Saturday, February 28, 2015

"EDUCATED" AND "RESPONSIBLE" PIT BULL OWNER - NORWICH CT - 2009 - DAVID HOLLAND, AGE 19 - 8-MONTH OLD PIT BULLS SEVERELY MAULED A MAIL CARRIER


 May 3, 2009

A postal worker was hospitalized after he was attacked by two pit bulls while on his route in Norwich.The two pits bulls that stem from a "line of vicious" dogs have been euthanized. Both Miracle and Fatboy, were put down with approval from their owner, 19-year old David Holland Jr. Though only one complaint was made against the dogs in the past year, police Lt. William Molis said two dozen complaints have been lodged against the Holland residence since 2006, mostly for noise disturbances and reports of suspicious activity.

Norwich Animal Control Officer Michele Kellough said she remembers the dogs' mother and father as "vicious." The mother was euthanized because of an attack and the father was the suspect in the mauling of a Meals-On-Wheels driver. 

The fines issued against Holland total $756. No criminal charges were filed.  mailman Jeff Glen  was hospitalized  suffering a severed artery and fractured arm. The 19-year old Holland is "judgment proof" and will not pay a penny toward Glen's extensive medical bills. Furthermore, since there are likely no laws to stop Holland, he will purchase a new set of pit bulls in several weeks and start the process all over.


MAILMAN SUFFERS SEVERED ARTERY AND FRACTURED ARM DURING PIT BULL ATTACK

8-MONTH-OLD PIT BULLS MIRACLE AND FATBOI PUT DOWN THE DAY AFTER THE ATTACK

OWNER OF PIT BULLS THAT MAULED MAILMAN CITED

LAW SUIT WENT NOWHERE !!!

IN NOV 2013, 24-YEAR-OLD HOLLAND WAS ARRESTED - http://blog.dogsbite.org/2014/05/plight-of-mauled-postal-carrier-national-dog-bite-prevention-week-2014.html

Friday, February 27, 2015

DELTONA FL - 2 PIT BULLS DUG A HOLE UNDER A FENCE AND KILLED A NEIGHBOR'S 2 BELOVED YORKIES AND ATTACKED THEIR OWNER WHEN SHE CAME TO THEIR AID

A woman is recovering from multiple dog bites after trying to protect her two Yorkies from a dog attack Thursday afternoon.
Shirley Farina said her neighbor's dogs dug a hole under their shared fence and attacked her two dogs, Casper and Cali.
“I heard the little one yelping and when I went out, the  2 PIT BULLS  had her together and they were pulling and ripping at her,” Farina said.
Farina said she chased the pit bulls away, but they went after her other Yorkie. She managed to pick him up and that's when they turned on her.
“When he bit me I felt it, but all I could think of is, leave my dogs alone,” said Farina. “I kept screaming, 'Help me, help me, help me,' and they heard me.”
Her neighbor, Jeff Lamey, came to her rescue.“  At first I thought it was a child screaming and then I heard a second scream and it was a scream of terror,” Lamey told Local 6. “I grabbed two big rocks, jumped the fence, ran over and landed two good shots that broke them loose.”
Farina's two dogs didn't survive, but she said she's glad her cries for help were heard.
“I'm so grateful that they were home today and heard me,” Farina said.
Deputies said 24-year-old Demetria Brewer and her boyfriend owned the two dogs. Brewer was arrested for resisting an officer while they were being questioned about what happened.
Animal control has both dogs, which are going to be put down.

MT. HOOD VILLAGE/RHODODENDRON, CLACKAMAS COUNTY OR - 2 DOGS SAID TO BE AN AMERICAN BULLDOG AND A BOXER (OR 2 PIT BULLS) ESCAPED THEIR FENCE AND ATTACKED AN 86-YEAR-OLD MAN WALKING HIS SMALL DOG - HERO NEIGHBOR FOUGHT TO SAVE THE MAN AND SUFFERED A HEART ATTACK !!!


HERE'S ANOTHER GRIPPING DOG STORY THAT  IS IN THIS SAME AREA OF CLACKAMAS COUNTY AND READS VERY SIMILAR TO THIS CURRENT ATTACK:

http://www.dogsbitedecatural.com/2013/07/happy-valley-clackamas-county-or-2-dogs.html


RHODODENDRON, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Jeff Warnock is recovering from a series of events Friday morning that left him injured and hospitalized — he suffered a heart attack after jumping to his neighbor’s side to rescue him from a pit bull attack.
“The blood curdling screams [were] like nothing I’ve ever heard in my life,” Warnock told KOIN 6 News.
When 2 PIT BULLS began attacking an 86-year-old man and his puppy in the Rhododendron neighborhood, Warnock said he knew he had to react quickly.
“They had a hold of the man with their head and you can see them shaking their head, kind of like a shark does when it gets a hold of something,” Warnock explained.
Warnock jumped in, using his bare hands to beat off the dogs. He said he tried using his whole body to flatten one of them to the ground to keep him from moving.
“[The man] got about 50 feet away and the dogs broke loose from both me and the owner,” Warnock said. “He attacked the man again.”
At that point, neighbors called 911 and both Warnock and the elderly man were transported to the hospital for their injuries.
Warnock called the pit bull attack a life or death situation. Little did he know that within an hour, his life would be on the line in another way — upon arriving to the hospital, he suffered a heart attack.
Warnock said he has dealt with heart problems in the past.
“Fighting pit bulls is probably not something a guy like me should do,” Warnock said. “Then again, I had no choice.”
KOIN 6 News learned the pit bulls escaped through their owner’s backyard before attacking the elderly man and his puppy. The man, who has not been identified, is expected to recover from his injuries.
The owner of the pit bulls declined an interview with KOIN 6 News, but said he has turned the dogs in to Clackamas County Animal Control. He said the pit bulls have attacked other dogs in the neighborhood before, but insisted they are not dangerous towards people.
But Warnock disagrees.
“Those dogs were looking to hurt that man as much as they were looking to hurt that dog,” he said.

_________________________________________________________________

Two dogs attacked an elderly man who was walking with his small dog Friday morning, neighbors on Mountain Meadow Lane told KATU News.
Neighbors said the 86-year-old man was walking his puppy when two dogs broke through a fence nearby and jumped on them. One witness said the man and his dog were both badly injured by the attacking animal; no word from officials on their current conditions.
The owner of the attacking dogs said this isn’t the first time they’ve gotten loose and hurt a passer-by.
The owner said he turned his two American bulldogs over to animal control after Friday’s attack.
"I relinquished the dogs. I had to do it for the community," said the owner, who didn’t want to go on camera.
The owner said he patched the hole that allowed his dogs to get out and attack a passer-by back in 2012.
In that case the dogs attacked a man and his dog, ripping off the dog's ear.
The owner has since put new wire in front of the aging section of fence, but said the dogs made a new hole to get through.
Animal control officials said the dogs are listed as an AMERICAN BULLDOG AND A BOXER.


MIAMI FL - DAYS BEFORE JAVON DADE SR. GOES ON TRIAL IN THE PIT BULL MAULING DEATH OF HIS SON JAVON DADE JR. NEW DETAILS IN THE CASE ARE RELEASED





UPDATE:  http://miami.cbslocal.com/2015/03/02/man-at-center-of-dog-mauling-case-rejects-plea-deal/

Days before a Miami father goes on trial in the tragic dog mauling death of his young son, new details and photos have been obtained by NBC 6.
Javon Dade Sr., 30, will head to trial Monday on a manslaughter charge in the death of 4-year-old Javon Dade Jr., who was mauled to death in his family's backyard in August 2014.
Police said Dade Sr. and his girlfriend were high on crack cocaine and lost track of him, and a medical examiner's report obtained by NBC 6 said the child was out in the yard so long that the dog was basically feeding on him.
New images of the dog, Tank, were also released, including one taken in August shortly after police arrived when Dade Sr. called to report Javon missing. A short time later the child was found dead.
The medical examiner's report lists the boy's wounds on diagrams, and most disturbing, the examiner's findings suggesting the dog was feeding on the child.


"The skin of the face...neck...and most of the scalp is absent. The muscles of the face...and...neck are mostly absent except for a few scattered shreds of dry muscle that remains," the report said.
Video obtained by NBC 6 also shows Dade Sr. in the police interview room shortly after he was arrested. He sits in the corner of the room waiting for detectives.
Dade Sr. has pleaded not guilty and recently invoked his right to a speedy trial and that has prosecutors burning the midnight oil to be ready to present these disturbing reports on Monday.
Also charged with child neglect is Dade's girlfriend, Alessandra Carrasco. Carrasco has also entered a not guilty plea and her case has been severed from the Dade Sr. case.
Records indicate the Department of Children and Families had been to the home before with questions about the dogs.
Photos show inside the home where detectives say it was where the pair was smoking marijuana laced with cocaine and lost track of Dade Jr. while Tank was free in the yard.
The dog Tank was put to sleep.


http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/New-Details-Photos-Released-in-Dog-Mauling-Death-294448481.html

FLORIDA - GRANDMA, THE PIT BULL AND THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE


Published on Feb 27, 2015
This is my mom when she was viciously attacked by a pit bull last year during the ALS ice bucket challenge. She lived to tell the tale of it and didnt want this released until she was ready. This should serve as a warning to all pet owners. Unless you are going to take the time to make an animal a pet then it will remain an animal. This was my sister's dog who she only kept to stud out for breeding purposes. she took no time to train him or make him listen. He was a wild dog and she should be ashamed for keeping him out of selfishness and not love.

UPDATE:  THIS COMMENT JUST APPEARED:
Sorry I had to remove the other video because of all the negative comments directed towards my mother. Changed a few settings then added the aftermath photo since i had a few people that wanted to see it.
As for the dog in the video yes he was held for a mandatory 10 day holding period to ensure he didnt show any signs of rabies. My sister did not want to release the animal to be euthanized even though he almost killed our mother. The only reason the dog was at my moms was because my sister got kicked out of where she was living and had no place to put the dog. The 3 children that you saw in the video are my sister's kids. my parents are raising them because my sister is just not a good person when it comes to taking care of anyone/anything but herself. so when she was asked did she want to surrender Kilo she had to think about it. After speaking with animal control they informed us that because she left the dog there for more than 30 days that he was considered my parents' dog and that she had abandoned him. My dad went there the next day and signed the papers to have him euthanized. This dog had not been kept around the children and the entire time he was around he had to be kept away from them because he kept knocking them down every time they would try to run by. Even I went there and tried to teach him basic commands "sit, stay, no, and to not jump." The dog was unwilling to learn and continued to exhibit dominant behaviors. I begged my mom to get rid of him and she was terrified that someone else like my sister would get ahold of him and continue to breed him or use him for dog fights. My mom was determined to make him a part of the family and was holding out hope that he would adjust to our family. Even my dad wanted to get rid of him and told my sister several times to come get her dog, but she did not. It came to a point that I stopped going down there because I did not like the dog especially being around my daughter.
Even though Kilo was dumb and stubborn even I did not see this coming. He had no warning signes or indication of being nuerotic or anxious around people. He did not growl snarl or show any signs of aggression. He just turned for no apparent reason. Even though he almost killed my mom, she still was very upset at the situation.
My least favorite part about this story was talking to the people at animal control to find out that my irresponsible sister had previously been to the emergency room for dog bites with this dog and then still brought him to the home where her children and our parents were I completely blame my sister for this. Unfortunately we cannot pick or choose who we are related to, but I can tell you that i do not consider her family to me. This is just one incident on a long line of past and present screw ups she has dragged us through.


emaustin102387
Spanky Jenkinz actually he didnt let go willingly. all the thumps you hear and snarling was my dad punching him. he took her down and my mom actually had to pry her hands into his mouth. even with all the punching he was only focused on killing my mom. my dad had to stand there and hold kilo until i got there while his wife layed bleeding in front of him unable to help her. The aftermath was a broken AND unhinged jaw several stitches and nerve damage so now my mother will never speak normally again.








Watch how fast the pit is, how there is no bite release, how it drags a full grown woman to the ground in a couple of seconds even with other adults close by. This is a pit bull bite. This is a breed problem.


MORE INFORMATION:  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/ice-bucket-challenge-family-releases-footage-of-grandmother-being-attacked-by-untrained-pit-bull-10084538.html





LOS ANGELES CA - ANIMAL SERVICES ISSUES DIRECTIVE THAT SAYS THEY WILL IMPOUND ANY DOG THAT SERIOUSLY INJURES A PERSON OR KILLS ANOTHER PET...IN AN ATTEMPT TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC FROM DANGEROUS DOGS


In the wake of an I-Team report, the city will now immediately impound any dog that seriously injures a person or kills another pet, in an attempt to protect the public from dangerous dogs.
Three weeks ago, the I-Team revealed that LA's Department of Animal Services often failed to impound dogs that mauled, and sometimes those dogs attacked other people or animals again.
"We have three victims from the same dog," said Jon Hinton, whose 8-year-old son was mauled in 2013 by an AKITA. The same dog injured a woman nine months earlier, and then mauled the face of a man 11 months after attacking the boy. After each attack, the city did not impound the Akita.
"We clearly could have prevented all these things," Hinton told NBC4.
When questioned last month by the I-Team, the general manager of LA's Department of Animal Services, Brenda Barnette, admitted her department could be doing more to protect the public from potentially dangerous dogs.
SO BARNETTE JUST ISSUED A DIRECTIVE TO ALL ANIMAL SERVICES EMPLOYEES, ORDERING THEM TO "IMPOUND IMMEDIATELY" ANY DOG THAT INJURES A PERSON WHO ENDS UP REQUIRING MEDICAL CARE, OR SERIOUSLY INJURES ANOTHER DOG OR CAT.
"I WOULD ERR ON THE SIDE OF SAFETY AND I WOULD IMPOUND MORE DOGS," BARNETTE TOLD NBC4.
That's welcome news to Stephen Elliott of Studio City. Last year, while walking down Ventura Boulevard with his partner Rusty Fox, a PIT BULL lunged at their Yorkie, killing the dog and biting off part of Elliott's finger. The attacking dog, named Widow, was not impounded by the city, and Animal Services lost track of Widow's whereabouts.
"This is reform that's much needed," Elliott said about the new impound policy. "It's a significant move in the right direction towards protecting public safety."
The new directive also requires that owners of dogs that attack attend a "Dangerous Animal Hearing." At the hearing, the city could decide to order the attacking dog be removed from the city of LA, or it could be "humanely euthanized," or it could be returned to its owner with conditions, such as the dog must always be kept on a leash outside the house.
If you know of a dog that has attacked a person or pet, immediately report them to LA Department of Animal Services at 888-452-7381, or http://www.laanimalservices.com/

FRESNO CA - AN UNLEASHED ROTTWEILER MIX RIPPED THE FRONT LEGS OFF A FAMILY'S 9-POUND SHIH TZU MIX THROUGH THEIR BACKYARD FENCE - THEN THE NUT JOB OWNER WITH THE LEASH AROUND HIS NECK WALKS AWAY WHILE BLAMING THE VICTIM

KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source Fresno Family Says His Dog Ripped The Legs Off Their Dog & Left
(KMPH) -A northwest Fresno family says it's small dog was viciously attacked and killed by a large dog in its own back yard.

The family says the dog, a ROTTWEILER MIX, and its owner then jumped into a black Jeep and left.

The family recorded what happened moments afterward on their cell phones.

Victoria Montufar says she was in shock when she found her dog named Hyper, a 9 pound Shih Tzu mix with IT'S FRONT ARMS RIPPED FROM ITS BODY.

She says, "I noticed the dog dragging his face on the ground. So I told the owner you dog just bit my dog. He started saying it's your fault, you dog started it barking."

Reporter says, "But your dog is in your yard?"

She says, "Yes it's in my yard exactly."

Reporter asks, "And his dog didn't have a leash?"

She says, "You can see in the pictures, he had the leash around his neck."



Her husband Raul says, "I came out of the door I said they don't leave hold on. I was with no shoes on. By the time I went in to get shoes on he was already gone."

The family says their daughter is heartbroken.

But how could this happen in the first place?

Montufar says, "I've often come out and told people keep the dogs on a leash. I told them to keep them away from the fence. I have my daughter if she had friends over it's hard for her to play, in the past dogs have approached the fence just because they see movement."

The property where the attack took place is owned by the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District. KMPH Fox 26 News Reporter Erik Rosales called and asked them is this a dog park?

Employees said no.

They put up signs to keep all dogs on leashes.

But yet when you look around you see pooper scoopers, the trash cans filled with poop, the park benches and the fenced in area. Everybody Rosales spoke with believe it's a leash free dog park.

Within minutes our cameras caught people playing fetch with their unleashed dogs.

The Flood Control District's General Manager told Rosales he agrees it's a concern and plans to bring the issue to the board immediately.

Meanwhile, the family hopes no one else gets hurt and the guy who left is found.


Montufar says, "What upsets me is that guy took off, he didn't bother to say is the dog okay."

If you recognize the man or his dogs, you can call the Central California SPCA at 559-233-7722.

Or you can send your tip by email at info@ccspca.com


http://www.kmph.com/story/28216789/family-dog-legs-ripped-out


CARY IL - NOVEMBER 5, 2005 - THE ENDURING AGONY OF A PIT BULL RAMPAGE - WHEN A NEIGHBOR'S 3 PIT BULLS ATTACKED NICK FOLEY, 10, HIS FRIEND JOURDAN, AND 4 OTHER MEN



Brooks Foley heard a soft whimper and stopped still in the hallway. The sound was  barely audible at first over the hiss of a shower, but it grew louder and louder until it was a heartbreaking sob.  His 10-year-old son was falling apart.

Four months had passed since the rain-soaked November afternoon outside of Cary when a neighbor's three pit bulls attacked Nick Foley. The dogs tore pounds of flesh from his arms and legs. they broke bones, slashed nerves, spilled half of his blood onto the wet grass.

With painstaking work, trauma surgeons had saved Nick's life and therapists had helped him regain much of the use of his body. His spirit, it seemed, had recovered as well: Most of the time he acted like the same goofy 5th-grader he had been before the attack.

But he wasn't the same. Chunks of muscle were missing from his limbs, leaving bone-deep divots papered over with grafted skin. The left side of his face bore two thick, half-moon scars where his cheek had been ripped open like a tent flap. And a specialist had just told the family that Nick's right hand, the one he used to hold a pen and throw a baseball, might never work properly again.

It was too much. In the isolation of the shower, unable to shield his eyes from the damage, Nick cried out:  "If it's not going to get better, why should I have this arm? I want to chop it off. I wish I could set it on fire."

Brooks understood. The dogs had gone after him, too, savaging his legs and right forearm so badly that he had retreated. He still suffered from flashbacks, tremors and a tormenting, complicated guilt. Sometimes he cried so hard that he couldn't move.

Brooks went into the bathroom and tried to comfort his shivering son, to make him believe that everything would be all right. He just wasn't sure he believed it himself.

So it went throughout the family, throughout the entire stunned neighborhood. The trauma of that day changed everyone it touched, ending friendships, straining family bonds, casting a cloak of fear over a once-relaxed northwest suburban community.

Much of the story was untold before now.  And it all began with a knock on a door.

On the drizzly afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 5, Jourdan Lamarre came to the doorstep of the Foley house.  She was a spirited 10-year-old with coffee-colored eyes and a pageboy haircut who lived across the street. She asked if Nick could help her sell Girl Scout candy and wrapping paper. Just a few more buyers and she'd earn a prize.

"Only go to homes you know," cautioned Polly Foley, Nick's mother.

That was just about all of them. The neighborhood, an aging collection of ranches and two-stories a mile north of Cary, was the sort of place where someone would plow the next-door driveway just to be nice, or drop by to chat over a cup of coffee.

In 1998, Brooks and Polly Foley bought a beige split-level on Hunters Path as their first house, thrilled to finally sink roots in a community. Life had been a whirl from the moment the two devoted Catholics had met at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash.

He was from Virginia, the son of a career Marine, cool and brainy on the surface, compassionate and vulnerable underneath. She was from Nebraska, earthy and striking, with untamable black curls and a boisterous laugh that could fill a room.

They had married their junior year and two years later had their first child, Maureen, a witty, red-haired girl. Two more children--slender, introspective Alex and chunky, attention-grabbing Nick--soon followed, and the family moved wherever Brooks' software engineering job led them.

It was here, in McHenry County, that they finally grabbed hold of the suburban dream. They got the house, the back yard, even the dog--a pitch-black Labrador retriever mix named Java, a gift from a family friend. A dog seemed like a natural addition: Practically everyone in the neighborhood had one.

That included Scott Sword. A former tavern owner who hustled odd jobs for a living, he was tall and bulky, carrying 320 pounds that was more brawn than fat. Despite his intimidating size, he often came across as an overgrown kid, his voice crackling with boyish enthusiasm whenever he told a story.

Sword lived one street away from the Foleys, on Hawthorne Drive, in a shoebox of a house that seemed barely large enough for him, let alone his partner, Cathy Doyle, their son and daughter and A PIT BULL NAMED GOOD GIRL.

Sword got the dog eight years earlier, when a stranger entered his bar and offered him a puppy. The 8-week-old with a rust-colored coat was no purebred--it was later determined that she was a mix, perhaps with a splash of the Italian hunting breed CANE CORSO in her background --but she was adorable. Sword and Doyle had no reservations about taking her into their home.

They named her Good Girl for her even temper and unwavering obedience. She was always around when Nick dropped by to play with Sword's son, Max. The boys had been good friends for about a year and a half, riding bikes or playing Nintendo, and Good Girl seemed to accept Nick as one of the family.

Always looking to pick up extra money, Sword eventually mated Good Girl with a neighbor's PIT BULL  across the street. She had seven floppy-eared puppies, and Sword and Doyle sold five for about $90 each. They kept two white-coated pups for their kids, naming the  FEMALE STELLA AND THE MALE PETEY,  after "The Little Rascals" mascot he so strongly resembled.

Nick loved the dogs' frenzied energy. He and Max would play with them, coaxing them to leap up and snatch sticks the boys dangled in the air. The puppies even came to follow Nick's commands, meekly accepting a tap on the nose and a stern "No" when they tried to seize his Popsicle.

Nick's parents knew of pit bulls' reputation for violence and were nervous about Nick playing with them. But they accepted his reassurances that the dogs were well behaved.

What they didn't know, what Nick didn't know, was that Petey was developing a temper as he grew. He was barking and snapping at strangers, behavior that continued EVEN AFTER HE WAS NEUTERED.   

In October, when Petey was a year old and a solid 75 pounds, a trainer dismissed him from obedience school, saying he was too volatile for a group lesson. Doyle brought him back for a private session, but the trainer, believing Petey was showing aggressive tendencies, refused to take the leash. Doyle vowed to the trainer that if Petey didn't improve, she would have the dog destroyed.

One week later, Jourdan came to the Foleys' house. Homebound all day because of the rain, Nick was eager to join her. He slipped a hooded jacket over his T-shirt and sweatpants and bolted outside.  About 4:20 p.m., ducking raindrops, they came to Scott Sword's place. As they walked up the driveway to the side door, Jourdan would later recall, they heard growling. She hesitated but Nick reassured her.

"It's OK," he said. "I know these dogs."  

-  -  -

He didn't, of course. 

Pit bulls have a legacy of violence in their genes, and even some who think the dogs aren't inherently aggressive compare them to loaded guns.

They first appeared in the 19th Century when English gamblers, seeking an ideal specimen for the dog-fighting pits, combined the strength of a bulldog with the endurance of a terrier. The resulting mix, refined over time, was short but incredibly muscular, its tapered head equipped with powerful jaws. Above all, the dog was "game": It had the will to keep fighting until death.

The pit bull made its way to America, where blood sport enthusiasts marveled at its tenacity. In his memoir, dogfighter George C. Armitage wistfully recalled a 1916 match in which "the side boards of the pit were covered with blood, and the dogs were wrestling and tumbling all over the pit, with never the sign of a turn, or a let up in the speed."

That hostility was meant to be directed solely at other animals--owners routinely killed pit bulls that attacked their handlers--but experts say that over the last 20 years, drug dealers, gangbangers and macho types have sought out "man eaters" to protect criminal enterprises or act as intimidating status symbols.

Kennel clubs recognize purebred strains such as the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, but mixed breeds that share their characteristics are also generally called pit bulls. Combined, the dogs killed 76 people between 1979 and 1998, more than any other type, according to a study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Defenders say that's due more to popularity--there are perhaps 4.8 million in the U.S. today, among the most of any kind of dog--than to any built-in ferocity.

Randall Lockwood of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who has studied dangerous dogs for three decades, said the vast majority of pit bulls are docile, but others are descended from hard-core attack dogs. If an owner hasn't tracked the lineage of both parents, he said, "Who knows where the breeding stock comes from?"

Sword knew nothing about Good Girl's background or that of the pit bull that fathered Petey and Stella. But aside from Petey's occasional belligerence, Sword had never seen any problems. As Nick and Jourdan approached his door, which was closed but not latched, he was watching TV with the dogs stretched out nearby.

A small fist rapped on the door. It opened a crack.  Instantly, the tiny house was a riot of barking so loud and stabbing that it hurt Sword's ears. All three dogs scrambled toward the door, their nails clicking and sliding on the kitchen's linoleum floor.

Good Girl and Stella slipped through the doorway, but Sword managed to tackle Petey. He felt a flash of relief until the dog whipped its head around and snapped.
SWORD'S THUMB WAS NEARLY SEVERED.  He lost his grip, and Petey broke free.

Outside, Jourdan and Nick ran screaming when the first two dogs exploded through the doorway, followed seconds later by Petey. Together the animals knocked Jourdan down, tore through her two jackets and SAVAGED HER WAIST AND LEFT LEG.  Nick, who had made it behind a tree, returned to reach into the storm of teeth and claws, trying to pull his friend to her feet.

"Stand up! Stand up!" he shouted.

Frozen with fear, Jourdan would not move.

"No!" she said. "No! No!"

Nick tried to go for help as Sword, bleeding heavily, peeled the dogs off the girl. Jourdan scrambled to her feet and ran away, and in a blink, Petey was on Nick's heels. THE BOY DIDN'T GET 20 FEET BEFORE ALL THREE PIT BULLS TOOK HIM DOWN.

Sword tried again to pull the dogs away, even biting Petey's face so hard that he broke off the gold cap from a tooth. But the animals seemed lost in a blood lust, wriggling from Sword's grasp and clamping onto Nick's arms and legs.

Sword lifted Nick in a bear hug and turned in circles, trying to keep him out of the dogs' range, but they leaped at the boy, tearing bits of flesh with every jump. As Sword tired, the animals latched onto Nick's arms. Sword felt Nick's bones snap.

Exhausted, Sword slipped on the grass and toppled over. He rolled onto Nick, trying to protect him, but the dogs kept boring into the boy, stripping muscle from his arms and legs. Suddenly, though, they disappeared.

Sword lay there, falling in and out of consciousness. Then from beneath his body came a small, spookily calm voice:

"Mr. Sword, could you please get off me?"

Nick was left facedown in the mud. He felt no pain as the grass beneath him turned red. He was thinking that if he sat up and tried to touch his arm, his hand would pass through like vapor.

Am I a ghost? he wondered.

The idea jolted Nick into silent panic. Another thought fluttered through his mind:

Am I going to heaven or hell?

- - - 

Polly, a teacher, was grading papers in her family room when she thought that somebody needed to round up her son. The Foleys had 6 p.m. dinner reservations at a Schaumburg fondue restaurant to celebrate Alex's 13th birthday. It was about 4:40 p.m., and the light was slipping away fast.

Polly peered through the big living room picture window to Jourdan's house across the street. An ambulance and firetruck were parked in front. Maybe Ed Lamarre, Jourdan's father, had thrown his back out again.

"Nick doesn't need to be there," Polly told Brooks. "Why don't you go get him?"

Ed Lamarre had dialed 911 after Jourdan had come home screaming, her left leg flayed open. The paramedics had responded quickly, but the girl, in shock, didn't tell them about Sword and Nick.  Brooks knocked on his neighbor's door. Ed Lamarre answered, staring without expression as Brooks asked for his son.

"He's not home?" Lamarre said. "Jourdan's just been bit by three dogs on Hawthorne."

Three dogs on Hawthorne. The pit bulls.  Brooks began walking on numb legs, then broke into a trot, his eyes darting left and right. He turned the corner onto Hawthorne and through the gloom saw a massive human shape sprawled on a lawn.

Brooks knew it was Sword. But an instant later he noticed the dogs gnawing on the ankles of someone who lay underneath the big man. They were tugging at a pair of sweatpants as if wrestling a chew toy.

As Brooks peered into the murk, his mind swirling with fear, the faintest outline of a thought formed in his head. The ankles, those sweatpants ...

Nick?

But before his brain could complete the idea, before he could call out or take a step, the dogs charged. Without a sound, they were on him.  Good Girl clamped her jaw around his right forearm, digging deep into muscle as the other dogs bit his legs. He punched Good Girl square in the face repeatedly, but she only growled and tightened her grip.

"Stop!" Brooks screamed. "Stop!"

Until that moment, no one else in the neighborhood had seen what was happening. Some heard barking and shrieking but figured it was only the sound of kids and dogs playing.

Brooks' shouts finally roused their attention. Deborah Rivera saw the dogs and went to the end of her driveway, banging a heavy frying pan with a metal spoon. Gerd Gerdes and Jim Dunn ran to the skirmish with baseball bats and swung hard at the pit bulls' heads.

"The dogs were possessed," Rivera recalled. The bats would knock them down, and like cartoon characters, they would shake their heads then go right back to biting even worse."

The pit bulls ripped at the men's legs. At last, though, the dogs retreated a few yards, making wide circles around the bodies lying in the grass.  As Gerdes and Dunn stood guard, Brooks remembered the ambulance parked at the Lamarres' house. He wrapped what was left of his shirt around his mangled arm and staggered home to get help.

The half-thought that had been forming was gone. That wasn't Nick on the lawn. It couldn't be. His son was still out there.

Reaching his house, he opened a door and shouted, "Go find Nick! Go find Nick!" Then he crossed the street and slumped down on the bumper of the ambulance that had come for Jourdan. He was pale, breathing heavily. His jeans were shredded. Deep wounds criss-crossed his arm.

Polly moved toward her husband, but he put up a hand and yelled once more for her to find their son. The pit bulls were on a rampage, he said, and Nick was missing.

Polly rushed to Hawthorne Drive, screaming Nick's name in a voice she didn't recognize. More than a half hour had elapsed since the attacks began. A woman who had happened upon the scene in her SUV was on the phone with 911 dispatchers when she saw Polly walk past.

"Lady! Lady!" the woman called out. "Will you please get in my truck?"

Ignoring her, Polly moved toward the shapes on the lawn. One of them had short legs. The thick brown hair was matted with rain and blood. Polly's eyes traced the familiar curve of the hairline and the straight line of the little nose, a near match of her husband's.

"Oh my God," she cried. "That's my son, that's my son, that's my son ..."

She saw Nick's back rise and fall and knew he was alive. He slowly turned his head and his left cheek flapped open.  Polly, always squeamish at the sight of blood, willed herself not to faint.

Before she could get closer, two of the pit bulls returned. They circled Sword and Nick, sniffing at them, but their eyes were locked on Polly. She slowly stepped back. The dogs left, silently vanishing into the darkness.

"Mom's here, Nick," she called out. "I'm not going to leave you. Mom's here."

Polly dropped to her knees and whispered a desperate prayer.

"You gotta help me, Jesus. You gotta help me."

- - -

At 4:50 p.m., McHenry County Deputies Kyle Mandernack and Ed Maldonado were asked to respond to a dog bite on Hawthorne Drive. Routine business, they thought. But six minutes later, when they arrived at Sword's house, they saw men with baseball bats, horrified neighbors and, on a lawn, two bloody figures.

The Cary Fire Department and ambulance crews were already there. Matt Hanus, who lived three blocks away, was using his pickup truck to barricade the dogs in Sword's house, where they had retreated. Hanus revved the engine and honked the horn whenever one appeared in the doorway, trying to frighten it back inside.

Paramedic Sue Pencava was first to reach Nick. She asked him if he was in any pain. He said no.

Pencava was amazed. She'd seen many terrible injuries on the job and knew full well how the body reacted to shock. But Nick's calm was beyond any explanation she could imagine, save one.

"I just felt that God had taken him to a special spot away from all the pain," she said later.

Handguns drawn, the deputies emerged from their cars and devised a quick plan: If the pit bulls stayed in the house, they'd wait for Animal Control. If the dogs came out and offered a clear shot, they'd try to kill them.

The deputies jumped into the bed of the pickup truck, switched to heavier weapons--a slug-firing shotgun and a CAR-15 assault rifle--and waited.

With the front yard momentarily clear, the paramedics loaded Sword into one ambulance, and after rolling Nick in a sheet, lifted the boy into another.

"Where are you taking him?" Polly demanded.

"Who are you?" one of the paramedics asked.

"I'm his mother."

"Is he allergic to anything?"

"No."

Polly had only a moment to tell her son that she would see him at the hospital before the paramedics slammed the doors and pulled away.

For 45 minutes, the pit bulls scuttled in and out of the house, venturing only a few feet from the doorway before turning back under a barrage of air horns and sirens. Finally, Petey rushed the truck.

"I have to take this shot!" Mandernack shouted, pulling the trigger. A 2-inch lead slug tore through Petey's chest. Wounded, he lurched away.

The other pit bulls charged. Maldonado shot Stella, and she reeled into Sword's back yard and crumpled to the ground.

Mandernack fired, hitting Good Girl. She ran down Hawthorne Drive before a Cary police officer shot her again. She fell down but struggled to get to her feet.

"It was still growling and snapping and showing its teeth, the whole nine yards," Mandernack recalled. "When it got up, that's when I took the final shot and put it down completely."

The only dog left was the injured Petey. Mandernack soon found him one street away, pitifully scratching at a front door as if asking to come inside. Mandernack killed him with a shotgun blast.

THE ECHO OF THE FINAL SHOT DIED AWAY ABOUT 5:43 P.M., ALMOST AN HOUR AND A HALF AFTER NICK AND JOURDAN HAD KNOCKED ON SWORD'S DOOR.

A knot of people formed in the middle of Hawthorne Drive, their faces illuminated by police spotlights. Six of their neighbors had just been taken away by ambulances. One of them, they had heard, might die.

They asked police repeatedly for more information and traded eyewitness accounts. They told a gaggle of reporters that their neighborhood was friendly and close-knit, but away from the cameras the first stirrings of discord surfaced.

Most of them had known Sword's dogs. The pit bulls had never been the subject of Animal Control complaints, and some insisted they had always seemed sweet-tempered, wagging their tails around other people and pets.

But with the blood still slick on the lawn, others contended the dogs had sometimes appeared uncontrollable, roaming unleashed on Hawthorne as Sword unsuccessfully tried to wrangle them inside.  

A chill had descended with the night. Nobody was sure what had happened, or what might come next. There were still plenty of dogs in the neighborhood.  And some of them were pit bulls.

- - -

The ambulance bearing Nick sped toward Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital near Barrington. He was there within 16 minutes, wheeled into the emergency room with blood soaking through his sheet.

Dr. Stephen Rivard, a seasoned ER veteran, had stayed past his shift to determine whether Nick's injuries were serious enough to warrant a transfer to a Level One trauma hospital, which handles the most desperate cases.

He unraveled Nick's bandages and gasped.

The answer was obvious. Good Shepherd wasn't set up to handle this. Nick would have to go to Advocate Lutheran General in Park Ridge, the closest hospital with a major trauma center.

First, though, the doctors and nurses stabilized Nick. They put an IV line beneath his collarbone--his arms were too damaged--to give him fluids, blood and painkillers. They cleaned his wounds and wrapped him tightly in soft bandages so that only his mouth and eyes remained uncovered.

Nick remained quiet. He was awake, alone and terrified, but his composure astounded the men and women trying to save his life.

"He didn't say, `Where am I going? Where's my mom?' all the things he should have said," Rivard recalled.

As he was pushed from the ER on a gurney, Nick opened his eyes, looked up and said: "Thank you."

The doctors and nurses waited until the ambulance had left. Then they walked to an empty bay, closed the curtain and wept.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0608130330aug13-story.html#page=1

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