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

GeorgiaSuzy

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The dogsbite website is very sobering. Everyone should read the stats there as well as the articles about each incident. They gather as much info on the dog as they can, including sex, neuter, family pet or strange dog, more than one dog, etc. I was appalled. Weren't Pit bulls in particular bred to latch onto a bull's nose and hold on? Pretty brave, but not needed today. You never know when their genetics are going to kick in.
 

GeorgiaSuzy

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I thought she got them as puppies. Were they actually rescues?

You're right, the sheriff confirmed she got them as puppies. Someone unfamiliar with the situation incorrectly told him they were rescues initially.
 

JaneEyre

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Assuming the dogs were male I wonder if they had been neutered?

Does anyone know if there are any stats on how many of these deaths were caused by intact dogs?

It seems to me when a story like this is reported and I actually see the dogs in the media they are intact.

Thanks,
Tricia
These dogs were neutered according to the woman who ran a doggie daycare where they were often sent, and who was also a friend of hers.

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JaneEyre

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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.
Personal note here. There was a woman in my town who owned two large standard schnauzers. She died of natural causes and her dogs were later found feeding on her. They did not cause her death, and the woman's sister adopted the dogs despite what happened post-mortem. So yes, it's very possible that something else killed her even if these dogs were found to have done something to her body post-mortem.

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Jax49

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That would be any dog.

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Kill an infant? Yes. But an adult? I'm having trouble imaging any way a 3 pound dog could kill an adult...

moo
 

JaneEyre

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Kill an infant? Yes. But an adult? I'm having trouble imaging any way a 3 pound dog could kill an adult...

moo
I'll tell you exactly how, because in 17 years of animal rescue, mostly rescuing large dogs including pits, chows, and rotties, the only real bite I ever got was from a 5 pound dog. He clamped down on my wrist and would not let go. When I got him loose, I could see that large, main wrist vein pulsing just below a few thin layers of skin. I was bleeding profusely, and if he hadn't had a bunch of broken and dull teeth, he would have ripped the main vein open. With all the blood, I was woozy for a moment, but I managed to wrap it and get to my neighbor who rushed me to the ER. To this day I have a scar that looks like I once tried to slash my wrists. I am leery of little dogs. They are so unpredictable. I'll still rescue them, but I never entirely trust them.

All that said, I got bit through human error. I take responsibility for how it happened.

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DakotaMayi

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If the dogs had been living indoors with her, why were they now in a kennel at her dad’s? I wonder if she had recently separated or divorced, possibly moved to a place where she could not have her dogs with her. If I recall correctly, her FB showed she married in 2016 (possibly in the summer?), but we hear nothing about a husband. I cannot find her FB now, so I am not sure if it is still up as a memorial page. If that is the case, how long were they at dad’s, and how much attention were they getting?


ETA: her last name is spelled wrong on the thread, it is Stephens
her AfZb stres she married May 2016. https://www.facebook.com/bethany.stephens.5661

ETA: [FONT=&amp]The sheriff confirmed both pit bulls were euthanized on Saturday, December 16.
[/FONT]
http://heavy.com/news/2017/12/bethany-stephens-goochland-virginia-pit-bulls-pets/

From your link, spellz...

[FONT=&amp]Kara Hartrich was killed by her family’s beloved pit bulls on her 4th birthday. The little girl doted on the pets, and even shared tea parties with them. They were impeccably trained and raised with nothing but love, her mother said. In a statement to [/FONT]Daxton’s Friends[FONT=&amp], a website advocating the safe ownership of dogs, Kara’s mother stated:[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]My daughter had been brutally and viciously mauled to death, she died from massive blood loss, her arms, legs, skull, face and major arteries savagely damaged. The coroner said she didn’t feel the pain as they went straight for the jugular and continued to shred until she was lifeless and unrecognizable. These were her family pit bulls that we raised from puppies.She picked them out herself. They were treated as members of the family, loved, exercised, fed well, and respected…they savagely murdered the little girl who loved and cared for them the most in this world without a second thought, directly following they acted as if nothing happened. She hadn’t riled them up, she hadn’t abused them. She was happily playing in the other room, they came after her and pulled her out of my mothers arms to attack, maul and kill her.
[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]Her 2-year-old sister was also there. My mother was able to save her and told her to run upstairs and hide, while she tried to get the dogs to release Kara. My two-year-old little girl witnessed this mauling, the final sounds of her hero, best friend and sister being mauled by the family pit bulls. The dogs she also loved and cherished…yes any dog can and will bite—but any dog is not capable of this devastation——please do not let your children anywhere near this breed of dog…something has gone horribly and inexplicably wrong with them…it is not worth losing them, please I beg.
[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]I couldn’t stand if one more parent had to live the hell that we are living now.
[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]My brother had raised many pit bulls and one particularly captured our hearts. He was the sweetest well mannered gentle dog I had ever seen…I was always told the aggressive ones were that way because they were trained to fight and it was all in how they were raised…and if you got them from puppies that was the best way to raise any dogs.
[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]Both of the dogs who attacked were brought home as puppies and picked out by Kara. These dogs never displayed any people aggression…always sat dutifully by her side…watched her have tea parties, sat by her side when she was sick, thought they were lap dogs and liked to snuggle. No warnings. No snapping. No growling…just snapped![/FONT]

Obviously we don't know how these dogs were bought up but this just breaks my heart. Poor little girl :(
 

Jax49

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I'll tell you exactly how, because in 17 years of animal rescue, mostly rescuing large dogs including pits, chows, and rotties, the only real bite I ever got was from a 5 pound dog. He clamped down on my wrist and would not let go. When I got him loose, I could see that large, main wrist vein pulsing just below a few thin layers of skin. I was bleeding profusely, and if he hadn't had a bunch of broken and dull teeth, he would have ripped the main vein open. With all the blood, I was woozy for a moment, but I managed to wrap it and get to my neighbor who rushed me to the ER. To this day I have a scar that looks like I once tried to slash my wrists. I am leery of little dogs. They are so unpredictable. I'll still rescue them, but I never entirely trust them.

All that said, I got bit through human error. I take responsibility for how it happened.

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That's intense. So glad you were ok.

I've lived around tiny dogs which couldn't have gotten their mouths around your wrist. They might bite your finger -- can hurt like heck because their tiny teeth slip off the nail and into the quick. Ouchy, but not dangerous.

moo
 

JaneEyre

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That's intense. So glad you were ok.

I've lived around tiny dogs which couldn't have gotten their mouths around your wrist. They might bite your finger -- can hurt like heck because their tiny teeth slip off the nail and into the quick. Ouchy, but not dangerous.

moo
Generally speaking, I believe that there are lots of little breeds who should not be around kids because they are high strung. If I'm recommending a dog to a family member with children, I'm not going to suggest a pit OR many of the small breeds, especially the ones who tend to be "one-person" dogs.

Certain breeds do have certain personality traits. And whether or not they can be lethal is besides the point. Any injuries should be avoided. You start by setting the family and the dog up for success by getting a good match. The best matches for me in my personal situation are chows, rotties, and large mixed breed mutts. (Your best dog is often going to be the mutt, though, in terms of health and temperament IMO.)

I have had to euthanize some of our rescues for aggression, including a little Benji type of dog, a beagle, a lab, a retriever mix, and two pits. That's not a lot, given the numbers of dogs who have come through my door over the years. But I do not have regrets about any of them. We held them as they went. It wasn't their fault. Humans did something to them, either in breeding or treatment prior to us rescuing them. But they can't all be fixed.

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bears10

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Personal note here. There was a woman in my town who owned two large standard schnauzers. She died of natural causes and her dogs were later found feeding on her. They did not cause her death, and the woman's sister adopted the dogs despite what happened post-mortem. So yes, it's very possible that something else killed her even if these dogs were found to have done something to her body post-mortem.

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In general I think it would be possible for the dogs to have done something post-Mortem. But in this case, the medical examiner stated that it was the dogs and not a larger animal because the bite marks didn’t puncture her skull and the scratch marks were consistent with it being a smaller animal and not a bear.

I cant get this tragedy out of my head. I am glad that she apparently didn’t feel any of the pain, but it’s still such a terrifying situation.


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JaneEyre

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In general I think it would be possible for the dogs to have done something post-Mortem. But in this case, the medical examiner stated that it was the dogs and not a larger animal because the bite marks didn’t puncture her skull and the scratch marks were consistent with it being a smaller animal and not a bear.

I cant get this tragedy out of my head. I am glad that she apparently didn’t feel any of the pain, but it’s still such a terrifying situation.


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I just believe that LE came to their conclusion much too quickly. I believe it is possible that their conclusion is correct, but that for public safety reasons, they should have been more diligent.

Here's what I think they should have done. They should have brought in a couple of dog behavioralists and at least one wildlife expert to assess the scene. I would have also wanted a scent dog brought in to see if a coyote or another human had been present.

The reason is because we are seeing more and more coyote attacks in my area, right in cities. They recently followed a woman walking her two dogs and she just barely got away. They have been attacking dogs out in their yards to potty before bed at night, and in some cases killing them. Then we saw the case where a bobcat actually ran at a person and attacked them right in town. Another person got the bobcat off the other person, but got attacked. The video was sickening - it would not let go. Turned out that it was rabid.

My point is that there could be a public safety issue in the area. If a wild animal attacked either her or her dogs, she could have ended up getting torn up in the situation. Dogs and cats both sometimes do this thing called redirected aggression, where they perceive a threat they are concentrating on, and another animal or a human comes near and they automatically react and bite. I've seen this A LOT. Anyway, it's possible that there is a very bold wild animal in the area, or a rabid one.

Second thing about this that bothers me is that she had threats from an ex who also had dogs. I can think of a few scenarios involving this person and his dogs where her dogs were not responsible for killing her, but ended up as the "person" standing over the dead body holding a knife they just picked up in shock (think old mystery movies here). Someone could be getting away with murder quite literally here.

The dogs were neutered, taken to doggie daycare at times, and she was familiar with something as progressive as using a gentle leader (which some people have wrongly identified as a muzzle in pictures of Tonk) as opposed to the more barbaric use of choke and prong collars to train. The use of a gentle leader suggests she didn't even believe in jerking on the leash to control them, which many trainers still do. All of this information suggests these dogs were well cared for and that she was knowledgeable, gentle, and progressive in her training methods. However, I do know that even experts can screw up and reach into a dog scuffle in the heat of the moment and end up getting seriously injured due to redirected aggression.

I am neither a pit bull apologist nor anti-bully breed. I believe in approaching all situations based on the facts surrounding the individual dog. And I will say that Gitana is onto something regarding the dog attack stats in post 103. The dogs I had to put down for aggression had backgrounds like she described.

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keeleydoll

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After reading that she was only going over ~5 times a week, I’m wondering if they were even being fed the rest of the time and may have seen her a prey because they were hungry, or she tripped and bumped her head or something and they took advantage of the situation. Terribly sad [emoji17]


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JaneEyre

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From your link:
“It’s primary purpose is to be a weapon. It’s doing what it’s supposed to do.”
Perhaps truer words may have never been spoken.

I’m a dog lover, but these animals are not like other dogs, I am appalled at all the deaths they have caused and still people choose to protect them, at the expense of the lives of innocent people as well as other innocent animals. :moo:
And this is a blog, which is not MSM, so more likely to be skewed with a particular prejudice.

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JaneEyre

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Actually, that was kinda funny and one of my daughter's chihuahuas acts something like that - not quite that bad though. Thing is, the man is still alive and well.

Here's another video that also shows truth, because it is true. Beware, it isn't quite as cute, rather disturbing because of the truth it shows and tells:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=8&v=iFa8HOdegZA
Who produced this video? Is it MSM or actual experts? Is this link allowed according to TOS?

Seems this thread has a lot of links to highly reactive NON-MSM sites. The pit bull debate is a highly emotionally charged one, and for that reason we really need to stick to TOS. There is no reason for this thread to veer off into areas we can't touch on other cases just because the "POIs" happen to be dogs.

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Elley Mae

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Years ago i went to a small zoo, (Catoctin mountains) there was a little monkey that went bananas for me. It was a cage out in the open, you could walk around it. The monkey kept following me around the cage and making funny faces and sounds.

I told my neighbor around it and she asked if i had my period. And i thought he just liked me.
 

bronk4

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..I've had dogs all my life...mostly German Shepherds..
my family got a Shep-Pit mix about a year ago and I will say she doesn't ''back down''--especially compared to other dogs I've had
when I ''stand my ground''/rebuke her/etc, she can be ornery.....barks back at me---but not my daughter or wife
she will be ''aggressive'' when she wants to play or a bone ---in that she nudges away our arms or books/laptops we are reading
she responds differently to my wife and daughter than to me
she's nipped me a couple of times when she wants to play outside, even after I severely scolded her
she's very aggressive when she wants to play
she does seem like a great companion, friend, etc especially to my wife and daughter
she definitely does not like it when I even talk to my wife, much less hug her

but I do not trust any animals--especially owners who say their dog won't bite
 

Gardenista

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..I've had dogs all my life...mostly German Shepherds..
my family got a Shep-Pit mix about a year ago and I will say she doesn't ''back down''--especially compared to other dogs I've had
when I ''stand my ground''/rebuke her/etc, she can be ornery.....barks back at me---but not my daughter or wife
she will be ''aggressive'' when she wants to play or a bone ---in that she nudges away our arms or books/laptops we are reading
she responds differently to my wife and daughter than to me
she's nipped me a couple of times when she wants to play outside, even after I severely scolded her
she's very aggressive when she wants to play
she does seem like a great companion, friend, etc especially to my wife and daughter
she definitely does not like it when I even talk to my wife, much less hug her

but I do not trust any animals--especially owners who say their dog won't bite

no way i'd have that dog in my house.
 
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