Thursday, April 19, 2018

Texas: Three Pit Bulls euthanized after gruesome attack of San Angelo man leaves skull exposed

TEXAS -- Three dogs have been euthanized after a gruesome attack that left a San Angelo man with serious injuries, according to a news release from the San Angelo Police Department.

About 9:45 p.m. Saturday, April 14, 2018, police responded to the 300 block of East 11th Street for the report of a vicious animal attack after a caller said three dogs, described as pit bulls according to the news release, were "on top of a man, attacking him."

After officers arrived at the residence, they saw three dogs retreat through a hole in a nearby fence. They next found a Carlos "Ricky" Garces, 56, lying in the driveway of the residence, covered in blood from multiple injuries.

"The man’s skull was exposed, and a large portion of his scalp was missing," according to the news release.

San Angelo Fire Department personnel transported Garces to a nearby hospital for treatment of serious injuries, according to the release.

Family members reached out to the Standard-Times to give an update on his condition.

"If it hadn't been for his neighbor, those dogs would have killed him," said his sister, Nellie Garces. "He's critical but stable."

Nellie Garces, who lives in Brady, Texas, said she traveled to Fort Worth, where her brother is heavily sedated and undergoing treatment.

"The damage is severe," she said. "So far, the doctors are having to go in and clean his skull. His main surgery will be Thursday, which will be about 15 hours, give or take."

She said her brother had been out for a walk after supper when he was attacked.

"I just want to thank the neighbor who helped save my brother's life," Nellie Garces said. "Right now, from here, we're just praying to God he gets better, and we will seek more information on what we need to do to seek justice."

Police said the Pit Bulls’ owner, a 23-year-old San Angelo resident, surrendered the three dogs to Animal Control.

An official with Animal Control Services said they were familiar with the dogs and their owner after a March incident, when the dogs were impounded and temporarily quarantined for observation after an attack on a stray dog. All reportedly showed no signs of rabies after the March incident.

"The dogs, all three pit bull mixes, were destroyed as of this morning as a direct result of the attack," said Morgan Chegwidden, assistant director of Neighborhood and Family Services. "And because the owner surrendered them, we were able to take immediate action."

Chegwidden was unable to comment on any legal ramifications the dog's owner may face as the incident is under investigation, but she said "the state health code provides for a legal procedure where a pet owner can be fined, per animal, in the event of an attack."

(San Angelo Standard-Times - April 17, 2018)

Georgia: Lawsuit filed against Rosa Garcia after her Pit Bulls nearly tore off this man's leg

GEORGIA -- The owner of a pair of pit bulls that attacked three people in the Five Forks Trickum Road area near Lawrenceville earlier this month is now facing a lawsuit from one of the victims.

Personal injury law firm Zagoria Law announced Thursday that it filed the lawsuit against Rosa Garcia on behalf of Zhongkai Mao, 77. The suit says Mao was attacked because Garcia did not keep the dogs restrained so they wouldn’t leave her property.

The attack left Mao with deep wounds on his leg and his family previously told the Daily Post that he, at one point, faced the possibility of having his leg amputated.

“Mr. Mao is suffering severely and, according to doctors, will possibly need years of rehabilitation,” attorney Brooks Neely said in a statement. “At Zagoria Law, our priority in every dog bite case is to ensure that dog owners are held responsible for the actions of their pets when those actions cause injury to others.”

The filing of the lawsuit came as Mao began vacuum therapy on his leg. His son-in-law, Robert Davis, posted an update on a GoFundMe page Tuesday, in which he said Mao began the therapy at the hospital this week.

“If successful, he will continue long term vacuum treatment at home, which according to the social worker he will be on his own to pay for,” Davis wrote in the update. “After several weeks of treatment, skin grafts may be necessary.”

Mao’s family has been raising funds for his recovery through their GoFundMe page. He immigrated to Georgia from China earlier this year, and did not have a job or insurance to help cover his medical costs. So far, $4,255 has been raised, with a goal to raise $300,000.

In his update, Davis said the family is limited to going after Garcia’s homeowners insurance liability coverage and they expect that will be split between Mao and the other two victims in the attack.

Zagoria officials said they were not aware of any lawsuits being filed yet by the other victims.

The dogs attacked a 16-year old girl near the intersection of Five Forks Trickum Road and Emerald Forest Court on April 2. After a passerby pulled her into their car to get her away from the pit bulls, the dogs attacked Mao.

His leg was bleeding uncontrollably afterward and a tourniquet had to be applied, according to a Gwinnett Animal Welfare and Enforcement report.

The dogs then wandered into a neighborhood and severely attacked another man in his backyard.

All three victims had to be taken to local hospitals. The Animal Welfare and Enforcement report also said a car crashed on Five Forks Trickum because of the attack on the first victim.

Garcia surrendered the dogs to Animal Welfare and Enforcement officers once they discovered who the pit bulls belonged to. County officials said the dogs were later euthanized and their bodies were sent off to a lab for rabies tests, which came back negative.

(Gwinnett Daily Post - Apr 12, 2018)


Colorado: Police rescue bear which broke into car, locked himself in, then honked horn for help

COLORADO -- Boulder County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook April 17 at 5:56am ·

Our deputies responded to a vehicle trespass with an....usual suspect. A bear broke into a car and locked himself in.

Car 0. Bear 1.

They were able to open the car door and safely let the bear out without anyone, including the bear, being harmed.

This is a good reminder that wildlife is out and about this time of year looking for food. Here are tips for living with bears. Trust us, you don’t want to have to deal with a “hangry” bear.

1) Don’t feed birds while bears are active. Attract birds with water feeders, plantings and nest boxes instead.
2) Store garbage in bear-resistant containers, enclosures or buildings.
3) Put trash out the morning of pick up, not the night before.
4) Keep bear-accessible windows and doors closed and locked at night.
5) Keep garage doors closed. Lock the door between the house and the garage.
6) Don’t leave anything inside your vehicle that could attract a bear. That includes sun tan lotion, hand crème and air fresheners, along with empty food wrappers and packaging.
7) Don’t leave pet food or empty pet food dishes outside. Store pet food in a secure enclosure.
8)Put chickens and small livestock in a secure pen at night or electric fence their enclosure.
9) Pick fruit and produce as soon as, or just before, it ripens.
10) Unwelcome mats and electric fencing are proven ways to keep bears out.

Arkansas: "I still have his cowboy boots that have pieces of my son's face on them that fell off when I picked him up" says father whose little boy, 4, was mauled by two Pit Bulls

ARKANSAS -- A toddler is in the hospital fighting to recover after a neighbor's two pit bulls mauled his face on Thursday morning.

Four-year-old Matthew Guess was outside his Arkansas home when the two adult dogs leapt on him and viciously started attacking him right in front of his father.

Now, Dustin Guess is sharing the horrific details of his son's dog attack in the hopes that this will never happen to any other parent or child again.

According to Dustin Guess, both dogs attacked the child simultaneously while he was walking between his house and the neighbor's home.

One dog started dragging Matthew away by his leg as the other attacked his face. Guess was also outside at the time and the horrified dad sprinted to the child's side as he tried to separate his boy from the brutal dogs.

"He said 'Daddy, they had my face,'" he recalled to NWA. "I couldn't win."

Matthew was rushed to Washington Regional Medical Center with severe injuries to his face and leg.

After having surgery, he was transferred to Children's Hospital for an additional operation before reconstruction can begin on his face, according to a Go Fund Me page that was set up to help with the child's medical expenses. "He is still fighting a fever and [in] a lot of pain," Elizabeth Champion, a family friend, wrote.

Matthew still needs multiple surgeries, and in the meantime, his dad is raising awareness.

"I still have his cowboy boots that have pieces of my son's face on them that fell off when I picked him up," Guess told NWA. " .... I don't know how to describe the darkness, the loneliness, the pair and the fear and the anger. I mean it's every emotion at the highest level."

However, he's finding strength from his child. "He still has that grin," Guess said. "It's not gone and it still works."

According to police, only one one of the pit bulls had the required rabies shot and both have been deemed "dangerous." The neighbor has received a citation for violating the state's Rabies Control Act and both dogs were quarantined until one was euthanized.

But that isn't enough for Guess.

"My reality and my understanding to this point now is that there has to be, there has to be, something put in place to protect our children when parents fail, because I was a failed parent myself," Guess said.

Currently in Arkansas, 40 cities have breed-specific legislation that prohibits pit bulls, only allowing them under strict and specific exceptions. However where Guess lives, there aren't any laws restricting ownership of the breed. Washington County Attorney Brian Lester told NWA that Matthew's situation could be what it takes to change that.

"I've already received talk from one of the Justices of the Peace, a member of the Quorum Court, here who questioned this specifically," Lester said. He added, "Any dog in any home, whether it's in a good home or abused could potentially attack somebody .... It's unfortunate because right now there is no fail-proof way to keep this from happening again."

Other parents are sharing similar experiences, and it's unsurprisingly sparking a heated online debate.

"My heart goes out to Matthew and his family. My son was also the victim of a dog attack," one mom wrote on GoFundMe. "It's the most helpless I've ever felt as I was not with him when it happened."

However, others on Facebook are blaming Matthew's parents. "Maybe if people actually did their jobs as parents and watch their kids these kind of things wouldn't happen," one user commented. "Or maybe if they didn't let their kids climb all over the dogs and terrorize them these kind of things wouldn't happen but people don't like taking care of their kids these days, they let video games or cell phones or anything else raise their kids except doing the job themselves."

But others agree with Guess and think action should be taken. "People are more important than pets -- PERIOD! Especially children!!!!! Makes me furious how people can feel no sympathy for a child's needs over an animals!" one person wrote. "We have several pets, and I promise if a child was harmed by one of ours, and I don't care what the situation is, that pet is GONE!!!"

It's safe to say that this issue isn't going to be settled anytime soon, but let's hope that everyone can agree on one thing: This child didn't deserve the violent attack, and nothing but compassion should be sent his way.

*   *   *   *   *   *

GOFUNDME: Fundraiser for Krista Guess
Created April 7, 2018
by Elizabeth Champion on behalf of Krista Guess

Matthew is a 4 year old boy from West Fork Ar. He was brutally attacked Thursday morning by their landlord's two pit bulls. He has already had one surgery at Washington Regional. Last night he was transferred to Children's Hospital in Little Rock Ar. He will be under going another surgery this morning and many more after that to reconstruct his face. He is still fighting a fever and a lot of pain. I am a close family friend of Krista and Dustin. Our boys are the same age and best friends. She is linked to this account and has full access to the funds and able to see and able to update.

A message from our little buddy's Dad Dustin Guess.
"Yall look out, there's a new deputy in town!!! Sworn in and official! Thank you to the Washington County sheriff's office for making the long trip here to see and check on our baby boy! He's a proud officer of the law and means business!!"

Matthew is doing very well! His spirits are so high and is one of the strongest little boys ever. He has surgery Friday morning on his face again. Prayers that everything goes smoothly! Thank yall so much for the donations. The family greatly appreciates it so very much and so does Matthew! #Matthewsfight

Texas: Four months later, San Angelo boy mauled by pit bull hasn't received money from GoFundMe

TEXAS -- Four months after donors raised over $1,600 in support of a San Angelo boy who was mauled by a pit bull, neither he nor the family have received the money.

Forty-one donors in January gave a total of $1,666 with a goal of reaching $10,000 to benefit a Israel Costilla, according to a screenshot taken of the page before the account was deactivated.

The GoFundMe campaign for Israel was created by Shannon Jolene Carpenter on Jan. 6.

Carpenter, who did not know the Costilla family personally, launched the campaign after seeing the extent of Israel's injuries in a photo provided by Rayetta Trigg, whose pit bull attacked Israel.

"When (Trigg) let me see the picture I literally almost fell off of my stool. I showed the picture to my husband and friend Adam and they were shocked as well," Carpenter said.

Israel needed more than 300 stitches, surgery and physical therapy.

In a statement on the GoFundMe page, Carpenter noted donations would go "directly to (Israel's) well being and help the parents with any extra costs they may have due to this tragic event."

On Jan. 13, Andreana Costilla — Israel's mother — contacted GoFundMe and requested the campaign be deactivated after reaching out to Carperter via text message. Costilla wanted the page deleted for personal reasons.

"I shut the page down immediately once I got that text," Carpenter said.

Four months later, the funds remain held by GoFundMe.

"A lot of the donors have reached out to us," said Ana Costilla — Israel's grandmother, "and I explained the situation to them, and they were very understanding — upset, but understanding."

GoFundMe said Tuesday a payment processor would "continue working with both (Carpenter) and the family to ensure a safe transfer of funds."

Emails between the Costilla family from GoFundMe, however, suggest the funds may never reach the family.

No one in the Costilla family was established as a beneficiary on the campaign, emails between the Costilla family and GoFundMe note. The company urged Costilla to reach out to Carpenter to privately settle the matter.

Multiple attempts of reaching out to Carpenter went unanswered, the family says.

Carpenter thought the issue was settled.

"I assume(d) (GoFundMe) gave the family the money," Carpenter said Tuesday.

Carpenter stated she would contact GoFundMe soon to get the issue worked out.

"I will give (GoFundMe) a call for sure because this situation needs to be resolved immediately," she said.

(San Angelo Standard Times - April 19, 2018)


New York: Girl, 7, mauled by Pit Bull that belongs to a "family member's friend"

NEW YORK -- The fate of a pit bull that attacked a 7-year-old girl in her Bellport home Wednesday will be decided after the Brookhaven Animal Shelter keeps it for 10 days, a town spokesman said.

According to Suffolk police the child was seriously injured after the dog attacked her shortly after 5 p.m. and had to be fended off with a shovel.

The girl’s mother and a man dog-sitting the male dog were also injured when they tried to stop the attack, police said.

Police said the victim was playing with the dog in her Bieselin Road home when she was bitten on her right arm, causing several lacerations.

When the mother tried to get the dog off her daughter, the dog bit the woman on her hand, police said.

Then the man hit the pit bull over the head with the shovel, police said, but he was bitten on the hand before the dog ran out to the yard.

The child, seriously wounded, and her mother, who had non-life-threatening injuries, were airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital, while the man was taken to a hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries to his hand, police said.

Police emergency service officers put the dog in a cage and the Brookhaven Town dog warden took it to the town animal shelter, police said.

No official information was available Thursday about the latest condition of the girl and the others injured.

Town spokesman Jack Krieger said the pit bull was being kept on a 10-day “bite hold” for safekeeping and that after that several options can be considered.

Krieger said that if the shelter decides the dog is “too violent” then it can decide to put the animal down or keep it.

If the dog is not determined to be a danger and the owner does not claim it, then the shelter has the same options of putting it down or keeping it, Krieger said.

Krieger said that if the owner wants the dog back after the 10 days but the shelter believes it’s still dangerous, then the town would have to make a court bid to put the animal down.

A person who answered the phone at the house Thursday identified himself as the owner’s son and would not give his name.

The dog belongs to “a family member’s friend,” he said. He would not reveal the names of the friend any of the injured.

When asked how the girl is doing, he said, “She’s projected to make a full recovery.”

(Newsday - April 12, 2018)

Friday, April 13, 2018

Pennsylvania: Woman claims man stabbed her Pit Bull mix for no reason; doesn't mention the dog was loose and tried to attack man

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA -- When I read the GoFundMe page, I immediately suspected the owner, Jesse Mortimer, wasn't being 100% truthful. She says:
"A man was passing by our home while Clark was outside, on his leash, to go potty. The man suddenly stabbed Clark when Clark went up onto the sidewalk to greet him. He showed no aggression towards the man, as he is a very sweet boy. The man then immediately took off, leaving our poor boy bleeding out on the street. He was stabbed in the lower abdomen, close the lungs and stomach."
If this dog is leashed he wouldn't have had an opportunity to get to the sidewalk. If a person has a reasonable fear of being attacked, they are legally allowed to protect themselves.

When we get to the news story, which is one-sided on her part, we get the truth:
Wednesday night, Clark was outside on a leash when a man walked toward Fretts' home on Burrows Street. Clark started barking.

"He said, 'Girl, get your dogs in,' so I was like, all right, I'm going to make sure they're all contained," Fretts said.

In the process of getting Clark inside, the dog slipped out of his collar and ran toward the man.
*   *   *   *   *   *

Clark is a friendly dog, claims its owners.

"When we adopted him, he had no record of aggressive behavior," owner Greta Fretts said.

Wednesday night, Clark was outside on a leash when a man walked toward Fretts' home on Burrows Street. Clark started barking.

"He said, 'Girl, get your dogs in,' so I was like, all right, I'm going to make sure they're all contained," Fretts said.

In the process of getting Clark inside, the dog slipped out of his collar and ran toward the man.

Fretts is adamant that Clark wasn't attacking the man, but said that as the dog ran toward the passerby, Clark was stabbed by the man, who then ran away.

"Not real aggressive or anything," Fretts said. "He was just trying to run and greet him like he usually would anyone else, and the guy had a knife already and stabbed him in the said."

Immediately, Fretts applied pressure to the wound. She and her roommate got Clark to a veterinarian at Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center in the North Hills.

"It penetrated his chest cavity and caused an injury to the lung, so it was a very deep wound," Dr. Kelsey Sutcliffe said. "He's a young, otherwise healthy dog. I think his prognosis is excellent, as long as he continues to do as well as he has."

Pittsburgh police are investigating the incident.

(WTAE - April 11, 2018)