Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Virginia: Woman claims she warned adoption center of Pit Bull’s aggression before deadly attack on elderly woman

VIRGINIA -- A woman who had previously adopted a pit bull accused of killing a woman in her 90's is speaking exclusively to News 3 about her experience.

Former dog owner, Tia Walke, spoke out about her experience after adopting the pit bull from the Forever Home and Rescue Rehab Center. It's the same dog that tragically killed an elderly woman on May 31, 2017.


Walke said she adopted one-year-old Blue back in April, but returned the dog to the Forever Home Rescue Rehab Center after just two days.

She tell News 3 Blue attacked her nephew.

"Just was a frightening--very frightening experience," Walke said.

Walke said she lives alone and was looking for a companion when adopting Blue.

Walke brought the rescue dog home on April 22, 2017.

The aggression started when Blue was later let out of the crate.

"Right after my nephew petted him just for initial meet and greet, that's when it kind of went the wrong way," Walke continued.

She said the dog jumped on her 27-year-old nephew and was on him for about a minute.

Blue then left a nip above his waist.

Walke added, "My nephew got out and I had him bring me a treat, because the dog wouldn't listen. He kept jumping at the bedroom door trying to find my nephew again."

News 3 spoke with the director of Forever Home Rescue and Rehab Center and she confirmed it was the same dog that killed the elderly woman almost two months later.

It was shocking news to Walke when she found out.

"If they knew he had a history, then they shouldn't have adopted him out again," she added.

However the Forever Home Rescue and Rehab Center agreement to Walke states they're not liable to behavior issues while the dog is off-site.


Walke is sharing advice to other people who decide to adopt a rescue dog.

She said, "Don't be afraid to adopt, they need a home. Just pay attention to the signs and give the dog a chance to get used to its surroundings."

The Forever Home Rescue Rehab Center tell News 3 the first incident was not presented to them as an aggressive attack or even a bite. The center said the nip was of the magnitude of an insect bite and as presented to them, it was not an act of malicious aggression.

FHRC did not comment as to why the dog was adopted back out after this first incident.

Note: Although the attack wasn't serious, I think if you look at the behavior of the dog -- she says he was focused on him and kept trying to locate him to continue the attack -- is the worrying part of this story. For whatever reason, this dog targeted him. Just like the woman he killed. The woman's daughter beat the Pit Bull in the head with a hammer to try to stop him, but he was so focused on her mother that he didn't pay any attention. The dog didn't maul the woman or her daughter; it was focused on the elderly woman - and killed her. 

I think the rescue could be in some trouble if they cannot produce any documentation to show, once this woman returned the dog based on its aggressive behavior - and told them about it, that they did anything about it. Of course, if the dog had been presented to them as a stray, it passed their behavior tests, was adopted and then killed someone, I don't see how they could be held responsible. Government run shelters all over the country adopt out dogs that they know nothing of the dog's history. However, with this woman describing this unusual, aggressive behavior, I would think that the rescue is now more "on the hook" to prove that they did everything they could to "untrain" this behavior or at least warn the family who adopted him.

Did they get an animal behaviorist to assess the dog? Did they warn the newest adopter of why it had been adopted and returned? If I were going to adopt a dog, I'd definitely want to know this. It may be what makes the decision between me bringing the dog home or selecting a different dog. Did they take the dog back and simply relist its photo and information online and sell it again? That is what police will need to investigate. 



(WTKR - June 4, 2017)


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