Friday, January 8, 2016
On Thursday night, Dec. 31, at 7:52 p.m., Dyersburg Police received a dispatch advising of a caller that said: "A dog was biting a man and they could see it through the window at 1730 Wheeler Street."
When officers arrived on the scene, people were yelling, "The dog is inside killing Willie!"
According to the police report, the officer stated he observed a large, black, PIT BULLDOG dragging the elderly male subject across the floor by his ankle. He believed the man to be deceased and advised the people to get behind the fence as he ran onto the porch of the residence.
The officer opened the front storm door and yelled at the dog, which continued to viciously bite the male subject (William Nelson)." Because Nelson was badly injured, lacerated, bleeding profusely and with broken bones, he couldn't move. Only when the dog briefly turned away from its victim was the officer able to take a shot, then another, and a third, which struck the dog's harness and caused the dog to exit the house through the storm door.
The officer alerted another officer at the scene that the dog was coming back around to the front yard, and as he looked out the front storm door the dog jumped at the fence as if to attack the people on the other side.
An officer moved the people away from the area, and the dog came up on the front porch by the storm door. In the report, an officer stated he opened the door slightly and shot the dog in the head before calling EMS, which he knew could not get in the residence while the dog was alive.
EMS arrived at the scene, and William Nelson was transported to Tennova Health Care Dyersburg Regional's helipad and flown to the Med in Memphis. EMS advised of several broken bones and severe dog bites. Mrs. Nelson went to the Tennova Regional ER to receive treatment for her wounds as well.
William Nelson and his wife Martha "Jeannie" Nelson, who own several dogs, including Pepper, the 3-YEAR-OLD- PIT BULL THAT ATTACKED THEM, are dog lovers. In fact, Mrs. Nelson, interviewed by phone on her way to the Memphis hospital where her husband is to undergo surgery, said this about pit bulls:
"I'LL NEVER OWN ANOTHER ONE. THAT WAS MY FIRST AND THAT'S MY LAST!
"We've had Pepper ever since he was 3 weeks old because his mother was struggling to feed all her pups, and we bottle fed him, and he's never showed that kind of aggression."
Nelson was giving all the dogs treats when Pepper became vicious and bit her in the stomach. Mr. Nelson tried to intervene and the dog attacked him. Then Mrs. Nelson tried pulling the dog off, then sprayed the dog with pepper spray, and even threw hot water on him, but nothing would stop Pepper from attacking Mr. Nelson. It took the Dyersburg Police Department and bullets to finally stop the vicious dog.
Pit bull is the common name for a generalized type of dog, and not a formal breed as recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). According to their website, formal AKC breeds often considered in North America to be of the pit bull type include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The American Bulldog and the Bull Terrier (standard and miniature) are also sometimes included. Many of these breeds were originally developed as fighting dogs from cross breeding bull-baiting dogs and terriers.
According to the U.S. Humane Society, pit bulls constitute the majority of dogs used for illegal dog fighting in America. In addition, law enforcement organizations report these dogs are used for other nefarious purposes, such as guarding illegal narcotics operations, use against police, and as attack dogs.
A 20-year (1979--1998) study by the American Veterinary Medical Association into fatal dog attacks on humans concluded that "fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem (pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers)," and that "pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers were involved in more than half" (67 percent) of all the 238 recorded dog bite-related fatalities in the United States during that period, with pit bulls accounting for 66 deaths.