Saturday, December 16, 2017

Virginia: Goochland sheriff described 'grisly' scene after woman mauled to death by her Pit Bulls

VIRGINIA -- A 22-year-old Glen Allen woman was mauled to death in what the Goochland County sheriff described as a “grisly” scene.

Bethany Lynn Stephens’ body was discovered by Goochland deputies about 8:20 p.m. Thursday in a wooded area near the 2200 block of Manakin Road.

Bethany Stephens with the two Pit Bulls she'd raised
from puppies: Tonka and Pac Man

“(Her body) was being guarded by two very large, brindle-colored pit bull dogs,” Sheriff James L. Agnew said during a news conference Friday.

Agnew said the dogs were Stephens’ and that he suspected they had been bred for fighting.

No, she'd owned them both since they were puppies. Photos show normal looking life with dogs that live indoors with the family. Fighting dogs do not live in the house like housepets. 

This is yet another example of "surprised owners" being attacked by their dogs that they raised with love, socialized (she had horses and participated in horse shows) - and yet these same dogs turned on them and, in this case, attacked and killed her. How many people have been mauled to death by their Collies? Their Bernese Mountain Dogs? Their Beagles? Their Whippets? Their Golden Retrievers?


Initial reports from the medical examiner’s office said Stephens — whom Agnew described as petite, 5-foot-1 and 125 pounds — had a cause of death “consistent with being mauled by these dogs.”

She had defensive wounds on her hands and arms, and it appeared that she was alive when the animals attacked.

“The first traumatic injury to her was to her throat and face,” Agnew said, reading from the initial autopsy results. “It appears she was taken to the ground, lost consciousness, and the dogs then mauled her to death.”

It was not a homicide, Agnew said.


“It was an absolutely grisly mauling. In my nearly 40 years in law enforcement, I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” he said. “I hope I never see anything like it again.”

Stephens’ father had called the sheriff’s office after he hadn’t seen his daughter in a day.


While she had a Glen Allen address, Agnew said, Stephens grew up in Goochland and frequently walked the dogs in the wooded area where her body was found, which was near an old family farm.

Her father went looking for his daughter and encountered the dogs aggressively protecting the body.

Agnew said it took deputies hours to wrangle the dogs, which he estimated each weighed as much as Stephens. Henrico County Animal Control was called for assistance and provided tranquilizers to subdue the dogs. The scene was strewn with blood and articles of clothing.

Agnew said deputies spent eight hours collecting more than 60 pieces of evidence.


Meanwhile, one of the Stephens’ best friends said she does not believe the animals would have done anything to hurt her, considering that she had raised them since they were puppies.

"They were so sweet. They loved her. They were her everything.


“I wasn’t able to see the body, so I can’t tell you what happened. I can’t tell you if it was a blunt force or if it was a mauling, but I know those dogs didn’t do it,” Barbara Norris said.

The dogs are being held at Goochland County Animal Control. Agnew said they were seeking to have the animals euthanized.



( - Dec 15, 2017)

California: LAPD Officer Seen Carrying Cat Out of Smoky Scene During California Wildfire Evacuation

CALIFORNIA -- This adorable cat may not have been stuck in a tree, but the vulnerable feline was the subject of a dramatic rescue during the California wildfires was no exception.

An unidentified Los Angeles police officer could be seen in a poignant photo carrying a cat to safety as he helped with evacuations during the Skirball and Creek Fires.

The LAPD later shared the image on their Twitter and wrote: “For some it might just be a cat. But to others, it’s a friend, a loved one, a companion. The #LAPD has a motto, ‘To protect and to serve,’ and our officers have been displaying that in many ways during the #CreekFire & #SkirballFire”

Animal owners affected by the fires have been publicly thanking rescuers for saving their animals, including Virginia Padilla, a ranch owner in Tujunga, whose family was evacuated Tuesday morning before they had a chance to see their horses to safety.

The Los Angeles Animal Control was able to save 15 of their horses, including 7-year-old Ruben, which suffered burns to more than 65 percent of his body.

“I’m very fortunate that he is alive because so many people lost their horses,” his owner Padilla told KCBS.

The rest of her 60 horses were among the hundreds of other large animals, including donkeys, that reportedly perished in the fire.

"It's awful," she said. "There's no words."

*  *  *  *  *  *

@LAPDHQ posted on Twitter Dec 6, 2017 ⭑

For some it might just be a cat. But to others it’s a friend, a loved one, a companion. 

The #LAPD has a motto, “To Protect and to Serve”, and our officers have been displaying that in many ways during the #CreekFire & #SkirballFire

(CBS8 - Dec 8, 2017)

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tennessee: Rutherford County judge rules Rachel Jackson's Pit Bull ‘dangerous’ after it attacks neighbors and pets

TENNESSEE -- A vicious dog has been terrorizing a Murfreesboro neighborhood, attacking several other dogs.

The pit bull dog, named Molly, has been labeled by the judge as a dangerous dog, meaning, the owner has to comply with several restrictions to keep other residents safe.

The dog has "somehow" managed to get loose REPEATEDLY and roam the Church Street area near downtown LOOKING FOR PEOPLE AND PETS TO ATTACK.

Molly the pit bill has been on a rampage, violently attacking other dogs in the neighborhood.

“There was just a lot of screaming, it was terrifying,” said neighbor Judy Wilson. “That dog had my dog by the neck and it probably lasted a good minute and a half to 2 minutes.”

Wilson’s dog Maverick was put in a jaw locking choke hold.

“Never been afraid of a dog, never,” Wilson said. “I’ve been cautious, but until you experience just the true viciousness of what happens in that.”

Wilson thought it was the end for her little Maltese-Yorkie (Morkie).

“I thought I can’t believe I’m going to watch my dog die right in my front yard,” Wilson said.


This is not the first time Molly has attacked a dog.

Back in August, a Golden Retriever mix was tied up on a front porch.

Molly got loose from her leash and attacked the dog. In the process, the Golden Retriever’s owner was also bitten.

News 2 has learned a court order has been signed by a judge labeling Molly a dangerous dog for the rest of its life.

The owner, Rachel Jackson, will have to abide by multiple conditions, including placing a sign on the property stating “Beware of Dangerous Dog”, the dog must be placed in a restraint and wear a muzzle if it leaves the home, and wear a collar that clearly identifies it as being dangerous.

If kept outside, the dog will have to be in a double enclosure. For example, in a kennel in an fenced yard.

The owner will also have to show proof of a $100,000 liability insurance policy.

“They have the responsibility I believe to follow the rules to keep everybody else safe,” Wilson said. “Everybody should be able to walk up and down this street with a dog on a leach.”

Wilson’s dog was almost attacked again this week. She is concerned what could happen in the meantime.

“I have to think had that dog maybe seen a small child held by the hand or something, I feel like after my experience what the dog did, the same thing would happen,” Wilson said.

Animal Control officiers will be visting the dog’s owner as soon as Friday to let the owner know about the Dangerous Dog court order.

The owner will have 60 days to comply, or she could simply give up the dog.

No one answered the door while our crew was in the neighborhood and we attempted to call owner, but the listed number was out of service.

DANGEROUS DOG OWNER information listed in the judicial order
Rachel Jackson
907 N. Church
Murfreesboro TN 37130


(WKRN - Dec 7, 2017)

Virginia: Henrico Police officer saves frightened kitten from Interstate 64

VIRGINIA -- Henrico Police called it "puuurfect timing for a traffic stop."

Henrico Police posted video to social media that showed an officer go out of his way to rescue a kitten on Interstate 64 near Parham Road on Sunday.

"During a recent traffic stop, Henrico Police Officer McGuire noticed a frightened kitten running through the center grassy median of I-64," a Henrico Police spokesperson posted to social media. "Without hesitation, McGuire walked towards the kitten – careful not to scare it into traffic."

The officer's body camera showed McGuire leave the car he stopped for a traffic violation and follow the kitten into the media.

With gloves on his hands, Officer McGuire reached into a pile of straw and pulled out the kitten.

"He then let the violator go with a warning and focused on the kitten’s safety," the Henrico Police spokesperson said.

"You know what ma'am," Officer McGuire is heard saying on the video. "Here's your license back. You're good to go, OK. Just make sure you slowdown."

The video then showed Officer McGuire grab a towel from his cruiser, wrap the kitten in it.

"It's OK. It's OK," he said to the animal as he buckled it in for a ride to the animal shelter.

"He did what he did because he thought the kitten was going to get hit by a car," the Henrico Police spokesperson said. "More often than not, officers put themselves at risk to save others."


Henrico County Police posted on Facebook December 7, 2017 ·
During a recent traffic stop, Henrico Police Officer McGuire noticed a frightened kitten running through the center grassy median of I-64. Without hesitation, McGuire walked towards the kitten – careful not to scare it into traffic …

😱 🐱

( - Dec 7, 2017)

(November 2017) Colorado: Three curious Bull Mastiffs rescued by firefighters after getting stuck in storm drain

COLORADO -- Three very large dogs who went exploring and got stuck in a storm drain were rescued without injury thanks to careful work by firefighters and animal control.

On Monday, animal control got a call about three mastiffs who had escaped from their yard and ran into a nearby culvert near Arlington Place and Zinnia Court.

West Metro Fire Rescue and Jefferson County Animal Control Officer C. Hubrecht arrived at the scene and worked to rescue Oso, Max and Daisy.

“There were people looking down at the storm drain and I said that doesn't happen to be a dog down there does it? And sure enough all three mastiffs were down there," said Lynn Drum, who looked in her backyard and realized her dogs were gone.

She says this isn't the first time this has happened. Daisy went in the culvert before, and her husband rescued her.

Maybe this time, she just wanted a few friends to join.

"They were adorable," said one of the kids, Meadow Wilson. "But at the same time, it's a little scary because they could have gotten lost in there, and who knows what could have happened to them."

Officer Hubrecht talked with Drum about the value of licensing pets, and the owner agreed to do so on the spot, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

“We’re happy this story had a happy ending for everyone. And whether you have four legs or two, we’ll be here if you need us," the post continued.

Great work, everyone!

*  *  *  *  *  *

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office added 8 new photos.
November 30 at 12:15pm ·

How in the World?

Even if you don’t have a dog or are even a dog person, most of you are probably aware that a mastiff is a pretty big pup. That’s why this story is so incredible.

JCSO Animal Control Officer C. Hubrecht received a call Monday about not one, not two, but THREE mastiffs stuck in a storm drain at W. Arlington Place and S. Zinnia Court.

Sure enough, there they were. But how? Well, dogs are funny and curious creatures who love exploring, especially when they’ve escaped their yard. At least this furry group brought their friends along when they ran into a culvert nearby.

Thankfully our friends at West Metro Fire Rescue were able to rescue them safely.


Animal Control Officer Hubrecht spoke with the owner about the dangers of dogs running at large and the owner purchased dog licenses on the spot.

We’re happy this story had a happy ending for everyone. And whether you have four legs or two, we’ll be here if you need us, JeffCo.

West Metro Fire Rescue added 6 new photos.
November 30 at 1:52pm ·

How do you get three bull mastiffs out of a storm drain? Carefully. Our Engine 11 crew this week, working with an animal control officer with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

The dogs escaped their yard and curiosity led them into the drain to explore near W. Arlington Place and S. Zinnia Court.

Thankfully, the story had a happy ending.


(9News - Nov 30, 2017)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Washington: Woman upset that city wants her to prove her claims that her Pit Bull is a Lab mix and also a Service Dog

WASHINGTON -- Danika Denton lives in Yakima and had her service dog Romeo for over a year before he was force to move outside city limits, after the city discovered he was a pit bull.

Denton is now suing the city.

"Romeo has an innate ability to really aid Danika and that makes him an emotional support animal, but he is also a service dog because of the individualized training," said attorney Adam Karp who is representing Denton.

According to the case report, Denton didn't have anywhere to take Romeo, so the city impounded him until she found someone outside the city who was willing to take him. When family members agreed to take the Pit Bull, the shelter released the dog to them.

The city of Yakima implemented a pit bull ban back in 1987 that bans four specific pit bull breeds; American pit bull terriers, Staffordshire pit bull terriers, American bulldogs and American Staffordshire pit terriers.

Yakima Communications and Public Affairs Director Randy Beehler said the council implemented the ban after a few pit bulls attacked people.


"The case that really drew a lot of attention was an older gentleman, a senior citizen, who was in a wheelchair and got attacked by a pit bull," said Beehler. "His injuries were so severe that he passed away." 

The city could not discuss Denton's case but Beehler said the ban excludes service dogs if they are certified in the city.

"So if somebody has a pit bull that does meet the criteria, the DNA criteria, they have to come to the city, go through a process of certifying that that dog is in fact a service animal," he said. "Otherwise no, it can't be allowed in the city." 

Although it's not clear why Romeo was forced to move outside the city if he is a service dog. However, according to the case report, Denton doesn't even think Romeo is a Pit Bull, she said he is a Labrador Retriever mix.

The author of this article is clearly biased towards the dog owner. The city official told them why the dog was banished -- they say Denton hasn't met the criteria for allowing the dog to stay. Get the DNA test done, get the proof that it is a true service dog as defined by the ADA and not just her claiming it's a therapy dog slash service dog.

According to the case file, an animal control officer determined Romeo was a pit bull simply by looking at him.

"If they're basing it purely on eyeballing by an officer who may have done a number of evaluations, but there really is no scientific foundation," Karp said.

Beehler said the city is not out actively looking for pit bulls in Yakima but if they receive a complaint, they have to investigate it.

He said the city receives between 80 and 90 complaints about pit bulls a year.


(KIMA - Dec 9, 2017)

New York: Homeless couple Jaime DeYoung and Christopher Murphy charged with animal cruelty after lying about taking their Pit Bull, which had a broken leg, to the vet

NEW YORK -- A transient man and a woman have been charged with cruelty to animals after police say they failed to seek treatment for their dog’s broken leg while they were living in a tent at Dominicus Hanson Pines Park.

Jaime L. DeYoung, 29, and Christopher P. Murphy, 31, both of whom have a previous address in Somersworth, were each charged with a single misdemeanor count on Nov. 27, nearly three months after Rochester police officers observed the dog’s injury, according to Capt. Jason Thomas.

Thomas said officers were called to Hanson Pines on Aug. 29 to investigate a littering complaint. DeYoung and Murphy had been living for some time at the site where the complaint originated, according to police.

During the investigation, Thomas said the officer noticed the duo had a pit bull mix living with them and that the dog had difficult walking due to either an injury or deformation to its front right leg.

The incident report from that day states DeYoung and Murphy told the officer the dog, who was named Poppy, had the injury for approximately a week and that they had scheduled an appointment for a veterinarian to evaluate the injury.

According to Thomas, officers later determined DeYoung and Murphy allegedly lied about scheduling an appointment.

Rochester’s animal control officer took custody of the dog on Aug. 30, after which a vet determined the dog had a broken leg, according to Thomas. Thomas said DeYoung and Murphy surrendered the dog to the animal control officer.

“The charges brought forward allege that the two did nothing in a week’s time to relieve the dog from its suffering,” said Thomas.

According to police, DeYoung and Murphy stopped living at Hanson Pines on or before Aug. 31 and couldn’t be located once the cruelty to animals charges were filed.

They were considered wanted individuals and were formally taken into custody on Nov. 27 after Somersworth Police located them at Tri-City Tool Crib in Somersworth as part of a theft by unauthorized taking incident. Court staff said Tuesday that records only list DeYoung in that theft case, which is pending.

Following their arrest in the animal cruelty case, DeYoung and Murphy were each released on $1,500 personal recognizance bail. Both are scheduled to be arraigned in Rochester District Court at 8 a.m. on Jan. 8.

Poppy was highlighted on Cocheco Valley Humane Society’s Facebook page after the animal shelter took custody of the dog in September. The post states the dog, whose new name is Lucy, has found a new home. The post also states that the broken leg miraculously healed on its own after staff splinted it for a period of time, ultimately bypassing the intensive surgery or amputation that staff initially thought would be needed due to the severity of her fractures.

In a separate case, a Strafford County Superior Court grand jury indicted Jaime DeYoung in June 2016 on a class B felony count of possession of a controlled drug. In court paperwork, police allege DeYoung, who at the time was living on Beacon Street in Somersworth, possessed an undisclosed quantity of fentanyl in Somersworth on April 18, 2016.

Court records indicate that the prosecutor ultimately decided to drop the case. A related drug possession charge, related to heroin or crack, was also dismissed in the case, according to court documents.

(Foster's Daily Democrat - Dec 5, 2017)