Doctors Try To Save Dog Victim’s Life

A 53-year-old woman has lost a leg and her eyes, and may still lose her life, in the wake of a vicious-dog attack in Beaver Hills. Police have charged a 36-year-old Harvard-educated doctor who owns the dogs with illegally possessing crack at the time of the incident.

She has been undergoing a series of surgeries, including one Wednesday afternoon aimed at trying to save her arm, police said.

Those are the latest developments in the horrifying incident, which doctors are comparing to an infamous 2009 chimpanzee attack that critically injured a Stamford woman.

The attack occurred around 7:45 p.m. Monday. The doctor, who works in Yale’s psychiatry department, was driving with the woman, described as a friend, to his white Colonial four-bedroom single-family house on Ella Grasso Boulevard just north of Whalley Avenue. They had crack in the car, according to police.

He pulled into his driveway, up an incline from the street, opened a fence he keeps locked, and parked. As they went inside, they were greeted by the man’s two dogs, one large, one small.

The dogs leapt at the woman and started mauling her. Repeatedly. The man tried to beat them back; they attacked him too.

Neighbors heard what was going on and rushed to the scene. (Police initially described the dogs at pit bulls, then as a similar breed of “American bulldogs.”)

Alder Brian Wingate, who lives across the street, was watering his grass at the time. Alerted to the commotion, he grabbed a broom, ran over. He saw kids throwing rocks climbing the fence to throw rocks at the dogs to try to get them to stop biting the woman. One kid hurled a garbage can over the fence.

“I’ve never seen nothing like this. I’ve only seen this in the movies. This was really, really horrific,” Wingate said later.

“It plays in my head. Her eyes. Her ankles. Her arms. Part of her face, her ears—I could see the bones on her body. It was unbelievable. Thank god for the kids that were yelling.  We was looking for stuff to throw at the dogs. They were just continually eating her up.”

An ambulance crew showed up toward the end of the attack, and the homeowner opened the fence, at which point one of the dogs went inside, while the other was secured in the back yard.

“All the flesh was ripped away from her calf. The artery was just hanging there,” another witness recalled, still shaken days later. “Half of her face was basically bitten off.  She looked like she was dead. She had to lose two gallons of blood, easy. The front sidewalk in front of the house was covered with blood.”

Both the man and his female friend were transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital. The woman “coded twice” en route.

Since then doctors have amputated her right leg, according to Assistant Police Chief Anthony Campbell.

“She lost both eyes. She has severe facial injuries. She’s in extremely critical condition,” Campbell said Wednesday afternoon. “She may lose an arm — she’s in surgery currently.” He said doctors reported that they won’t know if she’ll survive. Campbell said doctors described her injuries as worse than those suffered by the Stamford woman in the 2009 chimp attack.

The man was being treated for “numerous” non-life-threatening injuries. He was at home on Tuesday afternoon and unavailable to speak, according t0 another man who opened the front door. That man said he believed the woman was still alive; officials had no update available.

The dogs have been quarantined “secure” at the police department’s animal shelter on Fournier Street.

Meanwhile, police arrested the man with illegal drug possession after allegedly finding three bags of crack on him at the time of the attack. He allegedly told police he had been smoking crack Monday evening.

The man was recovering at home Tuesday when the fence door to the driveway was open. A different man who answered the front doors aid the 53-year-old man was home recovering from his injuries and was unavailable for comment. The man earned a psychology degree from Harvard in 2001 and a medical degree from University Of Miami in 2014, according to the Yale School Of Medicine’s psychiatry department website. He bought the Grasso Boulevard house for $184,250 in 2015, according to city land records. His Facebook page was taken down after the attack.

The woman, who is a graduate of the old Richard C. Lee High School, posed with a pit bull in what was until recently her Facebook cover photo.

Meanwhile, city officials have reviewed the 911 calls after questions were raised about why the fire department wasn’t contacted to come to the scene.

City emergency management chief Rick Fontana said the dispatcher acted according to policy by contacting the ambulance company and the cops but not the fire department. That’s because the caller to 911 — who phoned twice — reported that a dog had bitten someone, but didn’t report how seriously.

In general, a routine dog bite is not considered a high-priority call requiring the fire department’s assistance, said Fontana, who reviewed recordings of the calls.

“If they said, ‘Listen, the person was bit on the face, the head, or the neck’” — as this woman was —“you’d get fire department. None of that information was relayed,” Fontana said.

Fire union President Frank Ricci disagreed. He said the dispatcher should have alerted the department: “I’ve been to numerous dog bite calls throughout my career. My take on it is if a citizen’s injuries require treatment, the fire department should be called. We provide the best possible service to the citizen.”

On Wednesday, Fontana said he and officials at the 911 call center have agreed to “escalate” the protocol” so that in the future dispatchers will call the fire department if an attack is in progress.

“We’ve learned. If this happens again tomorrow, we want to make sure we’re upping the response.”

Click below to hear Alder Wingate describe what he saw of the attack and how neighbors tried to help stop it.

An earlier version of this article had the man’s age and Yale affiliation wrong.

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posted by: LookOut on June 21, 2016  3:14pm

where did this happen (cross street)?  Readers should know for public safety reasons.

[Editor: Near Whalley, heading north.]

posted by: AverageTaxpayer on June 21, 2016  3:22pm

Let’s hope the victim pulls through and recovers from the attack.

Pit bulls are a menace to society. New Haven should follow the lead of many other municipalities and simply ban them.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on June 21, 2016  3:55pm

These dogs should be ban. In fact I like what they do in the UK.

Under the 1991 Act (and as amended in 1997) it is illegal to own any Specially Controlled Dogs without specific exemption from a court. The dogs have to be muzzled and kept on a lead in public, they must be registered and insured, neutered, tattooed and receive microchip implants. The Act also bans the breeding, sale and exchange of these dogs, even if they are on the Index of Exempted Dogs.[1]

Four types in particular were identified by the Act:

  Pit Bull Terrier
  Japanese Tosa
  Dogo Argentino
  Fila Brasileiro

The Act also covers cross breeds of the above four types of dog. Dangerous dogs are classified by “type”, not by breed label. This means that whether a dog is prohibited under the Act will depend on a judgement about its physical characteristics, and whether they match the description of a prohibited “type”. This assessment of the physical characteristics is made by a court.The Act applies in England, Wales and Scotland,[2] with The Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 having a similar effect in Northern Ireland.[3]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dangerous_Dogs_Act_1991

posted by: cedarhillresident! on June 21, 2016  4:13pm

This is so sad! I pray that the women makes it through and can recover for such a horrid incident. I am with Ricci. I have seen FD sent to less. Including my house.

I think this story needs so serious follow up.
1) with the dispatch and the 911 calls…will we get all of them? We have all had issues with dispatch so I think follow up is important on this.
2)More about the dogs. What kind of owner was the man? If a good did he have them since they were pups? Only reason why is because all the Pit haters are going to go crazy with this incident. Not all pit bulls do this. There has to be more to this.
TY in advance.

posted by: anonymous on June 21, 2016  4:29pm

“a pit bull kills a human being in the U.S. about once every 17 days and is six times more likely to kill humans than all other breeds of dogs combined…. most pit bull attacks are entirely unprovoked, and about half of the children killed by them are the victims of pit bulls raised with love in their own households.”

http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/barbara-kay-theres-no-argument-pit-bulls-kill

posted by: westville man on June 21, 2016  4:31pm

Amen, AverageTaxpayer, Amen!

posted by: truthheals on June 21, 2016  4:38pm

The latest reports states that Rottweilers have passed pit bulls as America’s deadliest dog breed. The Rottweilers were involved in 33 fatal attacks on humans between 1991 and 1998, the American Veterinary Medical Association said.  Pit Bulls, which have been responsible for 21 fatal attacks over the same period. I agree with AverageTaxpayer that Pit bulls and Rottweiler are a menace to society and should be banned. It is not even safe to walk the streets for fear of being bitten or mauled by one of these dogs. According to this article, these dogs also bit their owner.  My prayers are with this young lady. I am hoping for her complete recovery.

posted by: gram14 on June 21, 2016  6:09pm

This young woman lost both her ears, one eye (possibly the other) extreme facial, neck and throat injuries and severe extremity injuries. Due to throat injuries she was not able to be intubated when she coded twice. I feel these dogs had to have been trained as attack dogs seeing as how they went for her throat. She was in the operating room for 17 hours.  Three things need to happen…......pray fore the woman——shoot the dogs (don’t wait) and fire the dispatcher!!!  Engine #9 was only minutes away.

posted by: BetCR on June 21, 2016  6:51pm

Pit Bulls and other “aggressive” dogs have often been bred AND trained to be aggressive. They are also extremely DEVOTED to their humans, regardless of the kind of care they’ve had. Like any animal, they judge situations by a different set of considerations than humans. If they perceive themselves or their human to be in danger, they will respond in a protective and aggressive way. If the couple that was injured walked in making noise & in close contact to one another, the dogs may have acted under the perception their master was in danger. He may not have fully had them trained to respect him, and unfortunately the frenzy may have taken over.
Who knows what innocent action will look like danger to an animal. But I do know that dogs that are trained in a loving way & live in a safe environment - even ones who experienced trauma as pups - are NOT dangerous in the way dogs trained to guard or attack/fight are.
Sadly, too many people who own dogs with powerful personalities don’t know how to train them or care for them. My son’s Pittie lived in several different homes & was bred too young and possibly too much for her young age, before he rescued her. She was untrained in “social etiquette”, but all she craved was love & affection. It took time and a stable home life to turn her bad behavior around. Yet, her favorite activity, since day one, was to cuddle on the couch with one of her humans and be petted.
I have no doubt that if someone lifted a hand to my son or his wife, that dog might become vicious. We all are very careful that she is well watched - their fence is high enough and solid enough to prevent anyone from seeing in, as well as keeping her from seeing what’s beyond her yard. She walks on a special leash my son created… a double leash that she walks on with her Cairn Terrier “brother”.
In some cities, certain dogs tend to be very popular. Unfortunately, by virtue of their popularity, more Pitties or Rotties thus appear in the news.

posted by: dsaeger on June 21, 2016  7:09pm

How can someone be concerned about pit bull “haters”?  Here, there is a victim of a pit bull attack, by multiple pit bulls.  Pit bulls are a problem for the frequency and amount of damage they inflict. Doesn’t that account for something?  And where is the concern for the victim?

posted by: BenBerkowitz on June 21, 2016  9:00pm

Just heard a story on NPR this weekend that Montreal is banning them after a woman was killed there. Curious to hear where New Haven officials stand on this after Monday’s incident.

posted by: bochinchero on June 21, 2016  9:11pm

Google “pit bull maul.”. Most of the daily reported mauling events involve 4-7 figure total bills for injury, trauma, disfigurement, plastic surgery, rehab, and life flights. Often, these expenses are covered by the health care system and taxpayers. Pit bulls were banned years ago in all US military housing and are regulated or banned in most countries. Due to genetic inheritance, a pit bull is just another dog the same way a shark is just another fish.  I feel very sorry for this severely injured person.  What a terrible surprise.

The big authoritative major animal groups such as the SPCA, Humane Society, etc. to step up to the plate and educate the public as to the dangers of bully breed dogs such as the pit bull.  These groups all have a twisted ideology that blinds them to rational thinking.  I pin a lot of the pit bull carnage on these irresponsible animal welfare groups who hawk these dangerous dogs as acceptable pets to a gullible unsuspecting public.

posted by: Pitskilledmypet on June 21, 2016  9:51pm

Pit bulls inflict trauma level injuries daily.  Only people who do not love others will defend pit bulls at every attack story.  People first always.  Pit bulls must be banned.  Their owners are not stopping these attacks.

posted by: Roary on June 21, 2016  10:29pm

I will keep saying this until I am blue in the face. Never, ever trust a pit bull owner.

The vast majority of the pit bull-type dogs that severely maul or kill are family pets, and are not trained fighters.

Pit bull-type dogs are hardwired to maul and kill without warning, it is a part of the genetic code like border collies herd, labs swim, goldens retrieve, pointers point, and bloodhounds track.

Pit bulls are zero-mistake dogs. Pit-bulls are dangerous because they have the capability of inflicting life-threatening injuries in a split second.

Pit bull-type dogs are responsible for 95% of severe attacks on people, pets and livestock.

From 2005-2016, 243 people killed by pit bull type dogs. http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-fatalities.php

50,000 + animals killed by pit bulls every year: http://www.animals24-7.org/2015/01/27/how-many-other-animals-did-pit-bulls-kill-in-
and http://www.animals24-7.org/2016/01/31/pit-bulls-killed-24000-other-dogs-13000-cats-in-2015/

459 disfigurements in 2015 by pit bulls.
http://www.animals24-7.org/2016/01/04/record-33-fatal-pit-bull-attacks-459-disfigurements-in-2015/

This site tracks daily severe pit bull attacks on people: http://www.nationalpitbullvictimawareness.org/

Pit bulls do not lock their jaw but with their ‘gameness’ trait they do not let go until their victims are dead.

Two words to prove pit bull type dogs are inherently dangerous, a breed specific tool: “BREAK STICK”.

Does this sound like a normal and safe dog breed to have live in our neighborhoods? Pit Bull Rescue Central recommends ALL pit bull owners to have a “break stick”, a wedge-shaped piece of wood used to pry open a pit bull’s jaw during an attack. “Since pit bulls have a strong fighting background, we recommend that pet owners also have a breaking stick as a precaution.

posted by: Pitskilledmypet on June 21, 2016  10:43pm

Go to this site dogsbite.org.  Everything to educate you on dog attacks by every breed is there.  No bias, just facts, and so many victim stories, just heartbreaking.

posted by: BetCR on June 21, 2016  10:48pm

I stand by the point I am trying to make. The breed itself is not the singular problem. Humans - especially the breeders and owners are more at fault than the dogs. That said, I certainly hope the woman will be able to recover from both her physical and emotional injuries.

posted by: AverageTaxpayer on June 22, 2016  12:15am

@BetCR—there is no indication that the owner did anything wrong here.

The problem is the breed, which was developed to be a fighting, mauling, killing machine. When these dogs go off, they have the instinct and ability to do severe damage,—regardless of how well they were trained or raised. The degree of damage is the issue. Yes, other dogs bite people too. But they aren’t prone to inflicting the same amount of damage a fighting breed is capable of.

@gram14—your description of her wounds is too gruesome to contemplate.

posted by: SwampfoxII on June 22, 2016  1:20am

I’m sick of hearing people defend pits and Rottweilers.  They’re just bad breeds, & have turned on people including their own owners, and when they attack it is horribly vicious - they go for the kill.  Ban these breeds; make it illegal to own or breed one.  Every time this happens, and it happens too much, you always hear the owners say “but he was always so sweet.”  Yeah, wake up.

posted by: Winterishere on June 22, 2016  7:05am

First of all, Rotweillers were never in contention for first place maulers.  Do your research. 
Secondly. Dont EVEN start with blaming the victim. She merely went home with a friend. Your imagination and wishful thinking will never remove the blame from the perpetrators, the PIT BULLS. All the myths in the world will never hide the truth from the eyes of people with open minds. BSL works when it is enforced.  Pit bull idiots will never stop breeding these maulers for a quick buck.  They will never stop owning them because they are addictive like a drug, giving them a “social high”  This is a phenomenon like no other seen in America where doggie preference trumps human safety/life.

posted by: William Kurtz on June 22, 2016  8:45am

Editors,

Thanks for deleting that horrifyingly insensitive and racist comment posted earlier.

posted by: robn on June 22, 2016  9:17am

Breed ban commenters are clueless. The owner is the problem, not the dog.

Everyone with enough information (inluding the White House, the ASPCA and the CDC who gathers data on the subject) knows that breed bans are worthless. Irresponibile owners are the problem and those who actually breed fighters (who are also responsible for the castaways that get adopted at shelters) would train other breeds if pit bulls are banned.

Here are some questions people should be asking:

1) Does NHPD have any undercover operation to speak of looking into dog fighting or gangs who train dogs to be weapons?
2) Where did the dogs in this sory come from? A shelter? Did that shelter adequately stress test the dogs before giving them for adoption?
3) Why is a medical intern (known for extremely long hours at work) the owner of not one, but two athletic dogs? Dogs need attention; training and exercise. Did these dogs get that? When they don’t, they get stressed.
4) Why did an owner leave two athletic dogs (who are capable of jumping or diigging under a fence) left outside for presumably a whole day? Dogs have the same temperature sensitivity as humans and they need fresh water. This alone suggests that the owner didn’t know what he was doing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/obama-breed-specific-legislation_n_3785911.html

http://www.aspca.org/about-us/aspca-policy-and-position-statements/position-statement-breed-specific-legislation

http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/uploaded_files/tinymce/AVMA-CDC_Statement.pdf

https://www.avma.org/public/Health/Documents/dogbite.pdf

posted by: Scot on June 22, 2016  9:27am

Not to state the obvious but the protocol needs to be changed going forward so that EVERY time a dog bite is called in, the dispatcher should ALWAYS ask, “how serious?”, and “describe the dog bite”, rather than leaving it up to the caller to provide the info on their own.

Thoughts and prayers for this poor woman. Thanks to the brave children (and adults) who tried to intervene.

“...but not the fire department. That’s because the caller to 911 — who phoned twice — reported that a dog had bitten someone, but didn’t report how seriously.”
“If they said, ‘Listen, the person was bit on the face, the head, or the neck’” — as this woman was —“you’d get fire department. None of that information was relayed,” Fontana said.”

posted by: anonymous on June 22, 2016  9:53am

“It is not even safe to walk the streets for fear of being bitten or mauled by one of these dogs.”

Other than reckless drivers, this is the top reason why more people do not walk or ride bicycles in much of New Haven during the middle of the day, especially children.

posted by: Adelaide on June 22, 2016  10:24am

To constantly argue over who is to blame is pointless and does nothing to resolve the horrific events that transpired. All the pro pit people need to sit down and be quiet. Until it is your child, your family member, your neighbor, you don’t have place in this fight. The time has come when children and people take a priority over the welfare of some dog. My child comes first. The end.  What these kids witnessed, what the Alder witnessed and what the woman will suffer through is nothing less than criminal. Destroy the dogs. Ban the pits. You want a dog so badly, get a fish.
@gram14 and Alder Wingate - what you describe must have been horrible to see..I wish you and the victim, peace.

posted by: jdossgollin on June 22, 2016  11:07am

Thank you robn for a little bit of sanity. The reason not do do a breed ban is that it’s utterly worthless.

The difference between a pitbull and a chihuahua is that if you raise a mean pitbull, it’s dangerous, while if you raise a mean chihuahua it’s pretty harmless. But any big dog can do you harm (police using German shepherds, for example) and if raised to be mean, will do just that.

Better bet is to crack down on illegal fighting, hold owners responsible for what their dogs do, ensure people are keeping their dogs in appropriate conditions, etc

posted by: BenBerkowitz on June 22, 2016  11:48am

Heads Up! This was reported this AM: https://seeclickfix.com/issues/2619126-warning-loose-pitbull-on-canal-path

posted by: Esteban on June 22, 2016  11:53am

Robn, assault weapons aren’t to blame for shootings either.  The owner is the problem, not the gun…right?  Clearly, it would be a safer world without assault weapons as well as pit bulls.

posted by: robn on June 22, 2016  12:18pm

ESTEBAN,

Firstly, you need to work on your reading skills. If we ban pit bulls, irresponsible owners will just turn to other breeds and there will be no impact. The owners are the problem, not the dogs. Connecting this to your argument, if we ban (and presumably destroy all existing stock) of assault weapons, there wouldn’t be an equivalent replacement.

Secondly, we make laws proportional to the problems we have. In the US, in the most recent year recorded, there were 34 dog bite fatalities, 11,208 firearm deaths, and 32,675 automobile deaths. So give up your gun and your car and then weep on my shoulder about dogs making your children less safe.

This is a human problem (the owner) not a dog problem.

posted by: brownetowne on June 22, 2016  12:24pm

While this isn’t directly related to this incident, my family was attacked TWICE in West Rock Park by off-leash dogs.  The first time was by a group of off-leash Chows and the second was by a group of off-leash pitt-bulls.  Both visits could have been worse but did involve hospital visits.  Police were involved with both incidents but this had no effect as these dogs were roaming free as before the following week.  It was difficult to get the police to come to the scene because I had to convince them that this area is within their jurisdiction. 

We stopped going to the park. 

New Haven is a lawless city and when the time comes to relocate I won’t be sad.

posted by: bochincherotoo on June 22, 2016  1:27pm

This is cause and effect of “No Kill” shelters. They foist even the most aggressive of breed - pit bulls - on an unsuspecting public. I’m pretty sure the owner is going to say “they never did that before”... alas… you can never trust these most vicious of breeds. Pit Bulls have mauled and killed more that all other breeds combined. (American (pit) Bulldog = pit bull on steroids)
If you have a pit bull, this should be a learning lesson to trade it in on a non-vicious breed.

BSL might have saved this woman.

Poor woman… RIP

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on June 22, 2016  1:53pm

posted by: robn on June 22, 2016

ESTEBAN,

Firstly, you need to work on your reading skills. If we ban pit bulls, irresponsible owners will just turn to other breeds and there will be no impact.

posted by: jdossgollin on June 22, 2016

Thank you robn for a little bit of sanity. The reason not do do a breed ban is that it’s utterly worthless.

Not in the UK and other countries.Notice it saysThe Act also covers cross breeds of the above four types of dog. Dangerous dogs are classified by “type”, not by breed label. This means that whether a dog is prohibited under the Act will depend on a judgement about its physical characteristics, and whether they match the description of a prohibited “type”. This assessment of the physical characteristics is made by a court.The Act applies in England, Wales and Scotland,[2] with The Dangerous Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 having a similar effect in Northern Ireland.[3]


RemeberThe Diane Whipple Case.


Diane Alexis Whipple (January 21, 1968 – January 26, 2001) was a lacrosse player and coach, who is best known as the victim of a fatal dog attack in San Francisco in January 2001. The dogs involved were two Presa Canario dogs named Bane (male) and Hera (female), owned by neighbors living in the same apartment building.On January 26, 2001, after returning home with bags of groceries, Whipple was attacked by two large Perro de Presa Canario dogs in the hallway of her apartment building. The dogs, named Bane and Hera, were owned by neighbors Marjorie Knoller and her husband Robert Noel.[3][4]
The dogs’ actual owner, Paul Schneider, was a high-ranking member of the prison gang the Aryan Brotherhood who was serving a life sentence in Pelican Bay State Prison. Schneider and his cellmate Dale Bretches were attempting to start an illegal Presa Canario dog-fighting business from prison..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Diane_Whipple

If you ban these type of dog then there will be no dogs train to be aggressive.

posted by: robn on June 22, 2016  2:55pm

Crack addict psychologist (who probably exposed the animals to second hand smoke ... no wonder they became psychotic).
The Owner is the problem; not the breed.

posted by: robn on June 22, 2016  3:32pm

3/5,

When the death rate of dog bites increases from 34 to 32,675 (the death rate of cars), then let’s talk about banning both. But even then don’t hold your breath because CT Stye Statutes don’t allow municipality to ban breeds.

posted by: Esteban on June 22, 2016  3:45pm

Re:  Robn,

“If we ban pit bulls, irresponsible owners will just turn to other breeds and there will be no impact.”

I’ll have to discuss this with my chihuahua. 
In 2015, the combination of pit bulls and rottweilers contributed to 91% of all dog bite-related fatalities.
In 2015, Pit bulls contributed to 82% (28) of the total recorded deaths, the highest fatality count on record for the breed.

“Secondly, we make laws proportional to the problems we have. In the US, in the most recent year recorded, there were 34 dog bite fatalities, 11,208 firearm deaths, and 32,675 automobile deaths.“

Why don’t you tell that to this attack victim.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on June 22, 2016  4:24pm

posted by: robn on June 22, 2016 3:32pm

3/5,

When the death rate of dog bites increases from 34 to 32,675 (the death rate of cars), then let’s talk about banning both. But even then don’t hold your breath because CT Stye Statutes don’t allow municipality to ban breeds.


We are not talking about the death rate of cars.Wars also kill people.Also the CT St Statutes can be change.

posted by: AverageTaxpayer on June 22, 2016  4:25pm

@ Robn—I encourage you to take five minutes to peruse last year’s 34 dog bite fatalities, and reckon how many of the deaths were by family pit bull pets.

http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-fatalities-2015.php


In this instance there is no indication the owner did anything wrong, and plenty to suggest the dogs just “went off”.

Also, how many serious maimings happen every year due to pit bull attacks? Our local victim might not end up in the fatality column, but my god she will never be the same.

Laws apply against people owning dangerous animals, (bears, tigers, etc.), and those same laws should apply to pit bulls given their nature and propensity to do harm to children, adults, and other people’s pets.

Outside of a few breeds of fighting dogs, it is hard to imagine an attack like that which happened Monday evening.

Again, I encourage you to read the actual details surrounding the dog bite fatalities.

posted by: BetweenTwoRocks on June 22, 2016  4:37pm

I have pretty mixed feelings about banning a breed of dog. It seems cruel. And yet…

To me, pit bulls are sort of like guns. With a responsible owner, they’re probably safe. Except every once in a while, it isn’t, and then it’s innocent people—including children—who get killed. What’s it worth? I honestly don’t know.

This is definitely one of those issues where I can understand both sides of the issue.

posted by: Pilay on June 22, 2016  5:12pm

A truly horrific event.

For what it’s worth, there is a book that just came out about pitbulls in America. I have nothing against them (but am not wild about them about them either), but it was really news to me, not least that ‘pit bull’ is not a breed but a very fuzzy category. This all makes me think a ban would be a simple knee-jerk, and quite a misguided one:

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/10/477350069/friend-or-fiend-pit-bull-explores-the-history-of-americas-most-feared-dog

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/31/science/review-pit-bull-by-bronwen-dickey.html

“She finds that pit bulls are still scorned because it is often poor people who own them. “

And let’s remember that a pit-bull ban would mean yet another fight with Yale and ‘Handsome Dan’ (surely the living legacy of an earlier era, in terms of the social coding of these dogs).

posted by: robn on June 22, 2016  5:23pm

ATP

I have read that information and here’s an excerpt from outbreak contradicts your statement. “Dog ownership information for 2015 shows that non-family dogs inflicted the majority of dog bite fatalities, 59%.”
And nothing on this page indicates that the family dogs involved in a fatality were responsibly raised from puppyhood and then just “went off”, as you put it.

posted by: BetCR on June 22, 2016  6:04pm

Thanks, robn, for the articles. The ASPCA one is worth reposting: http://www.aspca.org/about-us/aspca-policy-and-position-statements/position-statement-breed-specific-legislation .

Folks, read the article for a fuller understanding of the issues with bans.
I agree so-called bully breeds require a higher level of training and owner care. Ours doesn’t need a “break stick” - we can take her bone away because of training.

New info illustrates how in this case, owner choices/negligence actually may be a big part of the problem, as I suggested. I would love to see better training for non-dog owners, too. Even with other dog breeds I’ve owned, I had to warn parents and children about proper behavior around strange dogs. If a child runs over, squealing with glee and arms thrust out towards the animal, the dog may see that as scary, aggressive behavior. Parents need to teach small kids not to approach strange dogs, especially without asking the owner if it’s ok.
Now this case doesn’t involve kids, but the humans’ behavior and judgment - possibly undermined by drugs - may have been confusing enough to frighten the dogs and cause them to attack. And owning two pits in conditions where they have to be alone and out in the weather for extended periods, well that’s like leaving two four-year-olds home without a sitter, with the Halloween candy bucket.
There have been cases of kids or others, trespassing into fenced yards, allowing dogs to get out. Attacks followed, thru no fault of the owner. Many things can fall together to create a dangerous situation.

It’s a matter of responsible ownership & reasonable care, like those assault weapons you likened Pitties to. Assault rifles don’t fire themselves. Guns don’t think, so they can’t misunderstand a situation. And because of the ammunition capacity, one AR-15 type gun has the potential to do much more damage than a small handgun in the hands of one irresponsible human.

And.. we have fish. They don’t like being petted.

posted by: AverageTaxpayer on June 22, 2016  7:09pm

@ Robn—The dog park I used to visit had two pit bulls as regulars, both exceptionally well-trained, loved and cared for. Two of the sweetest dogs out of the bunch.

Net three years they were both put down. One bit his owner badly, the other bit a kid.

In neither case could things be attributed to a “bad owner”. And to write-off the long litany of pit bull incidents to such is pretty naive.

The dogs were bred to fight, kill and maim, and even the best loved and trained pit remains a dangerous animal.

posted by: westville man on June 22, 2016  7:21pm

Robn.  Can you answer 2 questions re your “it’s the owner not the dog” argument?
1. How come only “bad” owners of pit bulls end up with the dogs mauling others?  Why aren’t bad owners of collies, German Shepards, etc having those dogs killing and maiming at the same rate?
2.  Why are the pit bulls killing their own family members and other dogs are not? 

(Hint: it’s the DOG, not the owner)

But I still would like to know what your response is.

posted by: yim-a on June 22, 2016  8:03pm

What is up with the Yale Psychiatric department?  First the psychiatrist with the stash of guns at home, now the crack smoking guy with attack dogs. 

http://yaledailynews.com/blog/2009/09/18/gun-owning-medical-student-banned-from-campus/

posted by: Steve Harris on June 22, 2016  8:11pm

Put Bulls are not inherently dangerous. It’s the “Our Gang” and RCA Victor dog. I’ve met many sweet pits. The owners are the problem when these dogs attack.

I say this as one who was attacked by a Pit Bull in 2005 and understand the difference between a normal pit and a psychologically damaged dog.

posted by: robn on June 22, 2016  10:00pm

WVM,

1) Because irresponsible people have been attracted to pit bulls because they think it makes them a tough guy.
2) Because well meaning people end up adopting the castaways from tough guy culture.

posted by: SwampfoxII on June 22, 2016  10:27pm

Unbelievably horrific.  Plus, the doctor is at Yale’s Psychiatry department and had crack cocaine on him?  And he had two pit bulls?  What does that say about Yale’s judgment and selection standards?  I trust state authorities will move quickly to yank this guy’s medical license.  No way should he be allowed to treat anybody, never mind someone with psychological needs.

posted by: KatieB on June 22, 2016  11:12pm

The anti-pitbull comments are ridiculous. Guess what, people—any large dog has the potential to hurt someone. You don’t see golden retriever bans, but a 80-pound golden could do plenty of damage. And you can find plenty of data—biased and flawed—on sites like dogbite.com. It’s really unfortunate that people are so motivated by irrational emotion they are so easily swayed by fear-mongering rhetoric instead of facts. The reality is that there is absolutely no breed correlation with biting incidents. And, in fact, many dogs are mislabeled as “pitbulls” simply by being terrier mixes—so unless this ever-declining news outlet has actually verified that these dogs were pitbulls, it has done the community a real disservice by reporting them as such. It is in fact well-documented that news sites are likely to label dogs “pitbulls” if they are involved in biting incidents if the dog is a mixed breed—even if it is not a pitbull at all.

And for people like “AverageTaxpayer,” saying that the dogs “just went off” and that the owner wasn’t doing anything unusual… Really? Did you not see the part about the crack?? Clearly there was more going on here than just the dogs—so it’s unfortunate that this has deteriorated into a tirade against a breed of dog.

posted by: Roary on June 23, 2016  12:38am

It’s amazing to see how fast several Quebec cities are not going to tolerate pit bulls in their cities after only a couple of severe attacks. But here in the U.S. our humane orgs such as, HSUS, ASPCA and BFAS and legislators are turning our neighborhoods into killing fields for pit bulls. http://blog.dogsbite.org/2016/06/cities-in-province-of-quebec-move-to-ban-pit-bulls.html

posted by: bikyst on June 23, 2016  10:17am

This is horrible injury that this poor woman suffered and it sounds like she will never really recover from.  She sounds like she will need a lot of care, maybe lifelong skilled nursing facility care.

As a previous commenter noted, who’s going to pay for all of this?  This bill will be probably be 7 figures after this woman gets into a skilled nursing facility.  I hope this Doctor had home-owner’s insurance that states he had two dogs living at the home.  Does he have an Umbrella policy on his home-owner’s insurance policy?  All dog owners should carry home-owner’s insurance stating they own a dog.

Hopefully, at minimum, this Doctor’s salary is garnished to help pay for her lifelong medical care/bill for as long as he works.  Is there any chance he can go to prison due to what his uncontrollable dogs did to this woman? 

Can someone from the NHI or a commenter with legal expertise answer these questions.

posted by: TheMadcap on June 23, 2016  10:35am

We never hear of golden retriever bans because how often do we hear of golden retrievers attacking someone

posted by: cedarhillresident! on June 23, 2016  10:57am

@ bikyst I am sure he will need to get off the crack before he is getting a paycheck again.

posted by: KatieB on June 23, 2016  11:16am

Bites by other breeds occur all the time. Google golden retriever bites and you’ll of course find some horrific news stories about maulings, dismemberments, etc. My point is that a lot of the stories you do hear about are misreported—mixed-breed dogs are erroneously called pit-bulls. I think this is irresponsible and that it feeds the hysteria on display here. Obviously this is a tragic incident, but it seems to depend on far more factors than the breed of the dogs involved.

posted by: Natalie on June 23, 2016  12:09pm

Breed-specific legislation is like racial profiling. Applying it identifies some people who do bad things, but the vast majority of the time harms people who have done nothing wrong.

TROUBLEMAKERS
What pit bulls can teach us about profiling.
By Malcolm Gladwell
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/02/06/troublemakers-2

“Of course, not all pit bulls are dangerous. Most don’t bite anyone. Meanwhile, Dobermans and Great Danes and German shepherds and Rottweilers are frequent biters as well, and the dog that recently mauled a Frenchwoman so badly that she was given the world’s first face transplant was, of all things, a Labrador retriever. When we say that pit bulls are dangerous, we are making a generalization, just as insurance companies use generalizations when they charge young men more for car insurance than the rest of us (even though many young men are perfectly good drivers)....”

“Another word for generalization, though, is “stereotype,” and stereotypes are usually not considered desirable dimensions of our decision-making lives.”

“Pit-bull bans involve a category problem, too, because pit bulls, as it happens, aren’t a single breed. ... [and] thinking about dangerous dogs as anything substantially similar to a pit bull is a generalization about a generalization.”

Then which are the pit bulls that get into trouble? “The ones that the legislation is geared toward have aggressive tendencies that are either bred in by the breeder, trained in by the trainer, or reinforced in by the owner,” Herkstroeter says…. A pit bull is dangerous to people, then, not to the extent that it expresses its essential pit bullness but to the extent that it deviates from it. A pit-bull ban is a generalization about a trait that is not, in fact, general. That’s a category problem.”

“The kinds of dogs that kill people change over time, because the popularity of certain breeds changes over time.”

posted by: Natalie on June 23, 2016  12:15pm

More from Malcolm Gladwell’s article:

“The kinds of dogs that kill people change over time, because the popularity of certain breeds changes over time. The one thing that doesn’t change is the total number of the people killed by dogs. When we have more problems with pit bulls, it’s not necessarily a sign that pit bulls are more dangerous than other dogs. It could just be a sign that pit bulls have become more numerous.”

“I’ve seen virtually every breed involved in fatalities, including Pomeranians and everything else, except a beagle or a basset hound,” Randall Lockwood, a senior vice-president of the A.S.P.C.A. and one of the country’s leading dogbite experts, told me. “And there’s always one or two deaths attributable to malamutes or huskies, although you never hear people clamoring for a ban on those breeds. When I first started looking at fatal dog attacks, they largely involved dogs like German shepherds and shepherd mixes and St. Bernards—which is probably why Stephen King chose to make Cujo a St. Bernard, not a pit bull. I haven’t seen a fatality involving a Doberman for decades, whereas in the nineteen-seventies they were quite common. If you wanted a mean dog, back then, you got a Doberman. I don’t think I even saw my first pit-bull case until the middle to late nineteen-eighties, and I didn’t start seeing Rottweilers until I’d already looked at a few hundred fatal dog attacks. Now those dogs make up the preponderance of fatalities. The point is that it changes over time. It’s a reflection of what the dog of choice is among people who want to own an aggressive dog.”

Regardless of “breed,” dogs that bite tend to be:
1. Male
2. Unfixed
3. Chained
4. Improperly socialized
5. Hungry
6. In need of medical attention

Perhaps cities could consider bans on owners who permit these traits, rather than on the purported breed “pit bull.”

As Gladwell concludes, this requires that an “exacting set of generalizations to be [] exactingly applied.” But it would work.

posted by: bochinchero on June 23, 2016  12:19pm

“Bites by other breeds occur all the time.”  There’s an enormous difference between a bite and a mauling.  A lab may bite, but a pit bull mauls, often causing extensive damage leading to 4-7 figure total bills for injury, trauma, disfigurement, plastic surgery, rehab, and life flights.  Again, Google “pit bull maul” for daily mass media news accounts of pit bull attacks and see for yourself the difference.

posted by: westville man on June 23, 2016  12:46pm

Bikyst.  For the homeowner’s insurance policy to cover this claim, the owner would need to have indicated on his application that he owned the dogs.  If he didn’t, the company would most likely refuse coverage or investigate under a “reservation of rights” to disclaim later on.  If there’s no coverage afforded under the HO policy,  then the umbrella policy most likely would not kick in.

Ps-  he would be paying higher premiums if he disclosed dog ownership, like owning a swimming pool, the risk increases for a claim

posted by: bikyst on June 23, 2016  1:08pm

Westville Man and Cedar Hill,

Thanks for your responses. 

Once he does start working again and can make money, who sues him?  The health insurance company?  The injured woman?  Or YNHH? 

It is unfair for the community to pay for this 6 or 7 figure bill through higher insurance premiums because of the incompetence of this dog owner. 

His wages should always be garnished so he can never have any of the extras in life that this woman will miss out on for the rest of her life.

posted by: Gretchen Pritchard on June 23, 2016  2:42pm

Thank you for the helpful list of risk factors for dog bites, Natalie.  I’d like to add another one, from my own experience, namely:  Female dog, mother of a litter, who sees someone getting between her and her puppies.

I still have the scar on my face.  I was 12, and the owner was our next-door neighbor who was so ignorant about dogs that he didn’t get his bitch spayed, he didn’t know she was in heat, and when she had the pups, he invited all the neighbor kids over the next day (Mother’s Day) to see them.  When I happened to walk into their basement, the mom dog was away from the basket getting a drink of water.  I approached the basket just as she was turning to come back.

The results were predictable.

posted by: bochinchero on June 23, 2016  5:33pm

The opportunistic author and PR magician, Bronwen Dickey (“Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon”),  is doing society a major disservice.  The SPCA, Best Friends, etc. are also shamefully to blame for not educating the public about the well documented dangers of this human manufactured product.  She and they hawk pit bulls as decent pets.

The author of “Pit Bulls for Dummies”, Caroline Colie Ph.D., posted a different view online last year.  I talked to her by phone, and she confirms posting: “I am the author of ‘Pit Bulls for Dummies’. I will not have another after they, without warning, attacked and almost killed my other dog who they had been best buddies with for their entire lives. One of them choked my saluki unconscious and ran around the house with her like a panther with a dead gazelle while we tried to get her to let go. When they were good, they were delightful; when they were bad, they were deadly.”

Over 937 Cities, Towns & 31 Counties, 292 US Military bases in 36 states in the US currently have BSL, Breed Specific Legislation against pit bull type dogs as do over 41 other countries, an increase of over 125 cities in the last year.  There must be a reason for this.

posted by: bikyst on June 24, 2016  6:25am

Until you make a dog owner CRIMINALLY and FINANCIALLY responsible for their dog’s behavior, nothing will change.  This will work better than a breed ban.  People should be held accountable for their dog’s behavior.  If your dog injures someone, you should be charged with Assault.  If your dog kills someone, you should be charged with Murder.  You MUST be carrying homeowner’s insurance and an Umbrella Policy if you own a dog, especially one with a negative reputation. 

BRIAN WINGATE: What do you think of this idea to pursue in the legislature rather than a breed ban?  I met you a while ago during your Alderperson victory and you are a good and compassionate man.  I bet what you saw happen changed your perception of what a dog is capable of.  DOG OWNERS NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.  This is the only way dog breeders will change their behavior.

posted by: elmcityresident on June 24, 2016  10:07am

A Yale Pysch Doctor smoking crack is he still practicing???

posted by: robn on June 24, 2016  2:33pm

BIKYST,

Owners of dogs that bite ARE held financially accountable by tort law. As far as insurance companies go, they do engage in breed discrimination but they don’t actually have any actuarial data to back up policy denials or rate increases. As others have written, there is no data set which merges owner characteristics, relative breed quantities, and behavior. Not can BSL avoid ambiguous interpretation of breed because terriers and mixed breed terriers is a vast category of dogs.

posted by: Jennie Conway on June 24, 2016  2:58pm

Pit bulls are a blood sport dog, genetically created to fight, maul and kill. There is no reason for aggressive dog breeds to be allowed in society. Bully type breeds and bully mixes are responsible for the majority of mauling and deaths of other animals and humans! They are not safe and never will be. They were never meant to be pets, and will always be a threat! They should be banned everywhere, and the breed allowed to go extinct!

posted by: SteveOnAnderson on June 24, 2016  4:41pm

The incident is truly horrific, and I join all others here in expressing my sadness for the victim. I cannot fathom the physical and emotional injuries she sustained in the attack, and I hope she has a lot of people providing love, support, and care in helping her recover.

As an owner of two rescued pit bulls (and two greyhounds), it is extraordinarily difficult to restrain myself in leaving a comment here responding to knee-jerk calls for a ban. Thank you to everyone here who is speaking up for pit bulls, especially robn, Natalie, KatieB, Steve Harris, & jdossgollin. I encourage everyone to go back through and read their comments. There is a tremendous amount of ignorance about the very amorphous category of “pit bulls,” and it is discouraging to see so much of it regurgitated here, especially the idea of a breed ban.

In my opinion, New Haven ought to go in a very different direction by providing outreach and support for pit bull owners and neighbors to engage with one another about making our city safer for both residents and the dogs. There is a dearth of initiative concerning education, training, and communication that could make New Haven a leader in finding solutions that make sense both economically and in bringing communities together. Pit bulls have so often been the targets of fear, violence, and cruelty at the hands of humans, and we will not fix the problem in our city by directing even more fear, violence, and cruelty at the dogs.

posted by: SteveOnAnderson on June 24, 2016  4:50pm

Let me also add that there are multiple signs here that the owner was severely delinquent in his treatment of the dogs and his friend, most notably this detail which suggests that the dogs were in an environment where crack was being smoked around them:

“Meanwhile, police arrested the man with illegal drug possession after allegedly finding three bags of crack on him at the time of the attack. He allegedly told police he had been smoking crack Monday evening.”

Were the dogs exposed to crack smoke? Other substances that may have impacted them? How frequently? Were they imprinted by the behavior of the owner and his friends while they were doing drugs? These questions must be asked in addition to those posed by robn & others above.

posted by: Lady Li on June 24, 2016  6:10pm

I have nothing but compassion for the victim, and hope the best for her and her loved ones.
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, exposure to crack cocaine can elicit aggressive and other non-normal behavior in dogs and other animals. Can we assume the dogs were tested for this?

posted by: Jennie Conway on June 24, 2016  7:00pm

Seriously….pit apologists are going to really push that it was crack fumes that caused these dogs to snap and kill? Really? Were the other pits that killed over 30 people last year all ...crack doggies too? .... Or the 15 or so killed so far this year ( I’ve lost count! ) by pits also drug addicted? PITS DON’T NEED A REASON TO KILL…THEY JUST DO! THEY DO WHAT THEY WERE CREATED TO DO. They don’t herd, or retrieve , or point ,or track, or any of the other things dogs were developed to do. The fight, attack, maul and kill as their genetics tell them to. STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR THE NUMBER ONE CANINE KILLER! Your bleeding heart comments are getting old…as are your excuses! A woman died…..and you want to protect and make excuses for her killers! Such a sad sack excuse for humans you are!

posted by: robn on June 24, 2016  7:28pm

Lady Li,

Given the shocking nature of this, the public reaction and the inevitability that these animals will be put down the NHPD should absolutely test the animals for drugs and also examine them for other abuse. I’d be surprised if the family of the mauled woman didn’t demand a full examination of the animals as the basis for a civil lawsuit(s).

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on June 24, 2016  8:15pm

posted by: robn on June 24, 2016 2:33pm

BIKYST,

Owners of dogs that bite ARE held financially accountable by tort law. As far as insurance companies go, they do engage in breed discrimination but they don’t actually have any actuarial data to back up policy denials or rate increases

A LANDLORD’S VIEW OF PIT BULLS & ROTTWEILERS.

I allow tenants to have dogs at some of my properties, but I don’t allow pit bulls or rottweilers, and I don’t know of any landlord who does. The reason is liability. Landlords are not really free to do as they please. Landlords have to abide by the rules of their insurance companies.

Why do insurance companies ban pit bulls and rottweilers?

Dog bites are the single biggest cause of homeowner policy claims. In 2011, dog bite claims cost U.S. insurance companies over $500 million.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, a Federal agency, over 50% of all fatal dog attacks in the U.S. over the past 10 years were committed by pit bulls or rottweilers. Another study by the American Veterinary Medical Association came to the same conclusion.
Only 2% of all the dogs in the U.S. are pit bulls, but pit bulls commit 1/3 of all fatal dog attacks.
50% of all dog mauling cases reported to the San Francisco Police Department involve pit bulls.
When someone is mauled by a dog in an apartment house, it is now standard procedure for the victim to sue both the dog’s owner and the landlord. Lawyers representing the victims in these lawsuits argue that it is common knowledge that pit bulls and rottweilers are dangerous; therefore, the landlord was negligent by allowing a tenant to keep one of these dogs in his building. Increasingly, the victims are winning these lawsuits.

http://tarses.com/pitbull.html

posted by: robn on June 24, 2016  11:12pm

3/5,

Where exactly is credible evidence that pit bulls (with some credible definition what “pit bull” means, that I’m sure you can provide) comprise 2% of the dog population and are responsible for 1/3 of dog attack fatalities? Then provide credible evidence that the attacks don’t correlate to abusive upbringing or abandonment.

If you can’t, stop reposting random hysterics not based in fact.

posted by: SteveOnAnderson on June 25, 2016  9:39am

The number of groundless claims and misinformation throughout these comments is astounding. *Every single one* of the anti-pit bull comments that have been left here are either pure speculation based on stories predetermined to prove the point (“google ‘pit bull mauling’”), or rely on soundly disproven myths that are disingenuously spread by anti-pit bull organizations with an agenda that is rooted in fear.

Here is a link to the thorough, peer-reviewed literature review of the role of breed in dog bite risk and prevention by the American Veterinary Medical Association: https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/LiteratureReviews/Pages/The-Role-of-Breed-in-Dog-Bite-Risk-and-Prevention.aspx. Although robn shared this link earlier, I think it is worth re-emphasizing, and hope people who are spreading misinformation and fear-mongering here open their minds and familiarize themselves with the actual facts of dog bite risk and prevention.

Based on scores of scientific studies, the AVMA literature review very clearly states: “Owners of pit bull-type dogs deal with a strong breed stigma, however controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous.” Furthermore, the AVMA concludes that there is no evidence that breed bans decrease the rate or severity of dog bite instances.

What we should be discussing here are truly effective alternatives to the cruel and ineffective idea of breed-specific legislation. There are many alternatives for communities to explore, and it would be great to see New Haven discuss some of these possibilities: https://stopbsl.org/alternatives-to-bsl/.

posted by: Jennie Conway on June 25, 2016  12:04pm

I just love how pit pushers come on the comment section of articles,  concerning pit bull maulings or pit killings. Then stupidly say that anti pit groups have an agenda of fear, with no genuine facts! Lol! Yes we do have an agenda. That of BSL to keep citizens safe from dangerous dogs! In case you have forgotten this article deals with a woman torn apart by aggressive pits. I wonder if she was afraid as they ate her flesh? We should all be afraid of this dangerous dog plague on society….and the foolish people who harbor and defend this murderous breed. As for facts, we have facts, but pit apologists refuse to believe them, when they are presented. They just change the subject, and give another excuse. But I’ll go you one better….even better than facts….we have the dead bodies!!!!!!! I’m tired of excuses being given for murderous dog breeds. Try giving them to the victims….oh that’s right, you do. You harass and bully them whenever possible. Then post comments as to what they must have done wrong, to make these wonderful dogs turn and kill. What did they do wrong? Nothing! Except to be exposed to the killer blood sport genetics of a bully breed! You people simply have no shame!!!!!

posted by: bochinchero on June 25, 2016  2:23pm

Here’s a real world veterinarian (DVM) commenting on pit bulls and their owners.  Veterinary Practice News June 2016:  LETTER TO THE EDITOR I read Dr. John Lewis’ article “Tough decisions await when dogs bite kids,” Dental Pearls, May 2016. I applaud Veterinary Practice News’ attention to a subject that has not received the notice it deserves. As a veterinarian for 30 years, and having practiced in lower socioeconomic areas for most of them, I am too familiar with these incidents.
In 2007 I sold my practice in Palm Bay, Fla. A primary reason was that 60 percent of new patients were pit bull or pit bull mixed-breed dogs. A high percentage of these animals were owned by the most irresponsible people. Most of the dogs were not spayed or neutered. Many were in homes with small children. It got to where I hated going to work and lost much desire to practice veterinary medicine.
Between what I saw through practice and working on the Brevard County Dangerous Dog Commission, it became apparent that canine attacks on humans were, to be generous, under reported. In fact, there is probably more misinformation regarding canine aggression than proper instruction. I swore that if I ever sold the practice I would write a book to educate people, primarily parents, about canine attacks.
With over 90 references, “My Dog Doesn’t Bite: The Parents’ Guide to Dangerous Dogs” is a fact- and opinion-based discussion of canine attacks on humans. Anyone who reads this book is less likely to fall victim to an aggressive dog.
Americans, as a society, have tolerated the injury, disfigurement and death of children and adults rather than being perceived as impolite or unsympathetic toward animals. I believe it is time for people to stop looking the other way when it comes to dangerous dogs and irresponsible owners.  — Mark S. Mathusa, DVM, Sanibel, Fla.
http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/letters-to-the-editor-june-2016-issue/

posted by: BetCR on June 25, 2016  2:35pm

THANK YOU @SteveonAnderson

Yes, it’s disturbing and heartbreaking when an incident like this happens, but a ban on any dog with bull terrier blood would deny the good in more than most of them.
We love our pit, but if I ever felt she was a danger, or if she actually attacked someone truly without cause, it would kill me, but I would do what was right and appropriate. In the meantime, we make a conscientious effort to protect her as well as people she might come in contact with.
Every breed has some potential issue… German Shepherd dogs can get hardening of the arteries and turn on their masters. A blind dog can be a surprisingly vicious attacker if afraid. It is up to the human to know the breed as well as the individual animal. There are other steps that could be taken to help improve safety besides a ban.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on June 25, 2016  9:38pm

posted by: robn on June 24, 2016 11:12pm

3/5,

Where exactly is credible evidence that pit bulls (with some credible definition what “pit bull” means, that I’m sure you can provide) comprise 2% of the dog population and are responsible for 1/3 of dog attack fatalities? Then provide credible evidence that the attacks don’t correlate to abusive upbringing or abandonment.

If you can’t, stop reposting random hysterics not based in fact.

All you have to do is look up across this country and look at the police reports and animal control officer reports.You will find the major of attacks are from pit bulls.Also check Insurance company claims paid out and you will see the number one dog on the list is the pit bulls that has the higher claims paid out.In fact look up how many people here in New Haven have been attack by Pit bulls. No matter what Pit apologist’s say, Pit’s were bred by man for one thing, to fight. It’s undeniable history. They should never be household pets. Those who own this breed are putting their family and neighbors at risk.. Pit’s are ticking time bombs, and one never knows what will trigger the instinct to attack.You Pit advocates say its all in how you raise them,and put the blame on bad owners, but that is not always true as there have been many horrendous attacks by family Pits that have never shown any previous signs of aggression. Also, there are bad owners of other breeds, Why aren’t they mauling and killing like pits do? All dogs bite, but pits are the only breed that is known to maul, mutilate, and kill in such a fashion, often without any warning signals.Last BSL is not just so call anti-pitbull .BSL says all Dangerous Dogs that are on the list.

posted by: robn on June 25, 2016  10:37pm

3/5,

Random jibber-jabber from various websites does not a fact make. Trustworthy facts come from scientifically recorded data that is analyzed and peer reviewed. You and the pit bull haters have the former which is nothing.

posted by: Alexandra on June 25, 2016  11:01pm

First off, there are no words that I can say for the victim and her family. There is nothing that I can do that will remedy this situation, help her heal, or solve the problem of these dogs in our city. Pitbulls are territorial dogs. They are strong. They were originally bred to herd bulls, and these dogs can actually pull a full-grown bull to the ground by its snout. I’ve been around many, many pitbulls who are sweet, happy go lucky dogs. I have also read about and seen video of the kinds of things pitbulls can do to the human body. I don’t believe these dogs are good pets, because most of the people who own them are irresponsible, and don’t understand the pitbull breed, and that ALL DOGS are predators. How many times are we going to hear about pitbulls, and other dog breeds, that try to kill small animals, children, people who are sick or injured, before we realize that these dogs are PREDATORS? How many times have we seen a predator on National Geographic, that picks an injured animal, or offspring out of a herd and kills it for food? Why is it so surprising that a dog will do the same thing? Pitbulls are just too prone to preying on humans and animals, and therefore they need to be banned.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on June 26, 2016  6:24pm

posted by: robn on June 25, 2016 10:37pm

3/5,

Random jibber-jabber from various websites does not a fact make. Trustworthy facts come from scientifically recorded data that is analyzed and peer reviewed. You and the pit bull haters have the former which is nothing.


Jibber-Jabber. Can you and other Pit bull apologist’s explain this data. Notice the chart. Notice which dog has the most deaths when it comes to humans and other dogs?

11Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart 2005 to 2015

DogsBite.org contains verifiable information about U.S. citizens killed by dogs
including the name and age of each victim, location of attack, dog breed and up
to 18 other factors. Source citations are available at http://www.DogsBite.org

Notice the pit bull has cause 232 deaths

http://www.dogsbite.org/pdf/11-year-dog-bite-fatality-chart-dogsbiteorg.pdf


http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2010/10/29/dangerous-dogs.html#slide1

posted by: Wickedsaint87 on June 27, 2016  1:56am

First I wanna say I hope the lady makes it thru this.. Next, not all pitbulls are bad dog or vicious killers… They wonderful family pets and I have my 3 children ages 9,7 and 2 around my 75lb male pitbull daily, he even sleeps with my oldest at night. I’m a responsible owner I watch and make sure my children treat the dog with respect and don’t tease him.. My Max is not aggressive at all until he thinks my children or myself is in danger.. We don’t need to ban the breed but make sure the ones owning them are also responsible and aware… ALL DOGS BITE! even the little Chihuahuas and DashHounds and Pomeranians and shih tzus they all bite, you just hear less about them because they do less damage… Banning the breed won’t stop them, aren’t drugs illegal? It’s working so well for that huh? Why not instead of worrying about banning a dog breed, maybe you should worry more about the heroin/fentanyl epidemic plauging your town first.

posted by: westville man on June 27, 2016  1:27pm

Wickedsaint87-  you do realize you said “you just hear less about them because they do less damage…”

Ummm….isn’t that the whole point??  If I misfire my BB gun at you, it will do less damage than my 12 gauge will.  The one dog I fear when I jog is the “pit bull mix” breed.  I know I will survive attacks by all of the others…

posted by: Jennie Conway on June 27, 2016  11:00pm

RIP…......

posted by: cantsufferfools on June 27, 2016  11:28pm

Unfortunately, Jocelyn passed away today due to her injuries.

posted by: bochinchero on June 27, 2016  11:44pm

I am terribly saddened to hear that Jocelyn Winfrey passed away.  She looks like a really nice lady in her photos. This is just awful.  Another gruesome tragic mauling by pit bulls.  Happens every day actually - Google “pit bull maul”.  On YouTube you can search the same “pit bull maul” to see dozens of exemplary videos.  There’s no excuse for this.

posted by: Jennie Conway on June 27, 2016  11:48pm

Jocelyn is gone, and now another baby in California was killed by a pit bull today. Three days old. I guess some of you will find a reasonable explanation for this pit attract. The baby must have caused this attack or the dog was sick or startled, or some other dumb excuse! Pits kill because that’s what they were created by evil people to do. It’s in their genes. Simple as that! And as for you nanny dog fairy tale pushers…some nanny! Great nanny dog just killed the baby!

posted by: BetCR on June 28, 2016  12:02am

Thank you for clarifying, in another article, that as usually happens, the exact breed of the dogs was incorrect. I think the section I quote below is very informative, as well, and will be my last contribution to this discussion.

” Police initially described the dogs as pit bulls. It turns out they are American bulldog mixes, according to city Animal Control Officer Joseph Maganillo. The dogs were licensed and were up to date on their shots, he said. The owner had bought them in Florida and then moved to New Haven with them.
Manganilllo has been keeping the two dogs in quarantine at the animal shelter on Fournier Street. He said Monday evening that the dogs’ owner has signed over custody of them to the city. The plan is to euthanize (kill) them on July 6, following a two-week quarantine period.
The city has to wait for that quarantine period to end to make sure the dogs didn’t have rabies. Government policy is to keep a dog that bites a person in quarantine that long to see if it had rabies; dogs die within two weeks if they are infected, Manganillo explained.

What set off the dogs?

“My take on on it is, dogs are generally more aggressive when they’re protecting their own property,” Manganillo said. “To that degree, it’s kind of crazy. But I would believe they were protecting their own property.””

posted by: cantsufferfools on June 28, 2016  5:29pm

Its pretty sad that as I came back to read the comments here that there is much name calling and childish banter. First, these dogs were NOT pit bulls. Second, ANY dog can be vicious if it is what the owner trains them to be. My brother and I have not only owned numerous pits but have also bred them. Those that we rescued from fighting, yes, some were too far gone to be saved while some just wanted to be loved and cared for. One of them, my brother actually kept and still has to this day and Max is like a second parent to his children. Instead of blaming the animal, the person who owned and trained them needs to be investigated. These dogs were not treated as beloved household pets or they wouldnt have attacked the owner too.