Monday, November 17, 2014

Crowdfunding Pit Bulls

Revised: November 17, 2014; 23:18 GMT
Revised: November 21, 2014; 18:51 GMT
Revised: May 13, 2015; 17:40 GMT

When the novelist Douglas Anthony Cooper decided to self-publish his next book he chose a novel funding process: Crowdfunding.1 He began a campaign on and set an initial goal of $27,500. When the campaign expired a month later Cooper had raised an astonishing $62,000.

Mr. Cooper's funding campaign enjoyed unusual advantages. First, his book is about a pit bull named Galunker and will be marketed to children -- in reality to the children of pit bull advocates. In other words, Mr Cooper has an assured market. In addition Mr Cooper was given the freedom to run a priceless (but cost-free) week-long self-promotion campaign in the Huffington Post. He used his columns to relentlessly advertise his book and to drive readers to his Kickstarter fundraiser page.

There had been other pit bull crowdfunding campaigns before Mr Cooper's, the majority of which solicited funds for pit bull rescues and even for individual pit bulls.  Dozens of these campaigns are readily accessible by going to and searching for pit bulls.

At the other end of the spectrum are the appeals to help cover the costs of veterinary care for companion animals attacked by pit bulls; some of these bills run to five figures and must be paid even if the victim subsequently dies of wounds inflicted by the attacking pit bull. Even more heartbreaking are the campaigns for human victims of pit bull attacks. Medical care for these victims can easily run to six figures.

And finally, there are crowdfunding appeals to help defray funeral expenses for those who have been killed by fatal pit bull attacks.

Few of the campaigns for victims of pit bull attacks meet their goal. Some campaigns drag on for months and never achieve more than a fraction of the amount requested. There is one notable exception. Megan Touchet was watching television with her five-year old daughter Mia DeRouen when they were attacked by the family's 130-lb pit bull. The dog belonged to Ms Touchet's boyfriend, Kerry Dominique, who was suspected of giving the dog steroids and perhaps of dogfighting. The police were unable to conclude an investigation into Mia's death because Ms Touchet and Mr Dominique, on the advice of their attorney, have refused to talk with investigators.

The crowdfunding appeal to cover Mia's funeral expenses was launched by David Thibodeaux on the day of her death and raised $18,000 in the first four hours. The total pledged has climbed to over $32,700 and the appeal remains open after seven months. When a pit bull advocate resorts to crowdfunding, their goal is often met by generous advocates of fighting breeds, who will turn their pockets inside out to support a fellow advocate.

Crowdfunding for victims of pit bull attacks hit critical mass on November 13, 2014, when four appeals hit the news on the same day. Those appeals are listed below, along with a few other notable crowdfunding appeals for victims of pit bull attacks.2

* * * * *

Nov 13, 2014 --
 The Day of 4 Crowdfunding Appeals:

A routine lunchtime, then tragedy strikes
   Springfield News-Leader; Springfield, MO, November 13, 2014
Mia suffered gruesome injuries from the mauling and had surgery on Sunday in Columbia. She awoke from a medically induced coma on Wednesday but is still in the intensive care unit at the University of Missouri Women's and Children's Hospital recovering from injuries to her face and neck area.
Help Princess Mia on
($4,395 pledged of $30,000)

* * * * *

Man Who Saved Special-Needs Boy From Dog Attack Shares His Story
   Indianapolis, Indiana; Opposing Views; November 13, 2014
Russell Hill is still in the hospital, recovering from the wounds which ripped the flesh on his leg to the bone and prevent him from walking or working. Both arms are still bandaged. “They was tearing me apart.”
Russell Hill's medical fund on
($7,700 pledged of $50,000 goal)

* * * * *

Shih tzu mauled by pit bull on North End
   New Bedford, MA; Southcoast Today; November 13, 2014
Sydney Brum's shih tzu Misha ran up $8,000 in vet bills after a pit bull attack in New Bedford's North End on Halloween. The Brum family is crowdsourcing to defray expenses . . . . Truth be told, the crowdfunding is going fairly slowly, with a one-week total of $334.
Misha's Veterinary Fund on
($1,229 pledged of $8,000 goal)

* * * * *

Husky mix, Griffin, brutally attacked by 2 pit bulls in Glen Ridge
   Glen Ridge, NJ; WABC 7 TV; November 13, 2014
No one is ever prepared mentally or financially for something like this.
Help Griffin Heal on
($9,963 pledged of $10,000 goal)

* * * * *

Funeral Funds:

   The Gainsville Sun; August 7, 2014
The Levy County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the 6-year-old boy who was attacked and killed by two pit bulls at his aunt’s home just outside of Fanning Springs Thursday.
($4,513 pledged of $5,000 goal)

Joel Chirieleison d.August 7, 2014

* * * * *

   WKEF ABC22; Dayton, OH: July 20, 2014
($770 pledged of $1,000 goal)

 Jonathon Quarles Jr;  d. July 20, 2014

* * * * *; March 26, 2014
The dog was shot three times by officers, who then attempted to enter the apartment . . . when officers tried to get inside, the dog charged them and was shot an additional 10 times before he died. Chief Todd Duplantis described the scene as 'horrific' and said counseling was being offered to the officers who were on the scene.
($32,755 pledged of $25,000 goal)

Mia DeRouen, d. March 26, 2014

* * * * *

Earlier crowdfunding appeals:

Family traumatized by vicious attack of 7-year-old son
   Maryville, TN; The Patriot-News; July 7, 2014
Only then, in an unconscious state, did the pit bull's jaws fall from Sport Kim's face.
Sport Kim, Age 7. Needs Facial Surgeries on
($16,700 pledged of $100,000 goal)

* * * * *

   Chicago, IL; WGN TV; August 4; 2014
The bounce house in the backyard served as refuge for the other children as adults tried to free Armani from the jaws of the dog.
Mommie's Angel Fund on
($1,730 pledged of $10,000 goal)

Lenard Armani Mckinnis

* * * * *

   ABC7 Los Angeles, CA: October 15, 2014;
Andy is suffering from multiple serious injuries on his face, right arm, and right thigh.
Andy's Fundraiser on
($1,970 pledged of $25,000 goal)

* * * * * 

Woman and her dog attacked by pit bulls
Buddy's vet expenses for a six hours of surgery and my Mom's life flight and trauma treatment copayment is roughly $8,000.00.
Buddy Larsen's Vet Bills on
($1,500 pledged of $8,000 goal)

* * * * * 

72-year-old woman attacked by pack of dogs
   USA Today; Phoenix AZ; July 10, 2014
The five Bullmastiff/pit bull mixes have since been euthanized at the request of their owner, according to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.
72-year old Grandma attacked by 5 dogs on
($1,090 pledged of $10,000 goal)

* * * * *

Dogs kill alpaca herd in northern Santa Fe County
   Albuquerque Journal; February 17, 2014
One dog, a pit bull, was shot to death by one of the property owners who said the animals also were responsible for killing two goats at a neighbor’s place earlier that morning.
The Wickersham Alpaca Fund on
($2,435 pledged of $4,000 goal)

* * * * *
1 For a full explanation of Crowdfunding see the entry on this Wikipedia page.
2 A list of victims funds other than crowdfunding appeals can be found on the Dog Bite Victim Funds page at

SRUV uses the definition of "pit bull" as found in the Omaha Municipal Code Section 6-163. As pit bulls are increasingly crossed with exotic mastiffs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and other breeds, the vernacular definition of "pit bull" should be made even more inclusive.

Sources cited by news media sometimes refer to "Animal Advocates" or sometimes "Experts." In many cases these words are used to refer to single-purpose pit bull advocates who have never advocated for any other breeds or species of animals. Media would be more accurate to refer to these pit bull advocates as advocates of fighting breeds.

Similarly, in many cases pit bull advocates refer to themselves as "dog lovers" or "canine advocates" and media often accepts this usage. The majority of these pit bull advocates are single-purpose advocates of fighting breeds.

Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 30+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

2014 Year-end report of dog attacks
   Animals 24-7; January 3, 2015
32 years of logging fatal & disfiguring dog attacks
   Animals 24-7; September 27, 2014
How many other animals did pit bulls kill in 2014?
   Animals 24-7; January 27, 2015

This page may also include information from Dogsbite &Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks

2014 Dog Bite Related Fatalities on Daxton's Friends
Index of canine fatalities on Daxton's Friends