Monday, June 3, 2013

Kansas to Kalamazoo

[This post has been archived and is not supported. 07/06/15]

A 2-day-old infant suffered a partial amputation of her leg by one of her father's five pit bulls in Coffeyville, Kansas on May 23, 2013. Ariona Frostad was initially taken to a local hospital with life threatening injuries, then flown to a Wichita hospital for treatment.

The attack in Coffeyville echoes earlier attacks on children, especially the fatal attack on a 10-day old infant in Michigan. The February 19, 2011 attack on Darius Tillman has become emblematic of pit bull attacks on children due to the unusual circumstances surrounding the event.

Foremost among those circumstances is the city of Kalamazoo, where the attack occurred. Kalamazoo is the home of the United Kennel Club, which was founded in 1898 specifically to register fighting breeds in America.  Second, the attacking dog had been adopted from the city shelter. And third, the Prosecuting Attorney decided against bringing charges of child endangerment against the parents of the newborn.
A Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety report obtained by the Kalamazoo Gazette under the state Freedom of Information Act shows that detectives sought charges of involuntary manslaughter . . . against Darius’ 25-year-old mother, Mallory Wildig, but the Kalamazoo County Prosecutor’s Office declined to authorize charges.
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The recent attack in Coffeyville highlights Kansas as a nexus of dogfighting, pit bull rescue, and pit bull attacks. There were 22 fatal pit bull attacks last year (2012), the last of which, on December 13, 2012, occurred in suburban Topeka. The dog that attacked 2 year old Savannah May Edwards was adopted from a rescue or shelter in the Topeka area. The DA in that case also declined to bring charges against the parents of Savannah. The rescue or shelter that adopted the dog out has apparently not been held accountable.

It is no coincidence that Kansas has an abundance of pit bull rescues, including MABBR and Gamedog Guardian. Dogfighting continues to flourish in Kansas and illicit breeders supply a surplus of dogs, many of which pass through a rescue or shelter. Two months before the Coffeyville attack, on March 25th, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced a series of dogfighting raids and arrests that covered three states over several days. The raids were conducted on sites in Kansas, Missouri, and Texas, and suspects from nine states were arrested.

Subsequent arrests as far away as California were associated with the same dogfighting ring and the April 5th  triple homicide at a pit bull breeding and fighting location in Idaho may also be related to the arrests.

Over 120 pit bulls were taken into custody during the raids, and additional dogs may have been abandoned by the suspects arrested in California. Tim Rickey of the ASPCA said The goal is to rehabilitate as many of the dogs as possible and prepare them for adoption.

Adopting out another 100+ fighting dogs in Kansas will endanger another 100 Kansas children.

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The parents of the mauled Coffeyville infant, Sorena and Justin Frostad, spoke with members of the press several days after the attack. During the interview they refused to answer questions about the pit bulls, and made no mention of the loss of their daughter's leg. In fact, they appeared not to acknowledge the lifelong repercussions of their daughter's missing limb, and their responsibility for the loss. Coffeyville police say the parents could face charges for the May 23rd attack on their newborn infant.

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Related Post:
The Future of the APBT (on the mauling death of 10-day old Darius Ty Leroy Tillman)

Statistics are from the 30+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, published by Animal People. To view or download the current PDF click here. This page may also include information from Dogsbite and Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Kansas Infant Loses Part Of Leg In Pit Bull Attack
   KAKE News, May 28, 2013
Children waiting at bus stop injured in pit bull attack
   KCTV5 News, May 28, 2013
2-Day-Old Severely Injured After Pit Bull Attack, May 23, 2013
Triple murder follows dogfighting raids
   Animal People April 2013
Numerous complaints preceded charges in federal court
   Kansas City Star, April 1, 2012
Two KCK men charged in 3-state dogfighting case
   Kansas City Star, March 26, 2012
Police report details fatal mauling of infant by pit bull in Kalamazoo, June 3, 2011

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks