ANIMAL WATCH-The enigmatic campaign which began with "Ban Pit Bulls" flyers and "Pit Bull Facts," posted widely in Los Angeles, California, and Boca Raton, Florida, in April caught Pit Bull advocates by surprise, and was reported in CityWatch on April 23.
The flyers advising that, "In 2017, pit bulls killed 38 humans, 13,000 dogs, 5,000 cats, 20,000 farm animals." and "Pit bulls were originally bred to kill bulls and bears," were reported in a Circa digital news post on April 2, which sounded more like an alarm to Pit Bull advocates than a news item.
"The Anti-Pit Bull Street Team in Los Angeles was busy today with posting dozens of flyers raising awareness of the dangers of pit bulls," wrote Fernando Hurtado, who included the opinion that, "The latter claim is misleading. Pit bulls were originally bred to bite and hold bulls, not kill."
The mystery person behind the #BanPitBulls campaign, and a subsequent surprise billboard near Holly, MI, was known as WildGoose and maintained only a Twitter presence. He was not bound by the usual political correctness that shackles the efforts of any public opposition to aggressive Pit Bulls being released by shelters and placed in unsuspecting homes as "Nanny Dogs," with adopters assured the dog "loves children and other pets," although the dog's history may indicate otherwise.
In an April 2 Twitter THREAD:" The Pit Bull Lobbyist Complex and its unethical operations," @WildGoose999 tweeted, "The pro-pitbull lobby is literally a satanist cult ..." Was he referring to the blind acceptance of violent behavior by rescuers devoted to keeping every Pit Bull alive -- even if it sacrifices the safety of an unsuspecting family or the public which become victims of unexpected maulings or fatal attacks?
Or, since nothing he tweeted was random, is it likely @WildGoose999 was referring to the controversial religious roots of Best Friends Animal Society -- the most visible and vocal political proponent of the No-Breed-Specific-Legislation movement to assure no laws will restrict the breeding or ownership of Pit Bulls?
Best Friends began as the Process Church of the Final Judgment, chronicled in many articles and in books, such as, "Revival: Resurrecting the Process Church of the Final Judgment." Amazon.com writes, "As reported in the author’s anthropological study, Satan’s Power, the Process was polytheistic, asserting the union of Jehovah with Lucifer, and the unity of Christ with Satan."
"Love, Sex, Fear, Death: The Inside Story of the Process Church of the Final Judgment," a book by one of the early members of the Process Church, is depicted by Goodreads: "The Process Church of the Final Judgment was the apocalyptic shadow side of the flower-powered ’60s and perhaps the most notorious cult of modern times."
As early as 5-07-14, a $5,000 contribution to the Miami Coalition Against Breed Specific Legislation PAC, Inc., made by Best Friends Animal Society on August 3, 2012, was cited in Case FEC 13-037, by the State of Florida Elections Commission as $4,500 over limit and an "Excessive Contribution Accepted by Respondent."
SOMEONE WANTED @WildGoose999 STOPPED
It is no surprise that many who derive monetary benefit from the plight of the "underdog" would want the #BanPitBulls movement silenced. WildGoose was a clever strategist and also someone who followed through. Support for his eccentric and unorthodox approach to a growing danger was bringing attention that could undoubtedly have brought down -- or at least brought unwanted light to -- the "humane empire" of numerous small and large organizations which thrive economically on exploiting the tragic dog fighting, abandonment, abuse and neglect that plagues Pit Bulls.
Within 20 days, this unknown crusader had raised $8,045 of a modest goal of $10,000 on a GoFundMe "Pit Bull Truth" Billboard Campaign. He posted excitedly about how the money was being used and both the neon van which toured NY and the flyers which were distributed just last week in Washington D.C. were validated with videos, photos and also by those who reported viewing them personally.
But, not unexpectedly, WildGoose, himself, became the object of attack -- at least verbally -- by activists on both sides of the Pit Bull debate. (Author's note: The following is compiled from emails, tweets and photos/videos I have seen or were sent to me directly. Others may want to add their personal experiences.)
After he tweeted that a van with a neon sign glaring, "Ban Pit Bulls" and "Pit Bulls Kill More People than all other Dog Breeds Combined," toured NY City, Wild Goose announced, "I should have video from Time Square sometime today. Cell phone video of truck parked in front of BFAS adoption center. Man pulls over and asks, 'You really believe that?'"
He also provided photos and the video showing the van attempting to crawl through the NYC traffic.
@WildGoose999 later tweeted, "The #BanPitBulls van has been repaired after the attack of the pit moms. You can't stop the movement. That is New York City for you, high crime and lots of angry citizens."
On May 19, 2018, he posted on the GoFundMe campaign:
"Pit bull advocates attacked our truck in NYC so it's not possible to use that again. The next event is planned for D.C. and will take place within the next week. I've disabled..." (Note: The attack on the truck and damages was verified by a donor who contacted the owner of the company and was advised that the driver was threatened and the truck damaged and it would not be rented for this purpose again.)
As threats increased by Pit Bull advocates, donations to the campaign continued and people who had been victims of attack or were just concerned about the issue increasingly supported the campaign.
On May 12 he wrote: "It's literally exploding and going viral. More so, every single day. I have stuff scheduled for both Stefan Molyneux and Red Ice TV this week. We also had Brittany Venti and two other people cover it last week."
However, someone (or an organized group) was beginning to undermine the effort.
On May 11, 2018, WildGoose wrote:
People are spreading all kinds of slander about me. There's literally nothing that can be done to stop this. I can't control other people's actions, so I don't worry about it.
And on May 12, 2018, he continued: People photoshopping images of me saying mean things is really weak-sauce and a wasted effort. . . I'd rather them keep believing that it's actually having an impact though. Why interrupt my enemy when they're making a mistake?
On May 19, he tweeted: @_MrGoosebuster I am under heavy attack right now and these people are deliberately going after me and my family trying to sabotage what I'm doing. I just need you to keep the faith. Watch out for this weekend. 1000 11x17 posters will be put up throughout washington dc.
BAN PIT BULL FLYERS PLASTERED WASHINGTON D.C.
On May 27, 2018 at 9:32 a.m. WildGoose wrote:
Over a thousand posters have gone up in DC so far. I will have more photos in the coming day or two. (He actually posted an album with over 200 photos that same day.)
At 11:47 a.m. he identified that Scott Greer had seen the posting being done at Dupont Circle and National Mall areas of D.C.: Scott Greer of Daily Caller saw it in person. @ScottMGreer Just saw a dude plastering anti-pit propaganda in DC in broad daylight 9:42 AM - 27 May 2018.
The Comfort Inn, which shows in the posting on another photo, is at 1201 13th Street, Washington, D.C. Convention Center.
I asked if he would give me a quote for this article, but he said he'd rather not. I understand from a reliable source, WildGoose posted a receipt of the last $55 from the campaign fund being donated to the Shriners Hospital for Children and announced that the campaign has ended.
WHY THE WILDGOOSE CAMPAIGN WAS IMPORTANT
Could the #BanPitBulls have organized the political will of the public and victims to fight back and demand sensible Pit Bull-ownership regulations nationwide?
The WildGoose Campaign made a lasting impression and aroused forces that do not want opposition. He also ignited a fire which should not die quickly. It is fueled by the fact that in just ten days in May 2018, the following attacks involving Pit Bulls or Pit Bull-mixes were reported by major media outlets. (A more complete list can be seen at DogsBite.org. For stats which also include attacks on pets, see www.animals24-7.org.)
8-Month-Old Baby Girl Killed in Dog Attack
May 30 - An eight-month-old baby girl was killed in a deadly dog attack in Miramar, Florida, reports CBSMiami.
Fire officials received a call for an animal bite for a pediatric patient at a home located at 2420 Kingston Drive, but upon arrival, it was determined their services were not needed. The child was not transported because she was already dead from the attack by the family’s spotted brown Pit Bull, which they had owned for 3 to 4 years. The dog was removed by animal control. There were two other dogs in the house, which were also removed.
“The 8-month-old female baby was in the bedroom at the time of this horrific attack in a bouncy chair, said Yesenia Diaz with the Miramar Police Department.
The girl’s mother told CBS she was at work when her daughter was attacked, and the baby was in the care of her grandmother. She spoke about her daughter, Liana. “She was the best thing to ever happen to me. She smiled every morning. She was my world.”
“Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, ‘you’re going to lose somebody you love,’” she said.
Pregnant woman hospitalized after being attacked by dog in Fort Myers
June 1 - An eight-month pregnant woman remains in the hospital after she was violently mauled by a dog. “If it did this to me, it would have killed a child,” Lythiea Smith told WINKNews.
Smith has bite marks and scratches that will turn into scars from her scary encounter with a Pit Bull off Palm Beach Boulevard and Waverly Avenue. “Out of the blue a dog came out of nowhere from somebody’s yard and attacked me. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I just wanted to go to sleep so the pain could stop,” Smith said.
Smith, 27, said her motherly instincts kicked in during the attack when she covered her stomach, protecting her unborn daughter, Paris. “He hit my arm but he didn’t hit anything around my stomach. That was God, that’s all it was,” Smith said.
A neighbor says the dog is friendly and won’t attack unless provoked.
Smith says she wanted a Pit Bull as a pet, but after this experience, she may have changed her tune. She adds that animal control called her to get the address of where the attack happened. She said they plan on taking the dog.
Smith says she wants to take legal action against the dog owner. But for now, she’s focused on recovering at the hospital where doctors are monitoring her cuts for infections. Her daughter will be born in July.
5-year-old Child Seriously Injured in Attack by Pit Bull
May 29 - First responders reported to 126 Burke Circle at 2:18 p.m. on Sunday, after receiving a call about a child being attacked by a Pit Bull. The five-year-old Mooresville, NC, child was taken to Lake Norman Regional Medical Center after being seriously injured, reports Journal Now.
Fire-Rescue and police stated that they continued to subdue the animal until Iredell County Animal Control arrived on scene, as the dog remained aggressive. Animal Control said it has “had prior contact with the dog” and is investigating.
Pit Bull removed from Hampton home after attacking human, killing dog
May 29 - A Hampton, VA, community said they have been living in fear and nothing was done by Hampton Animal Control until a Pit Bull attacked a human and three pet dogs, killing one, NewsNow13 reports.
The Pit Bull broke through a fence while Joe Stillwell was walking his Jack Russell Terrier, T-Bone.
“It was as vicious and as heinous as anything you could possibly imagine. He basically ripped my dog in half, crushed his lungs, punctured his skull,” said Stillwell. “I punched the dog. My hands are still swollen. I kicked the dog. I couldn’t get the dog to release.” T-Bone’s injuries were so severe he had to be put to sleep.
Another neighbor told NewsNow13 it was the second time the dog broke through the fence. In February, his wife and their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were attacked in their own backyard. “As my wife was carrying the second dog into the house, the Pit Bull bit her left leg, knocking her to the ground,” he said.
The Pit Bull is owned by 27-year-old Jessica Person, who has four young children and said that, although others saw the Pit Bull as a threat to the neighborhood, she and her kids saw her as “like the most loving person.” She said her kids were in the car crying “because their favorite dog is being taken away because what happened to be a freak accident.”
Person was charged with two counts of dangerous dog and two counts of dogs attacking while at large and the dog’s fate will be decided by the court, according to NewsNow13.
Pit Bull Shot and Killed After Attacking 4-year-old Boy
May 29 - A Pit Bull attacked the 4-year-old son of its owner in the 4600 block of Shelburne Street in Philadelphia on Monday about 3:00 p.m. and a neighbor got a gun and shot it, killing the dog, according to NBC10.
"It bit his neck and took half of his skin off, and he was bleeding a lot. We saw a lot of people hit him with the weedwacker and everything else to stop him," a witness told the NBC10 reporter.
The Pit Bull eventually let the boy go and was trapped behind the home, police said. A neighbor then shot the dog, another witness said.
The boy was taken to St. Christopher’s Hospital for children where he was listed in stable condition.
Police officers took the man who killed the dog into custody, but later released him without filing charges. The unidentified man said he thought killing the dog would help the child.
A neighbor told NBC10 he saw the family pet often, but it was never violent prior to Monday’s attack. "They trusted the dog but guess they thought wrong," he said.
Woman attacked, seriously hurt by friend's dog
May 28 - A 29-year-old woman was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital on Sunday after she was bitten multiple times on her face and arm by a friend’s Pit Bull at a home on Park Street, reports WPRI.com. The incident is under investigation.
Sheriffs Charge Two Pit Bull Owners After Man Attacked
May 26 - The Cocke County Sheriff’s Department says two women face charges following the Thursday attack on a 42 year-old Newport, TN, resident by three Pit Bull dogs, the CitizenTribune reports.
Deputies found a man standing on the bed of a pickup truck, after he had been bitten on the hand. The dogs would not allow two men were in another truck to leave the vehicle. Two of the dogs had blood running down the sides of their jaws, the officer said.
A deputy drove to the gate to the dog owner, which was open. He sounded his siren and the dogs ran to his cruiser. EMS personnel could then reach the victim and transport him to Newport Medical Center.
6-year-old boy killed by family Pit Bull
May 25 - A friend of the boy’s family, told the Mirror that the attack happened just before 6 p.m. on Thursday at the family’s home on Gesser Ave. in Lakemount, PA, while the child's father was cutting grass. He heard the mother screaming and found "the dog on the boy." Vaughan said the father “did what he had to” to get the dog off the child.
“It was already too late,” the friend said, “His mother is taking it very, very hard. He passed away in her arms.”
The dog that mauled the boy is dead, and the family asked police to take a second dog.
Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross told WTAJ that the dog was a Pit Bull and that the boy died of blunt force trauma. News outlets are withholding the boy's name out of respect for the family's wishes.
Greenville boy, 11, suffered 9 bites to his leg in attack by Pit Bull
May 25 - An 11-year-old boy suffered nine dog bites to his leg when a neighbor's Pit Bull attacked him after he got off a school bus outside his home on Thompson Drive in Greenville, SC, his mother told GreenvilleOnline.
The child underwent surgery and could need more, and he will undergo a series of rabies shots, which will cost “tens of thousands of dollars,” said the mother who is an emergency medical technician.
The dog's owner was cited for a dog at large and Animal Control has custody of the dog but will consider the severity of the child's injuries to decide if the dog will be returned to the owner.
Pit bull tranquilized by police after mauling California man
May 24 - A dog described as a Pit Bull and a “family dog” attacked a man in the 8600 block of S. Loop Blvd around 10:30 a.m., KGET in Bakersfield, CA, reported. The victim suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to a local hospital, according to Cal City police. The incident is under investigation. (Cal City is located in Southeast Kern County.)
Family taken to the hospital after a vicious dog attack
May 22 -Four members of a Florissant, MO, family, including 13- and 16-year-old children, were taken to the hospital for severe bites to their forearms and legs. Florissant Police told reporters the dog was a Pit Bull mix, which “got aggressive and lashed out.” The attack happened around 6:30 p.m. on Monday in the 1500 block of Loveland Drive.
The family managed to barricade the dog in a room until police arrived and took it into custody, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The family told police they had owned the dog for about two to three months.
5 On Your Side was told by a neighbor that, “It was not the family’s dog. They got it from somebody they knew that could not handle it anymore, so they took it in so they could foster it until they could find it a home, so it didn’t have to go into a shelter.
Florissant reportedly had an ordinance banning pit bulls, which the City Council voted last year to end.
Toddler Recovering from Severe Wounds after Dog Bite
May 22 - A Statesboro, GA, toddler is recovering from a severe wound to the face after her uncle’s dog bit her Saturday. Bulloch County Humane Enforcement said the man willingly surrendered the dog--an older mixed breed which the Supervisor said, “appeared to be possibly a German shepherd and Pit Bull mix.” The dog is scheduled for euthanasia, the Statesboro Herald reports.
April Whitehurst Elliott, the child’s mother reportedly posted publicly on social media about the incident, including graphic images of her 3-year-old’s face, gashed open, but the images were removed. A report and photo is posted here by DogsBiteDecaturAl.)
The child’s mother said the dog was her “brother’s personal pet" and “Evie simply took her by surprise by touching the base of her tail from behind.” The humane society supervisor described the bite as “very, very bad.” During the investigation, it was reportedly learned the dog had bitten the child before, but had no report was made.
The child’s father told the Herald that, “The dog had shown signs of aggression towards Evie before, and was supposed to be closely monitored or kept away from her altogether."
This was the second severe dog bite case in Statesboro recently. Last week, a Church Street woman was airlifted to a Savannah hospital after a Pit Bull attacked her in her own yard. That dog was also surrendered and scheduled for euthanasia, according to officials.
(Phyllis M. Daugherty is a former City of LA employee and a contributor to CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.