Friday, September 4, 2015

Carolinas Under Siege

Carolinas under siege by pit bulls; HuffPo runs pit bull smootch story during week of terror1

Revised: September 24, 2015; 20:43 GMT
Revised: September 30, 2015; 20:08 GMT

In the summer and early fall of 2015 pit bulls attacked North and South Carolinians at an unprecedented rate. The horrible news came with such frequency that it was difficult to know if we were reading about today's attack or yesterday's, or the attack the day before that or a forthcoming attack. Reading the news became an exercise in controlling fear, not unlike reading a Stephen King novel or watching a Wes Craven movie.

The attacks began on June 7 in Mountain Home, NC, when 6-year old Joshua Strother was killed by a neighbor's pit bull. On July 26 48-year-old Katherine Rizk of Charleston, SC, was attacked by her husband's pit bull. According to a witness, the dog
dragged Rizk around three houses . . . . I couldn’t believe her own dog would do those things to her. I need to remove that scene from my brain.
Ms Rizk suffered wounds to her head, torso, legs, and one arm was amputated. According to the police report, Ms Rizk's husband arrived a short time later and initially declined to relinquish the pet.

Katherine and Mahmoud Rizk

After a three-week hiatus the attacks resumed with dizzying intensity. On August 22, 25-year-old Porsche Nicole Carter was killed by her pit bull in Spartanburg, SC; her mother and a roommate were also injured by their pit bull. On August 24, 48-year-old Cathy Wheatcraft of Mocksville, NC, was killed at her mailbox and a neighbor injured by another neighbor's pit bull.

Porche Nicole Carter, d. August 22, 2015

On the following day a tragedy was averted when a deputy interrupted a pit bull attack on the dog's owner and her roommate in Greenville County, SC. On the day after that a pit bull attacked three people at the Travelers Inn Motel in Four Oaks, one of them seriously. On the same day a family pit bull in Fayetteville, NC attacked an 18-month old toddler, who is reportedly "fighting for his life."

"Smootchie, Smootchie"

Deniers: first there were those who denied the Earth was round. Then there were those who denied the Earth circled the Sun. There were some who refused to believe that Apollo 11 landed on the moon, but instead was filmed on a sound stage or in New Mexico. In our own era there have been the Holocaust deniers and the Climate Change deniers.

Now we have the Huffington Post, with their stable of writers who deny that pit bulls, in disproportionate numbers, launch unprovoked attacks and kill or maim members of their human family, or a More Vulnerable Animal Companion.2

A recent example of the Huffington Post's advocacy of fighting breeds was published on August 27th, as the week of carnage in the Carolinas came to a close. Associate Editor Kimberly Yam, with the assistance of video producer Oliver Noble, published a video showing children and adults kissing and cuddling pit bulls.

Such callous indifference to the suffering and grief of the victims has become routine at the Huffington Post; indeed we have come to expect it. And yet this most recent example is different. The number of attacks in the Carolinas, the immediacy and the severity of them, coupled with the absolute lack of compassion for the victims on the part of Ms Yam and the Huffington Post, combine to make Ms Yam's article morally offensive. The article degrades the humanity not only of Ms Yam and the Huffington Post, but of all of us who happened upon it by chance.
Kimberly Yam, Assoc Editor, The Huffington Post
LOOKOUT! Big, Bad Pit Bulls Are Coming For You... With Kisses
   Pit Bulls Attack, with Smootches (Video)
   August 27, 2015; Huffington Post
   Kimberly Yam, Assoc Editor
   Oliver Noble, Video Producer
* * * * *
1   SRUV is indebted to the anonymous Craigslist poster from Eugene, OR, for the "Carolinas Under Siege" meme. A cached version of the Craigslist post can be viewed at
2   This is not to infer that pit bull denial is in any way comparable or equivalent to the denial of the genocide of millions of humans by the Third Reich.

Pit bull attack victims on 'long road' to recovery
   August 29, 2015;  WYFF 4 (Greenville, SC)
   "The dog ripped off about 99 percent of her left hand. The first surgery removed it completely," Dixon said. "Her second surgery removed the rest of the arm halfway to the elbow."

Three victims of previously unreported mauling may have to undergo rabies treatment
   August 27, 2015; Johnston County Report

Fayetteville pit bull euthanized after attack on toddler (NC)
    August 27, 2015; WRAL

In One Week, Pit Bulls Attack 4 People Across Upstate
   August 26, 2015; WSPA CBS 7 (Spartanburg, SC)

Pit Bull Attacks Two Elderly Greenville County Women (SC)
Sheriff Deputies Shot and Killed the Dog to Save the Victims'  Lives
   August 25, 2015 ; WSPA CBS 7

Greenville deputy saves two women from pit bull
   August 25, 2015; Greenville Online
   A deputy arrived on scene and saw a dog on a woman’s arm, which was almost severed, Smith said.

1 killed, 1 hurt after pit bull attack in NC
   (Mocksville, Davie County, NC)
   August 25, 2015; WNCN

Pit Bull Kills Woman, Injures Two Roommates in South Carolina
    August 25, 2015; People Magazine

Coroner: Spartanburg woman died from dog bites
   August 24, 2015; Myrtle Beach Sun News

Pit bull get loose at Whiteville shelter, kills cat and 13 kittens
   August 11, 2015; Fayettville Observer

Other Recent Attacks in the Carolinas:

Man charged with murder in pit bull dispute in Person Co.
   August 6, 2015; WNCN

Man's pit bull attacks wife, who loses part of arm
   July 28, 2015; CBS News (Charleston, SC)

Pit bull mauls 6-year-old boy to death in North Carolina
   July 8, 2015; CBS

Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 32+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

Dog Bite Studies Index

Today's pit bull attacks
   Google News

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

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" must 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.