VA - Bethany Stephens, 21, mauled to death by her 2 dogs, Dec 2017

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Gardenista, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. Spellbound

    Spellbound falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus

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    although I find it somewhat odd her own dogs attacked her if they were not ever aggressive toward her or anyone) in the past, I do not think it is an impossibility. We really need to know what forensic evidence was found. The fact that her own relatives have asked for the dogs to be euthanized indicates they likely know more than we are hearing.

    An attack this vicious would leave a lot of evidence on those dogs. I would be more curious to know why they may have attacked.
     


  2. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    From the video: ". . .they would not attack her, they would basically kill you with kisses."

    This is the SOS we hear in many of the pitbull attacks, and while many people believe it, statistically, it just ain't true. Pitbulls are wonderful, loving dogs - until they're not and maim or kill someone.

    One thing I've noticed in these attacks is the possibility that the victim has fallen, tripped, slipped on the ice, fell out of a wheelchair. I've noticed a lot of elderly, disabled, young children are attacked. Seems to me that once you hit the floor or the ground, you become either prey or a threat, thus triggering aggression. Maybe this comes from fighting-ring genetics? Seems to me it might.

    Pack mentality is something else to watch out for, especially in larger, more aggressive breeds, although my daughter's little dogs are braver together than they are apart, egging each other on. Guess I'm saying you have a better chance of being bitten and mauled if there is more than one dog around.

    I'm not a pitbull expert, but I've done a LOT of reading on the subject and, almost always, you hear that they will kill you with kisses. A pitbull is a wonderful dog, until the one time it's not and that may be one time too many, sorta like playing Russian Roulette.

    :cow:
     
  3. MelmothTheLost

    MelmothTheLost Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure I've read of a case where a dog owner was later found to have died of natural causes but was found with post mortem injuries consistent with a dog attack. The suggestion is that the dog injured the owner's body inadvertently while trying to wake or help him.

    I've tried to find a link to this report but it's a very difficult query to word.
     
  4. MelmothTheLost

    MelmothTheLost Well-Known Member

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    Quite like human serial killers, then ....?
     
  5. Kaley Smith

    Kaley Smith Well-Known Member

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    Pit bulls are banned where I live (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada), and I'm glad they are. They were originally bred to kill, so doesn't
    matter how well you raise them, they can become dangerous in an instant with zero provocation. I honestly don't understand people who have pitbulls, and especially when they have children, because the stats on the risks of owning one are clear.

    Time article 2014: http://time.com/2891180/kfc-and-the-pit-bull-attack-of-a-little-girl/

    [FONT=&amp]"Pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths since 1982. "

    Don't even get me started on this one.... it kind of goes along with the American myth that owning a gun makes you safer. [/FONT]
     
  6. whereareyou

    whereareyou Well-Known Member

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    Any breed is capable of attacking someone, the thing is is that the media love to report these incidents when they involve pits, rotties and other large breeds. My 15 pound rat terrier went after my 8 year old grandson and needed I don't remember how many stitches on his face, I later found out that my grandson provoked her because he kept poking her face, she snarled at him with a warning and he kept doing it anyway. I also worked at our county's humane society for years and I feared of being hurt by most of the smaller breeds than anything. I've only read one article about Bethany and haven't come to my own conclusion of what I think happened but anything is possible.
     
  7. Elley Mae

    Elley Mae Well-Known Member

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    Agree.

    Like a time bomb.

    I have yet to see one that has a pleasant/happy look on their face. Like the picture of Bethany w/him, his ears are back and a blank stare. Hollow
     
  8. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    I think you just proved my point - once you hit the ground, dead or alive, you're fair game, an attack trigger. What loving dog would leave injuries consistent with a dog attack? My big dogs, which have awakened me, did so with barking or licking, not biting to the point where I looked like the victim of a dog attack.
     
  9. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    Is your grandson dead, or maimed for life? If it had been a pitbull, he may have been. Most dogs will bite if provoked. Thing is, some dogs have the instinct and the power to KILL.
     
  10. Kaley Smith

    Kaley Smith Well-Known Member

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

    I love dogs, so am well-versed on this topic.

    Despite the facts, the ownership of pitbulls in the USA continues to rise.

    In the 12-year period of 2005 through 2016, canines killed 392 Americans. Pit bulls contributed to 65% (254) of these deaths. Combined, pit bulls and rottweilers contributed to 76% of the total recorded deaths.
     
  11. Elley Mae

    Elley Mae Well-Known Member

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    “The dogs clearly, at least in our estimation in a dark night, had something to do with this. It was an absolutely grisly mauling,” Agnew told reporters. “In my 40 years of law enforcement, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Hope I’d never see anything like it again.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...he-woods-sheriff-says/?utm_term=.e4b0c75d9eb4

    Snippets

    “It was an absolutely grisly mauling,”

    Investigators also found bloody articles of clothing scattered in the area.

    ...

    Snippets

    Stephens’ father had called the sheriff’s office after he hadn’t seen his daughter in a day.

    The scene was strewn with blood and articles of clothing.

    Agnew said deputies spent eight hours collecting more than 60 pieces of evidence.

    http://www.richmond.com/news/local/...cle_ca98bbc2-3676-5121-b337-cdcfbc875293.html
     
  12. whereareyou

    whereareyou Well-Known Member

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    My grandson will have scars on his face for life, I've also seen the same dog nearly kill another dog, had she not been restrained as soon as we could get to her I'm not sure what more she would have done to either of them in both situations. ANY BREED IS CAPABLE OF KILLING OR HURTING SOMEONE.
     
  13. CoverMeCagney

    CoverMeCagney Well-Known Member

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    They are banned in the UK too

    Here are some US dog bite stats. On average a pitbull kills an American once every 17 days:
    https://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-fatalities-2016.php
     
  14. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    Let me ask you a sincere question, not intended to be mean. Are you comfortable having an aggressive dog like that, especially around your grandchildren?
     
  15. CoverMeCagney

    CoverMeCagney Well-Known Member

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    ....and do you still have this dog that tried to kill twice? Why didn't you have her put down immediately after she viciously attacked a child?
     
  16. Trident

    Trident Well-Known Member

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    Shades of Diane Whipple, the coach killed by a pair of presa canarios in 2001. It was reported she was naked, her clothing ripped to shreds and strewn around, blood all over the place. Horrific. I tend to believe the dogs in this case might be presa canarios instead of pitbulls, although at this point, who knows.
     
  17. Elley Mae

    Elley Mae Well-Known Member

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    May be right about the breed. Although from images it looks like a pit.

    Snip
    whom Agnew described as petite, 5-foot-1 and 125 pounds

    Agnew said it took deputies hours to wrangle the dogs, which he estimated each weighed as much as Stephens.


    http://www.richmond.com/news/local/...cle_ca98bbc2-3676-5121-b337-cdcfbc875293.html

    Male 15.8–27.2 kg (35–60 lb)
    Female 13.6–22.6 kg (30–50 lb)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Pit_Bull_Terrier


    Males have a standard desirable height range of 23 to 26 inches (58 to 66 cm)[5] at the withers, with a minimum weight at maturity of 100 pounds (45 kg)[5] and a maximum weight of 65 kilograms (143 lb).[4] Females have a standard desirable height between 22 to 25 inches (56 to 64 cm)[5] at the withers, with a minimum weight at maturity of 85 pounds (39 kg)[5] and a maximum weight of 120 pounds (55 kg).[4]

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perro_de_Presa_Canario
     
  18. whereareyou

    whereareyou Well-Known Member

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    NO I didn't have her put down, she was provoked and any of the stupid adults seeing what was going should have put a stop to my grandsons behavior instead of laughing about it even though she was snarling at him. As for the dog incident, she was protecting my neighbors dog when a stray dog came into her yard. She passed last month and in her 15 years of life she never hurt my other 4 grandchildren or anyone for that matter because they knew how to respect an animal.
     
  19. terracotta

    terracotta Active Member

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    I wonder what the situation is with death threats? That is interesting. Someone who had an issue with her enough to give her death threats could have followed her and had their own dogs go after her. The dogs could have fought with each other after they attacked her. Hopefully they do DNA to make sure it was those dogs that attacked her.

    I certainly believe her dogs most likely attacked her though. I'm a dog trainer and specialized in rehabbing aggression for over 15 years of my 28 years training dogs. I finally stopped working with bully breeds. After seeing time and time again horrific bite wounds and barely provoked aggression. All dogs can be aggressive, it is perfectly normal in the dog world, but of course unacceptable in the domesticated pet world. So we have to work with a dog's nature to make sure they don't get pushed to the points where they feel they have to bite.

    Honor posturing and growling as those are a dog's first communication that they are uncomfortable. Take note then work on the stimulus's that created them being uncomfortable so they don't have to go into a fear mode.

    Anyway I do believe the theory that walking in the dark, if she fell, the dogs could have gotten over stimulated and attacked her. The pack mentality is amazing how it gives dogs so much more confidence if there is two or more of them. Or the theory that the two dogs had a scuffle and she got in the midst of it.

    Also another theory is they encountered another dog(s). and those dogs started fighting and she tried to break them up.

    With LE saying that they might have been raised to fight, maybe because of the wounds. A dog that bites out of fear, or their first time with bite hands or legs....a dog going for the throat has a mission in mind. Once they know the adrenal rush of killing or taste of blood, they can get very adept in their skill. Like the Preso that killed Diane in SF. That dog was allowed to kill farm animals etc, so was adept at his skill.

    I had a coyote jump into my backyard in AZ and attack a 5 month old puppy, I walked in the house with my Saint Bernard and the puppy following, went to answer the phone. Heard a blood curdling scream and ran out and was able to kick the coyote in the stomach he dropped the puppy and scurried over the fence. There were just two puncture wounds on the puppy on his neck, had the coyote had a second more it could have bite down and broken the puppy's neck. Thank goodness I was able to be there. The puppy survived fine with little physical damage from the bite.
     
  20. elmomom

    elmomom Well-Known Member

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    I am the one questioning this case... not because I think it is improbable that pit bulls would kill their owner.. I am a long time multiple (small) dog owner, I used to show dogs, have always had more than a couple at a time... and believe me I understand dog aggression and how quickly things can escalate with any breed if you are not observant. That being said, she did raise these two dogs from puppyhood, I would expect she knew by now how to safely stop a fight between the two of them, and she obviously loved them -and I disagree with a previous poster -the picture of her hugging one, he is smiling a doggy smile and obviously adores her.
    The most likely scenario to me is that her dogs got into some kind of scuffle - a strange dog, a coyote, or even each other. In the heat of the moment she attempted to stop them and they turned their out of control aggression on her. It isn’t hard to imagine.
    The reasons the story did not sit well with me were the other details... prior death threats... damaged dog kennels... along with the fact that she raised the dogs, and presumably knew what she was doing at this stage. It just isn’t your typical pit bull story, that’s all. Although I can say if these dogs WERE trained to fight, then that seals it for me.
     

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