ANIMAL WATCH - On July 26, WBTV News reported that a woman was savagely attacked by two Pit Bulls which came out of nowhere while she was walking in Rex Park in Atlanta, GA—
a public park that prides itself on being so safe and community-conscious that the baseball diamond is lit up at night for 24-hour sport use.
Her sister described the eerie and gruesome assault. “They attacked her when she stood still, they attacked her when she tried to run and eventually knocked her down,” her sister said, “they were out for blood.”
“They were going for her neck,” she said, explaining why the most severe injuries were on her arms and fingers—she fought with all her might.”
Just when the woman was becoming too weak to fight or scream, “a good Samaritan appeared with a stick and fought the dogs off,” the victim’s sister stated, adding that her sister “is going to need reconstructive surgery” because of the severity of the injuries the two dogs inflicted.
More than a week later, she remains in an Atlanta area hospital where she’s expected to be for weeks.
WSB-TV 2 reports that a call was made to Clayton County police who responded that “they have tracked down the two dogs and they’ve cited the owner.” There is no indication of the nature of that citation. This woman could have been killed but for a brave stranger.
The sister was asked for her advice and responded, “If you are walking alone, make sure you have some method of protection. “Really try not to walk alone,” the victim’s sister warned.
(A follow-up report by WSB-TV2 states that the dogs were located and taken into custody by animal control and are expected to be euthanized. However, the victim has had several surgeries and is expected to be hospitalized for weeks due to the severity of her injuries.)
WHY DOES AMERICA TAKE PIT BULLS ATTACKS SO LIGHTLY?
This is the United States of America where hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on recalls of reportedly “unsafe” products and for a myriad of public protection agencies and enforcement. Yet, because of the advocacy for Pit Bulls as the “Nanny Dogs” (which they never were) and the legend that one Pit Bull, named Stubby, was a war hero (his owner said he was not a Pit Bull, but a Bull Terrier) every year humans, pets and other animals are victims of assaults by a dog bred historically for only one purpose, which is dog-fighting and to kill.
This does not mean that all Pit Bulls will attack or kill. But, choosing this breed as a pet (especially adopting a Pit Bull with an unknown history) is like driving a car with faulty brakes and hoping it will always stop.
Pit Bulls could be bred without the genetics for aggression (called “gameness”). So why hasn’t that happened, unless the purpose of the cult-like “No Kill Movement” is to preserve the “gameness” of the original breed and assure the propensity to attack and kill without provocation is not lost?
The attraction to—and hype about—Pit Bulls skyrocketed after humane organizations, including Best Friends Animal Society took some of Michael Vick’s fighting dogs and assured the public that those adopted were wonderful pets. This may be true as long as they were not tested in the midst of other dogs and strange people (including small children) and special constraints were imposed.
But there is also another side of that story, which is the dogs that broke loose in the Best Friends kennels and killed another dog. (See” Yard Accident at Best Friends involving Two Vick Dogs leaves Third Dog Dead)
But the hype by Best Friends and others that take in hundreds of millions of dollars annually does not warn of the very real dangers, and that is the problem.
And the fact is that Pit Bulls are filling shelters all over the world and are a danger in every community.
And, in between, are the “humane” organizations, the most prominent being Best Friends Animal Society, which actively promote taking a Pit Bull into your home and community—with no warnings of the potential dangers and no liability for the suffering that may occur.
There is something seriously awry when a dog breed is actively advertised as wonderful pets unilaterally—especially a breed that is known for combat and destruction of a living being.
In opposing breed bans, the same organizations argue that every dog is an individual, yet they claim, when convenient, that all Pit Bulls are safe pets. Both can’t be true.
ARE THESE THE NANNY DOGS?
The above warning by the sister of a victim is made in the United States of America in 2022. Someone’s two uncontrolled Pit Bulls have just inflicted extensive damage that will affect an innocent woman’s ability to ever live a “normal” life again. She will always be clouded by the physical and emotional trauma of almost losing her life--merely because she wanted to take a walk in the park.
And the only protection that can be honestly offered is “try not to walk alone.” Or, also in this case, “carry a big stick.”
But even that won’t always work.
TEXAS MAN, 71, “FULL OF LIFE” UNTIL FATAL MAULING BY 7 PIT BULLS
(Photo source ABC Twitter – Freddie Garcia and daughter)
On July 18, Freddie Garcia, 71, was walking down the tree-lined street from his home to the corner store in Fresno, TX (near Houston) when he was killed brutally and demeaningly—a proud and loving father and grandfather brought down like an animal of prey—by a neighbors’ seven Pit Bulls.
This happened around 1:30 p.m. on a warm summer day. Freddie “did nothing to provoke these animals,” Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan emphasized at a press conference the following day, “it was senseless.”
Freddie Garcia was airlifted to Memorial Hermann hospital in Houston, where he was later pronounced dead, ABC13 reported.
Members of his family said that he loved to sing and dance and he “lit up any room when he entered.” And, with his death, the world darkened.
SHERIFF PURSUES CHARGES
On Friday, July 22, ABC13 reported that Fort Bend County Sheriff Eric Fagan announced that 47-year-old Samuel Cartwright of Fresno was arrested in connection with the death of Freddie Garcia and charged with “attack by dog resulting in death,” which is a second-degree felony.
All seven dogs belong to Cartwright, who first denied ownership and said the dogs were “strays staying in is yard” in an earlier report.
Animal Services agreed that there are a lot of stray dogs in the area. There have already been1,283 reported dog bites in 2022, and four animal control officers have been added for the city.
Authorities confirmed that all seven of the Pit Bulls have been captured by deputies and animal control.
“Special thanks go out to our deputies, Fort Bend Animal Services Director Rene Vasquez, and Fort Bend District Attorney Brian Middleton for the collaborative work of capturing the dogs and making an arrest,” Sheriff Fagan stated.
Marina Verriest’s husband arrived home on July 27 to see the family’s pet Pit Bull had attacked her and was “still eating on her body,” according to Nassau County, NY, Police Commissioner, Patrick Ryder, who described the scene as “horrific.”
Marina, 70, was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders.
The dog was shot and killed by a police officer “after it charged at him aggressively,” Ryder stated.
He added: "We don’t know what time the attack took place but there was obviously a lot of mutilation on the body and the arm, the face, the legs.”
In a thoughtful moment during an almost unfathomable tragedy, Ryder took time to honor the courage and emotional impact on the officer involved, stating that the police officer who killed the dog has been offered counseling.
"The officer saw something that was very traumatic, he added. “We take care of our officers and make sure they’re OK.”
According to the report, the Pit Bull was seven years old and belonged to the couple’s stepson who had been living with them but was killed in a motorcycle accident a few weeks earlier. The dog had spent his entire life with the family and appeared to be in very good condition in the photo provided.
“There had been no previous domestic calls to the home or calls regarding the dog,” Ryder told the NY Post, adding that they do not know what caused the dog to turn on the woman.
However, the dog had been living with the family for its whole life, Ryder said.
Speaking to CBS news, a neighbor recalled seeing the dog being walked by its owners and said the dog was “unusually strong.”
"When he was alive, he used to walk [the dog] with both hands holding the leash. The dog was leading him.”
“BELOVED” PIT BULL SLEPT WITH OWNER “SNAPPED,” TRIED TO EAT HER ALIVE
A woman who slept with her “beloved” Pit Bull says she was almost eaten alive when the dog snapped and devoured “half her arm,” the New York Post reported on July 19.
The report is backed by very graphic photos taken at the hospital after the attack at Tya Lucas’ home in Lewisville, Texas. Tya says she was introducing a new puppy to her friend Peter on May 16 when her “nearly 100-pound pit bull, Hercules, violently turned on her.” The Lewisville Police Department confirmed the report.
“The puppy went to jump on the couch. I went to pick the puppy up — and my friend told him to get down,” Lucas, 41, said. That’s when Hercules lunged at Peter, 33. He latched onto the back of Peter’s neck and he started bleeding,” Tya said.
She told reporters that she pried the Pit Bull off her friend and shoved Peter into the safety of the bathroom.
Hercules then turned on her and attacked. “…I remember looking down and my flesh being torn off my arm,” Tya recounted to Kennedy News and Media.
“I remember screaming, ‘Hercules, it’s me.’”
The dog tore off two-thirds of Tya’s right arm, ate her bicep and sank its teeth into her leg and foot, according to the report.
Her daughter and son-in-law heard her and rushed into the living room.
She said Hercules grabbed her leg and drug her farther away, but her son-in-law “beat the dog off of me. I was passing out,” she said. He was trying to carry her outside when Lewisville Police Officer Jordan Potter arrived in response to her earlier 911 call.
Tya later said, “[He] put a tourniquet on my arm and the doctor said if he hadn’t been there to do that at that exact moment, then I wouldn’t have made it until the ambulance got there.”
The Police Department Public Information Coordinator, later told The Post: “Officer Potter is very proud of the fact that he was able to save the woman’s life. This was a pretty traumatic situation for this family [but his] actions kept it from being a deadly situation and provided a little comfort for the family”
Tya said. “They said they’d seen stabbings, gunshot wounds and they’ve never seen what they saw that day.”
HERCULES WAS A “RESCUED” PIT BULL
Tya told Kennedy News that Hercules was “rescued by her daughter and son-in-law two years before, abandoned at the side of the road and covered in cigarette burns.”
She said he had never shown signs of aggression before and even slept in bed with her the night before the attack.
Animal Control Officer Amanda Navarro was called to the scene and used a tether pole to secure the Pit Bull, who resisted and “continued thrashing.”
Tya surrendered Hercules to police at the scene and he was put down soon after. They have no idea what triggered the aggression but Tya says she is now terrified of dogs.
After Officer Potter wrapped her wounds and attempted to stop the bleeding, Tya was rushed to the hospital, where she was put on a ventilator for two days. She stayed in the hospital for 19 days, where she had hundreds of stitches across her arm, leg and foot and five operations, the report states.
Tya says her medical bills are already up to $180,000 but are expected to climb. She just underwent her sixth surgery and has set up a GoFundMe to help with medical bills.
“I never had a problem with dogs, but now I’m terrified of them,” Tya said. “I can’t go near dogs. If there’s one off a leash, I panic [like] I’m about to have an anxiety attack.”
PIT BULL ATTACKS MAN AT ANIMAL SHELTER FACILITY
On August 2, Boston.com reported it was immediately clear in the midst of an attack by a Pit Bull on Monday morning at the Lunenberg Animal Control facility that the dog had to be put down to stop an attack on a 75-year-old man, who was later put in ICU at UMass Worcester.
Lunenburg police arrived at the town's animal control center just before noon on Monday, Aug.1, the department said. Upon arrival, Wayne Comeau was found inside an outside kennel with the dog, bleeding from bite marks on his head, face, and torso, according to WCVB.
According to Boston.com, police officers were dispatched along with Lunenburg Rescue to the department’s animal control facility, where they found the victim with the dog still attached to his arm, Lunenburg police said.
The man was identified as the 75-year-old husband of the animal control officer.
“It was reported that the dog had bitten the victim several times, and the dog would not let go to the victim’s arm. The victim had several serious injuries throughout his body and face related to the bites,” police said.
Others present had unsuccessfully attempted to stop the attack before officers arrived. Upon Lunenburg Police’s arrival, an officer got the victim’s head clear and shot the dog.
“The dog was described as a “Brindle Pit Bull type of breed” and had been at the facility since June 28. Lunenburg Police are trying to identify its owner.
The dog had reportedly shown no other aggression since impounded.
At the time of the attack, Comeau was apparently taking the dog out to go to the bathroom, according to a GoFundMe organized to help with expenses.
PIT BULLS – KILLING THEIR OWN
Ironically, as I researched and compiled this material, Barbara Kay, a columnist in Canada published, “KAY: Combatting the pit bull advocacy machine” on July 31, 2022. It is definitely worth reading.
For CityWatchLA readers who are victims of Pit Bulls (or other dangerous dog breeds), please sign up to follow future discussions of the origins and development of the Pit Bull cult movement that thrives on “saving” only this one breed and keeping them all alive—regardless of known attacks or aggressive behavior.
Right now, few shelters can survive without the political and financial support of this entrenched effort, so let’s take a closer look at why and share more opinions.
In the meantime, from a look at the tragic incidents in this article and all the others that occurred in this time period, it appears that Pit Bulls themselves are rapidly destroying their own advocates.
(Phyllis M. Daugherty is a contributor to CityWatch and a former Los Angeles City employee.)