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Thread: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

  1. #1
    Cruisin' for trouble
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    Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    This from my area's local paper.

    What the story doesn't tell you is that the woman killed in the story was my wife's grandmother. The family is a very close-knit family and it is absolutely tearing them apart. The story also does no justice to Maw (the family's nickname for her) as being just the most incredible person you would care to know.

    I'm trying to understand how any of this makes sense.

    Pit bulls attack, kill woman, 82

    Spotsylvania woman, 82, dies after being attacked by three pit bulls

    By ROB DAVIS


    Date published: 3/9/2005


    Loose dogs blamed in Partlow death

    An 82-year-old Partlow woman died en route to VCU Medical Center yesterday after she was attacked by three pit bulls roaming her rural Spotsylvania County neighborhood.

    Dorothy Sullivan was found by her daughter at her home off Partlow Road, about two miles west of Berkeley Elementary School, authorities said last night.

    Sullivan, who lived at 205 Oak Crest Drive, was in her yard when the attack occurred at about 2:17 p.m., sheriff's Capt. Ed Lunsford said.

    A deputy responding to the emergency shot and killed one of the dogs shortly after the incident; an animal control officer captured a second dog, said William Tydings, director of animal control. Both were identified as the dogs responsible for the attack, he said.

    A third dog was on the loose last night, and animal control officers were going door to door in the neighborhood hoping to find it.

    The incident brought out all of Spotsylvania's available animal control officers--one was recovering from a broken leg--and sent them bouncing down rutted muddy lanes and driveways to canvass residents.

    Some homes in the area are posted with blaze-orange no trespassing signs and posters that warned: BEWARE OF DOG.

    Authorities came close to capturing the brindle-colored dog earlier in the afternoon. It had been standing alongside the dog that was shot, Tydings said.

    But when the deputy killed the wiry black dog, the other pit bull bolted into the thick woods. As the sun began setting around 6 p.m., it still hadn't surfaced.

    Animal control officers weren't sure whether it had returned to its home or found shelter in the woods.

    Two neighbors said they told authorities loose pit bulls have been a problem in the neighborhood for at least a year.

    Jean Baker said last night that she was picking up limbs in her yard a year ago when a pack of dogs advanced on her. She said she was able to retreat to her home.

    "I started screaming," she said. "I was so scared."

    Baker's grown daughter, Deborah, said she reported a pack of loose pit bulls to Spotsylvania Animal Control three weeks ago.

    From her kitchen door, she spied three multicolored dogs approaching a neighbor's house through the back yard. She confronted the dogs, knowing a 4-year-old child was playing out front.

    "At first they went toward me," she said. "I was willing to give my life for that child."

    One neighbor returning home from work yesterday told an animal control officer he'd seen the brindle pit bull loose before in the neighborhood.

    The man said he threw a chunk of firewood at the growling dog when it recently approached him as he stood on his porch. The man missed, and lamented that he should've shot the dog instead.

    Tydings said yesterday his office had been actively pursuing reports of pit bulls loose in the area in recent weeks.

    A Spotsylvania animal control officer was in the area when the attack occurred, responding to a call of a loose boxer, Tydings said.

    "This is a bad situation," he said. "This is my worst nightmare."

    Authorities identified the nearby owner of one of the dogs yesterday, but did not release her name. Lunsford, of the Sheriff's Office, said criminal charges were possible, but none had been lodged yesterday.

    The captured dog will be kept in captivity for 10 days to see if it has rabies, Tydings said, then it will be killed. The dead dog will be sent to Richmond for a rabies check before being destroyed.

    Pit bulls have been a controversial breed for years, primarily because of attacks.

    Earlier this month in Canada, the Ontario legislature voted to ban pit bulls and require those already owning the breed to neuter them and muzzle them.

    According to published reports, similar bans are in effect in Britain, France and Germany.

    There were two attacks by pit bulls in Alabama earlier this month, according to published reports.

    Because of attacks in Georgia, a state legislator there sponsored a bill that would ban the importation, sale and possession of new pit bulls in the state.

    Last summer, city councilors in Boston approved a new ordinance requiring pit bulls to be muzzled in public after two deadly incidents in one week.

    But the breed also has its defenders.

    Breeders, the American Kennel Club and the American Veterinarian Medical Association oppose breed-specific bans.

    Owners are responsible for a dog's behavior, they say, according to published reports.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    I'm very sad to hear this, GoReds. My condolences to your wife, you and the rest of your family.

    I really don't know what to say. I love dogs, all shapes, sizes and breeds----except pit bulls, which I consider an aberation. Pit Bulls show an extream tendancy towards aggressive, dangerous behavior and they are one breed that I don't trust and try to stay away from.

    Once again, my sympathy to you all.

    Rem

  4. #3
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    Quote Originally Posted by remdog
    I'm very sad to hear this, GoReds. My condolences to your wife, you and the rest of your family.

    I really don't know what to say. I love dogs, all shapes, sizes and breeds----except pit bulls, which I consider an aberation. Pit Bulls show an extream tendancy towards aggressive, dangerous behavior and they are one breed that I don't trust and try to stay away from.

    Once again, my sympathy to you all.

    Rem
    I second Rem's comments, GoReds. My prayers to you and your wife. Pit Bulls scare me and I am a dog lover. Packs of wild Pit Bulls, as this sounds, are very scary.
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  5. #4
    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    Sorry, GoReds.

    People shouldn't let any dogs roam freely.
    Pots and Kettles

  6. #5
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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    I agree and disagree on Pit Bulls.

    IMHO, Pit Bulls are NOT any more aggressive than any other breed. However, they are MUCH more likely to be trained to be aggressive than any other breed.

    Properly trained, Pits are just as friendly and docile as any other breed of dog. Like with any other breed, proper trainning takes a lot of work. You have to (1) suppress their natural territorial behavior (2) discourage aggression of any kind and (3) make it painfully clear that aggression towards humans is unacceptable.

    Which leads us to the second (and more important IMO) problem with Pit Bulls. Many Pit Bull owners don't train them to be aggressive, but they also don't do anything to curb the natural aggresive insticts that exist in all breeds. Take any big breed (Doberman, Rottweiler, German Sheppard) and leave it completely untrained and you will have a dangerous pooch on your hands.

    Unfortunately, Pits are the 'pet' of choice for many negligent dog owners, and the results are pretty clear.

  7. #6
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    This is a terrible tragedy. My condolences, GoReds.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    I'm sorry about this GoReds, very sorry.

    Yesterday I saw something very much like this. There were two pit bulls running and playing on a street flush with apartment complexes. They came upon an older woman walking her poodle, she scooped it up and they danced around her and then took off.

    Lucky for her. They showed no knowledge of their surroundings and bounded into the busy street biting each other and running like fools. Alone they are scary, 2 or more and the pack dna takes over making them downright frightening.

  9. #8
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    That's horrible, GoReds. I'm very sorry to hear this.
    Makes all the routine posts.

  10. #9
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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    My God. That's terrible. Like everyone else has said. Pit bulls scare the crap out of me, and I love dogs.
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
    -Ken Griffey Jr.

  11. #10
    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192
    I agree and disagree on Pit Bulls.

    IMHO, Pit Bulls are NOT any more aggressive than any other breed. However, they are MUCH more likely to be trained to be aggressive than any other breed.

    Properly trained, Pits are just as friendly and docile as any other breed of dog. Like with any other breed, proper trainning takes a lot of work. You have to (1) suppress their natural territorial behavior (2) discourage aggression of any kind and (3) make it painfully clear that aggression towards humans is unacceptable.

    Which leads us to the second (and more important IMO) problem with Pit Bulls. Many Pit Bull owners don't train them to be aggressive, but they also don't do anything to curb the natural aggresive insticts that exist in all breeds. Take any big breed (Doberman, Rottweiler, German Sheppard) and leave it completely untrained and you will have a dangerous pooch on your hands.

    Unfortunately, Pits are the 'pet' of choice for many negligent dog owners, and the results are pretty clear.
    I agree with your points about properly trained pit bulls being perfectly acceptable pets. I also agree that they are often the pet of choice for negligent owners.

    However, pit bulls are inherently more dangerous than most other types of dogs. Pit bulls were bred for bloodsport. Left to their own devices, they will be aggressive. Also, when a pit bull attacks, they latch on and shake like crazy. It is almost impossible to get them to let go. In addition, the structure of their head and jaws allows them to exert an extreme amount of jaw force.

    Herding breeds, such as German Shepards, Heelers, and Border Collies will often be territorially aggressive if not trained otherwise. However, when they attack, they tend to bit and back off. Their intent is to "herd" the trespasser out of their territory, not to kill it.

    At the far end of the spectrum are retrievers. It is darn hard to MAKE them aggressive. Left alone, they will be friendly fellows.

    And then there are Chihuahuas. Devil's spawn, these little buggers. Only their diminutive size has kept them from being outlawed or taking over the world.

  12. #11
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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Heeler
    I agree with your points about properly trained pit bulls being perfectly acceptable pets. I also agree that they are often the pet of choice for negligent owners.
    Your points are well taken, and you are right that fighting/guarding breeds (Pits, Dobermans, Rottweilers, etc.) require more effort to to train in terms of being docile. However, I'm not sure that I agree that any large carnivorous animal, if left to its own devices, would not be a threat. Even uber-domesticated canines like the labrador/golden retriever are capable of violence if they feel threatened (ie... if someone violates their territory).

    The problem is not the breed as much as it is the owners. Unfortunately, going after one breed will only lead toward negligent &/or malicious owners adopting a new 'bad a$$' breed as their dog of choice. If every pit bull on the planet was destroyed tommorow, it would only be a matter of time before you see the doberman or rottweiler as the lead item in mauling stories.

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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    I hope it's never sunny in Philly again.

  14. #13
    Cruisin' for trouble
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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    I don't know if this is the right place to be posting this, but it's giving me an outlet. Don't have to respond if you don't want to, but I thought I would give an update.

    Maw lived in a small neighborhood in the country. In other words, it was roughly a subdivision, but with 5 acre lots or better, so not exactly in your neighbors business. Apparently, there had been SEVERAL complaints about loose dogs in the neighborhood dating back as much as a year. The animal control agent who responded to calls would drive the main road up and down for a few minutes, fail to locate any animals and leave. With the lots being as big as they are and the houses typically set back from the road - as Maw's was - it was pure negligence that he didn't at least check the lots of the people who complained.

    One week ago, Maw called to complain about the dogs again. They had started to approach her as she took her schitzu (sp?) out for a walk in the back yard. No response.

    Yesterday, apparently her dog was in the yard and the three pit bulls attacked the dog. Maw being Maw - noone too small is not worthy of defending - she took it upon herself to try to drive the dogs away.

    They found the remains of Maw's dog and the third pit bull today. They are being examined for rabies. The owner of one of the dogs - who claimed not to own the other two dogs - final admitted ownership of at least two of the dogs. Don't know what charges will be filed, but I refuse to believe they won't be.

    The local police have been taken off the case and the state police have taken over. The police in this county are a total joke.

    My wife and I work in the same place and tried to go in, just to give us something to do to take our minds off things. 15 minutes later, we had to leave because of the number of people that, rightfully, wanted to express condolences and find out what happened. My wife was just not ready for that.

  15. #14
    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    I am really sorry that this has happened to those that you love. I also am enraged that this happened to an 82 year old lady, a peaceful citizen attempting to defend her property and best friend.

  16. #15
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Pit Bulls attack and kill grandmother

    My condolences and prayers GoReds
    Go Gators!


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