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Pit Bull Breeding: A Deadly Business

ANIMAL WATCH

ANIMAL WATCH - There are a lot of less-painful ways to die than being attacked by Pit Bulls, yet gambling with the risk of power over creatures genetically designed to kill is addictive, and one more victim—a 35-year-old male—who played the odds and lost made headlines in Los Angeles on February 16, 2024. 

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department reported responding to a 911 call from a woman around 7 a.m. that morning, stating she became concerned when she could not reach her boyfriend the night before and had gone to his home that morning, where she found he had been attacked by dogs kept in a backyard kennel at his residence in Compton, CA. 

It is believed the attack occurred around 7:30 – 8:00 p.m. on February 15, when neighbors reportedly said they heard loud noises and barking in the yard and were alerted that something was wrong.

 

The scene of a dog attack Friday Feb. 15, 2024, in Compton. © Lloyd, Jonathan (206084980)

 

FOX11 helicopter camera captured animal control officials arriving on the scene to take possession of the dogs, and the reporter stated, “We cannot show you what we discovered in that backyard, but apparently there are two homes out here that are breeding pit bulls,” and adding, “When I say there is a number of them, I mean a large number of pit bulls out here. And sad to say, we did see one person not moving and very bloody in the backyard as well." 


Woman being rescued after she climbed up a wall for safety.

There was no L.A. County Animal Control record of Pit Bulls at this home on North Thorson and E. Saunders streets in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton, nor for the breeding operation—until the sounds of the attack on the owner and dogs fighting got the attention of neighbors who called the 911 emergency line about the disturbance, and L.A. Fire Department was dispatched, according to the KTLA report. 

NO PRIOR COMPLAINTS REPORTED AT THIS ADDRESS 

L.A. County Animal Care and Control Director Marcia Mayeda confirmed that “the last call on record for this address was in 2000—24 years ago. It is likely this was not the same homeowner since he would have been only ten years old at that time.” 

She stated that there are, “No license or (rabies) vax on the dogs currently at the residence,” adding that “the legal limit for dogs in residential property is four and they must be spayed/neutered, microchipped, vaccinated and licensed.”

 

According to the KTLA report and video footage, a cooperative effort by the Los Angeles County Fire Dept., Sheriff’s deputies and L.A. County Animal Care and Control officers successfully corralled the dogs into an adjacent yard so that emergency medical responders could get to the man’s bloody body, which was found in one of the chain-link kennels in the backyard. 

From the circumstances reported, the dogs appeared in good condition, and the deceased owner was apparently feeding them at the time of the attack. 

They ranged in age from five adult dogs to eight puppies from four to six months of age. This age range and the number of dogs could imply that he had not been successful in sales and perhaps was unaware of the behavioral changes that occur when maturing, unaltered Pit Bulls are kept in close proximity. 

There were several separate kennels; however, it appears the owner may have been distracted, possibly by some altercation between the dogs, or was careless in latching kennel doors and it resulted in all 13 Pit Bulls being loose on this residential property. It is not known how many or which of the dogs was involved in the fatal attack on the owner. 

NEIGHBORS CONCERNED ABOUT SAFETY 

Neighbors stated that they believed the dogs were part of a breeding operation, and several of the Pit Bulls had been seen loose and roaming in the neighborhood on more than one occasion, but they did not know where they lived. 

On the video, the dogs appear to be in good condition, but one neighbor was extremely distressed that this situation was occurring in the community without her knowledge. She told KTLA her concerns were because she has young children that could possibly be endangered. 

They were not even barking or anything. “It’s scary. It’s absolutely scary because I have a 7-year-old and we were not aware of this,” April Ramirez said, according to KNBC-TV.

Damian Wesley of Compton Animal Rescue advised of the need to take care of pets and told reporters, “People need to understand that these dogs can kill somebody and hurt people.” 

The victim’s father reportedly consented to sign a release of the dogs to L.A. County Animal Care and Control. 

Director Mayeda stated in a media release, “We are committed to conducting a thorough investigation to determine the facts and ensure the safety and well-being of both the community and the animals involved.”

[UPDATE 2-20-24:  According to the video recording obtained from the home where this tragic event occurred, all  of the Pit Bulls on the property were determined to have been involved in the fatal mauling of the dog owner and were humanely euthanized for public health and safety considerations," according to Los Angeles County Director of Animal Care and Control Marcia Mayeda.]

(Phyllis M. Daugherty is a former Los Angeles City employee, an animal activist and a contributor to CityWatch.)