Tuesday, October 3, 2023

‘A Fairly Horrific Scene’: Three Pit Bulls Attack Two Fort Bragg Women Causing Severe Injury 

[Stock image from WikiCommons]

Two Fort Bragg women suffered major injuries after three pit bulls attacked them while caring for the K9s at their owner’s home. One of the women had to be flown to an out-of-area hospital for treatment. 

One of the dogs has been euthanized, another is in quarantine, and another was evaluated for medical treatment after two of the attacking dogs ganged up on one of their own. 

Fort Bragg Police Chief Neil Cervenka provided us with an overview of the incident. He described the attack as a “fairly horrific scene” adding that “Those dogs would’ve killed them if they hadn’t escaped.”

Officers arrived on the 400 block of South Harrison Street around 11:33 a.m. and found an adult woman standing in the home’s driveway with “deep lacerations to her left forearm and a dog bite wound to the face.” After immediately applying a pressure dressing to the woman’s forearm, the officer learned there was another woman at the rear of the home with the attacking dogs. 

As medics took over care of the first victim, Chief Cervenka said the first officer on scene made his way to the backyard locating a “second adult female victim sitting on top of a hot tub with a large amount of blood covering her clothing.”

The officer noted a door to the residence was open and saw that inside two pit bulls had begun attacking a third. The officer learned that there were no occupants in the home and closed the door to the residence trapping the dogs inside. 

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The second victim lost “a large amount of blood from major injuries to both hands and arms” and advised the officer she also suffered leg injuries. A second ambulance was requested to the scene. Two Fort Bragg Police officers and a Community Service Officer provided care to slow the bleeding. 

Ultimately, both victims were transported to Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Hospital and the second victim’s injuries proved so severe she was flown out of the area for treatment. 

An off-duty FBPD officer assisted in detaining the dogs. A large white/black male pitbull described as the “most aggressive” was transported to Ukiah to be euthanized. A tan/white female pit bull that had joined the male in attacking the third was taken to the Ukiah Animal Shelter for quarantine. The second female pit bull that was attacked by the other two was taken to the Mendocino Coast Humane Society for evaluation by a veterinarian. 

Chief Cervenka told us that the two victims were visiting the house at the time and were reportedly familiar with the three animals. The owner had left the two women with the dogs on other occasions without incident and could not provide a reason why the dogs attacked this time. Ultimately, the owner signed surrender papers for all of the dogs.

We have reached out to Mendocino County Animal Control to get an update regarding the three dogs and will provide more information when available.

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  1. Dogs! What’s the point!? I get it, I love them too, but in this day and age it’s gone too far! I’m so sick of stepping in shit, getting barked at and watching people’s own nueroticism play out through their dogs. Every grocery store has some non-service dog in a purse with everyone talking to it like a baby, while ignoring actual human babies. They roam my semi rural neighborhood and the neighbors don’t give a shit. The pound overflows with dog death.
    This is so messed up for these women, and I’m so glad they didn’t have a child with them.

    • Fish are cool I’m sorry you feel this way about dogs. I do have to say I agree with you on the non service dogs in restaurants and grocery stores. Some have pushed that to far. But as for dogs in general they do bring much joy to one’s life.
      They are probably one of the most loyal animals.
      As for these 3 dogs something set them or one off. It could have been anything. Sometimes when a dog isn’t well it will get more aggressive and fight with the other dogs. Unfortunately they fought and hurt two people. I hope they do an extensive look into the health of the dogs also.
      And I hope one day you can understand why people have them. My dog helped me through a hard time in my life.

      • Yes as I said I love dogs, but you just never know, as in this case where the women had cared for these before with no incident. Not all dogs are perfect gentle beasts. And most people don’t have proper space or time for dogs. There are now more dogs than children in San Fransisco. Can’t we keep dogs to a small size at least? The size where you can kick it if it lunges at your face?

        • Not all kids are perfect gentle beast they can kill just the same. Human or k9 are both cute when small both are potentially deadly creatures. Think about it.

          • Arolem I have thought about it and I have decided that humans should shit on the street and dogs should pick it up.

        • I am more weary of small dogs than large dogs. The couple times I was bit it was from a small aggressive dog. So size doesn’t matter. It’s all in how they are raised and how you act around them. Like I said those dogs could have been ill or stressed. Dogs can’t talk so it’s important to watch behavior and body language. When a dog that is always sweet and good disposition starts acting weird it’s time to evaluate them and the situation. I have a pit bull and a Rottweiler and I pay close attention toon to them for this reason. Not once have they bit anyone.

  2. Pit bulls are bred for dog fighting. They can be extremely aggressive. Other petsitters have been mauled; Jacqueline Durand was mauled for 45 minutes. These dogs never should have been popularized as pets.

    • Sender Fi you are wrong. Pit bulls were bread for nanny dogs back in the day. They were used to watch over children. Do some research. I have had pit bulls all my life and never have had an issue with them. Are they protective over their owners and family yes. It has been proven that if a dog is in distress or sick it will lash out. Did one of these dogs instigate the fight and these ladies try and stop it? Nobody knows cause the story isn’t clear. Was the dog that got put down sick or maybe in distress mode nobody knows. Unfortunately not only human life was in jeopardy but other dogs. It’s a sad situation. But please do some research on pit bulls. They are the sweetest land hippos you can have. Not aggressive unless put in that situation.

      • Katy- Use your brain. Why do you think all the dog attack stories you hear of are always pit bulls? Stop ignoring that fact. It’s because they have genetics and instincts that are intrinsic and specific to their breed that make them more dangerous than other dogs. It doesn’t matter if you’ve raised your pit bulls to be sweet or if you’ve never had a problem with them. The facts are facts and almost all dog mauling stories involve pit bulls.

      • Challenge accepted, please cite the source of your nanny dog assertion.

        Lilian Rant pit bull nanny myth;

        “The first time bully breeds were ever referred to as Nanny dogs was in 1971. In an article written by Lillian Rant, a British born staffy owner who ran the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Society of America, as well as a breeder of Staffies and in an attempt to erase their dogfighting past, she invented this Dickensian protector, which would lie in bed with a child, then jump out, save a child from threats and then jump back in bed with the child, ripped to shreds and she referred to it as “the nursemaid’s dog”

        The second such instance of the term Nanny Dog, came from the Toronto star in 1987. Kathy Thomas, who was also a staffy owner and breeder spoke about dog fighting in her area and pit bulls/staffies being used. She willingly lied and said that they can’t be used for fighting as Staffordshire bull terriers are nanny dogs because her 4 staffies are great with her kids.

        Look through any breeders’ almanac or any other pre-1970 source and you’ll NOT find any reference to the pit bulldog or the bull terrier being used for nanny purposes, only for fighting and killing. The earliest I could find but didn’t last long, was the staged turn of the century pictures of pits and children. However, the thinly veiled link was Nanna from Peter Pan, as the stage show was out, but nanna in the story has been a Labrador, a St. Bernard and a Newfoundland, not a bully.”

        It seems the nanny dog myth has a life of its own and is getting children killed every year. Even some pro-pit bull type dog pages debunk the nanny dog myth;

        It is really sad and frustrates me that naive adopters still fall for the myth, a myth invented to try to push their dangerous dogs into more homes. Those homes often become a killing zone for children. Over and over again, people join the “ban pit bull” ranks after a pit bull “incident” that happened because they believed the nanny myth. It makes me sad for the maimed and killed and angry with the promoters of the myth.
        #GeneticsMatters #BreedMatters #WontBackDown #NoBirthEqualsNoKill #PittersHateChildren

      • Also, even if pit bulls were at one time raised to protect kids they are now used as guard dogs, i.e. fighting dogs. That means through evolution they have become more and more aggressive and better equipped to kill. Boston terriers were originally bred as fighting dogs but now they are family dogs, not dangerous at all. Times change and things evolve. We had a run-in with two pit bulls, a male and a female, that came onto our property and attacked our Boston terriers. The male Boston stood up to them and protected the female, but it took a two by four to get them to run off. Later animal control came and captured them. I think they were abandoned. We no longer have animal control in Mendo. We saw a pit bull on a trail near the beach with no owner and no leash, and, since we had had the experience with the pit bulls, we were wary enough to call and report it, in case it attacked a dog or child. Animal control consisted of a hard working ranger who had to drive all the way from Shelter Cove to check it out. Inexcusable. We need better services here. Thank you to the brave police who saved those women.

      • The “nanny dog” meme is complete lie. Pitbull advocates repeat it constantly and mindlessly. Why would a “nanny dog” have an extremely muscular build, wide muzzle, unique attacking style, and overwhelming attack statistics, nit to mention the obvious history of being bread for fighting. These dogs violently kill other dogs regularly and children monthly. It’s really low IQ people that defend pitbulls and everyone else has to pay the price.

      • “Pit bulls were bread for nanny dogs back in the day”
        As others have said, this is a lie. Do not spread or believe this blatant myth.
        Pits were bred for violence and fighting, and while they have become guard dogs, they have and will never be nanny dogs as we have seen by so many child victims both inside of a household and outside of a hold. And even if they are considered guard dogs currently, they are still very violent and unpredictable.
        They are worse than wild animals. Normal dogs do not hurt things unless out of defense. Wild animals attack things for survival. Pits attack and kill things for the simple pleasure and DNA inside of them. Look at how those dogs were wagging their tails as they tried killing the protective dog. Disgusting.
        “It has been proven that if a dog is in distress or sick it will lash out. Did one of these dogs instigate the fight and these ladies try and stop it?”
        By middleschool biology, it has also been proven pits are genetically apt to be violent and dangerous. I have seen these dogs attack others as well as myself, and they do not have any form of agitation or reasoning to do so. The toddlers that went out of its house with its mother and gets mauled by the pit next door was not distressed by it or have any reason to attack it outside of being a dangerous creature.
        “They are the sweetest land hippos you can have. Not aggressive unless put in that situation.”
        They are very dangerous creatures. Just because they have sweet moments and can be like normal pets does not mean they arent dangerous to society. Tigers can be friendly around people they were raised with, but we do not keep them as pets. Pits may have their moments of friendliness, but I think the trained pits that kill their family’s children and the pits that get loose and attack the first pet/child/adult they see are not in anyway friendly or safe to society(Which is every pit in existence). Some may be friendly, but there is a reason they make up almost 70% of dog attacks and fatalities.

    • Just want to add some information about the Durand attack. It was two dogs….a pitbull mix and a German shepherd. Both equally attacked. Both dogs known to be aggressive to owners. Had warnings posted on house. Also dogs were to be caged during the sitters visits…..not free to roam or have contact with her. Prior to sitter going to home owner called her and told her she forgot to cage dogs but they should be okay. Both attacked minute she walked in door after aggressively barking and growling at closed door prior to entry.
      This attack bad negligent behavior on owner….if dogs aggressive make better arrangements for care…don’t assume they’ll be okay. To sitter never assume every animal will love you. She should never have entered home knowing the aggressiveness and hearing them on other side of door growling and barking. And no its not her fault the owners said she’d be okay….but you have to have common sense

    • I can’t believe everyone defending these dogs so freakishly: “Were they sick? Omg Poor dogs” -No they were aggressive and shredded these women to shreds.

  3. To shed some light on this heated subject:
    There are 19 breeds of dogs more likely to bite humans than pit bulls. These 19 breeds of dogs are fearful little ankle biters, hazardous to your pants cuffs.
    However, although pit bulls bite less frequently, they are often deadly. Anyone who has ever watched a pit bull eat a steak bone as though it were kibble has witnessed their terrific jaw power. It’s no wonder that the majority of dog bite deaths in America are caused by pit bulls.

    • Not to fight bull
      Got name “pit” because they were originally y put into pits to fight rats
      “Bull” comes from breeding….bulldogs are part of their lineage

  4. Soon pitbulls will not be the most aggressive. Lately it’s become real popular to own these rare big huge highly aggressive breeds that were practically unknown until a few years ago. I’ve seen more Corsos and Canarios in past years and being owned by real inexperienced owners.

    • Considering pitbulls and pitbull mixes account for proximately 50% of dogs in shelters and adopted out the numbers of them out there are much much greater. Collies are deemed more aggressive than pits but they are not popular as well as numerous other large breeds. If populations of other aggressive dogs rose than attacks by such breeds would also rise. Rotweilers were it in the 80’s. Doberman prior. I am not excusing anything regarding this attack. The owners were negligent and probably sitters oblivious to signs. It a shame for the victims as well as the dogs who obviously did not receive adequate “protection” from owners..meaning training…more experienced sitters or boarding. Three chihuahuas are hard to handle with jealousy dominance etc…..turning on each other.
      I pray for victims quick recovery and having open minds and hearts.

  5. Owners create aggressive dogs. Dogs are not born aggressive just as children are not born hating. When dogs attack people or other dogs the owners are to blame!

    • To some degree. However lets remember genetics. Behaviors are established by genetics. Pits were bred to be violent, and due to genetics a pit will instantly be more apt to aggression than other breeds.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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