kid in the neighborhood?” Boyd asked.
She told reporters that she was advised “there is nothing more law enforcement could do because it was her children who opened the gate to the dogs.”
“Boyd said she was friendly with the dogs’ owners before the attack but was not warned the dogs were aggressive and had no idea what they were capable of.”
FATHER CHARGED FOR CHILD CRITICALLY INJURED IN PIT BULL ATTACK
A father has been charged after his child was attacked by a pack of Pit Bulls in a Tennessee neighborhood, on March 3, 2023, authorities say.
The Memphis Police Department reports officers responded to a call regarding a dog bite around 5 p.m. When they arrived, they found that five Pit Bulls [belonging to the father] had attacked a 3-year-old boy, named Lorenzo, who suffered critical injuries.
WMC reports the child was taken to the hospital in critical condition where the staff was able to stabilize the toddler’s vital signs.
Authorities said they had charged the child’s father, Kendale Taylor, with child endangerment.
Additionally, Memphis Animal Services issued Taylor a citation for failure to maintain the dogs. Police said the dogs involved were seized by animal control.
Taylor disputes the police account of the incident, saying the dogs were not Pit Bulls but, instead, Boxer-Belgian Malinois mixes. He claims the attack on his son was “an accident after the toddler wandered outside unattended.”
Neighbors say the attack could have been prevented if Lorenzo’s family would’ve listened to their warnings. One neighbor says he is “very familiar with the dogs involved” and that they have been a nuisance to the entire area since the boy’s family moved in.
“I done voiced my concerns, a lot of people have,” Armstrong said. “But they wouldn’t listen. They got little dogs running all around, pits—breeded (sic) with pits.”
According to City records obtained by ActionNews5, in 2020, Taylor racked up 16 dog-related citations for city ordinance violations. Nine of those charges were for Taylor allegedly allowing dogs to run free and seven others were in regard to a violation of the City’s spay/neuter ordinance.
Memphis Animal Services says they’re “assisting police in the investigation. Once completed, Taylor will receive a charge for each dog involved in the attack.”
There was no indication there is a dog limit per residence or property.
There was no further information on the condition of the child, Lorenzo.
TWO WOMEN INJURED, DOG DIES, IN PIT BULL ATTACKS … TOTAL OF 19 PIT BULLS INVOLVED (SAGINAW, MICH.)
“Dog attacks in Saginaw [Michigan] leave two people injured, one dog deceased,” WJRT reported on November 28, 2023, adding that this occurred just weeks after another dog was killed by a pack of dogs. In both instances the attacking dogs were identified as Pit Bulls.
The latest dog attack was in a Northwest Saginaw neighborhood Saturday morning. A dog was attacked and killed by three Pit Bulls.
The report adds that the Pit Bulls were relinquished to Saginaw County Animal Care and Control, by the owner after the attacks.
Director Bonnie Kanicki stated they have been receiving stray dogs “in packs.” (She also stated that she is retiring at the end of January 2024.)
The owner of the dog that was first attacked reportedly grabbed her dog to protect it. At that time, “The three dogs [Pit Bulls] subsequently turned on her and unfortunately attacked her as well,” Animal Control Director Kanicki said. “A neighbor heard the commotion and came to her aid.”
The victim was taken to the hospital for her injuries, but her dog was so severely injured that it was euthanized.
“Just thirteen minutes later, another woman was attacked in a nearby neighborhood by the same dogs,” Kanicki told reporter Terry Camp. They “grabbed her, mauled her, jumped on her back, she screamed for help,” she says. “An individual driving by came to her aid.”
These attacks come a few weeks after a pack of Pit Bulls killed a dog and attacked its owner and a police officer in this Hemlock area neighborhood.
In total, Kanicki said, “the sixteen pit bulls seized from this property and the three involved in the Saginaw attacks were all euthanized.”
“Even though all 19 pit bulls involved in these attacks have been euthanized, criminal charges against the two owners are still possible,” she reminded dog owners.
FOSTER/ADOPTER DISREGARDS REPORTS
The reporter also interviewed a visitor to the Saginaw shelter, Madison Ribble, who plans to foster/adopt “Spinach,” a Pit Bull-mix, and disregards the reports of attacks, stating:
“No matter the mix, they are very sweet dogs. It doesn’t matter the breed. It’s just how the people treat the dogs. You be a sweetheart to them, and they will be a sweetheart to you.”
A total of 19 Pit Bulls have been euthanized in the county because of recent attacks in Saginaw, Michigan, according to a November 28, 2023, report by Terry Camp of WJRT.
THE BENNARD FAMILY – TWO CHILDREN KILLED, WIFE SEVERELY INJURED AFTER FIGHTING OFF FAMILY PIT BULLS
One of the most tragic stories of misplaced devotion to a family’s Pit Bulls was the Memphis, TN, attack in 2022 that killed two small children and severely injured the wife who fought valiantly to save them. After the attack, Kristie was in critical condition but after being treated at Regional One Health Hospital, recovered and was left to face the tragedy and life without her two children. These dogs were so much a trusted part of the family that they were featured on their Facebook page.
WHY HAVE PIT BULLS BECOME A MAJOR SOCIETAL PROBLEM?
When we look at the entire problem, this is a broken system that is supported by human emotion and a lack of enforceable laws to provide personal and public safety. Who is profiting from major humane organizations and shelters all over the country promoting a dog that is a danger to so many?
Who is at fault? Is there a viable solution, and where does it start?
(Phyllis M. Daugherty is a former Los Angeles City employee, an animal activist and a contributor to CityWatch.)