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Man dies in pit bull attack in Riverside County

A man died today after he was mauled by two pit bulls in Rubidoux, according to a spokesman for the Riverside County Department of Animal Services. 

The victim was related to the owner of the dogs, said John Welsh, of the Department of Animal Services. Welsh described the victim as "an older gentleman." 

The Riverside County Fire Department and the Riverside County Sheriff's Department both responded to the incident, which occurred at noon today at the dogs owner's home in the 5700 block of Kenwood Place in Rubidoux. Welsh did not know whether the victim died at the scene.

The dogs involved in the attack were signed over to Riverside County Animal Services by the owner and euthanized, according to Welsh.

UPDATE: The victim was a 60-year-old man who lived at the house where he was attacked, according to Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez, a spokesman for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. "He was just sitting in the backyard smoking a cigarette and for some reason the dogs attacked him," Gutierrez said.

-- Kate Linthicum

Comments () | Archives (23)

I hope the owner of the dogs is convicted of murder and spends the rest of his sorry life rotting in a jail cell.

Isn't it time for the govt. to make this breed extinct???? Maybe a politicians family member will have to get attacked first????

Pit bulls are never dangerous, according to their owners, and it's always about "how they are raised," -- until that moment they snap and kill somebody. I've heard about enough from the defenders of pit bulls who say they are a good breed of dog. So much aggression has been bred into the pool that it doesn't matter how you train them, they still have the capacity to go nuts and kill a baby 1 out of 100 times (and that's being generous), which is 100 percent too often. I don't want the breed eradicated... I want them licensed and restricted. They attack, and they kill. Bottom line.

the sad thing is that all we hear is that pitbull attacks. no info on why this happened or any information on the owner and the surrounding that this dog had. im sorry for the loss of this man but the owner is the fault for this attack.
i personally blame the owner for every pitbull attack.

I have known the man that was killed for forty-eight years. He was my brothers best friend. His name is Jerald and I can't remember his last name. The dogs belonged to his grandkids. One of the dogs had puppies and he went out back to feed them. and they attacked him and killed him. He died there at home. He was also suffering from MS. He will be greatly missed.

I responded to this call, and it was by far one of the most horrific things I have ever seen. Pits are a useless breed of dogs. To see first hand what these 2 dogs did give me the chills. Never do I want to run a call like this again!!!!!!

Wow, another attack by a Pitbull results in a person's death. There needs to be a ban on these dogs. How many people need to be maimed or killed before something is done about this?

All dogs, cats, anything with teeth is capable of causing extreme harm. We do not hear much about the German Shepherds, Chiuauas, Poms (yes, one killed a baby in this country), cats, or one of the most prolific biters, Cocker Spaniel. The reason we don't hear about these others is because the Pit Bull, or anything similar, is the currently hated darling, the press gives us what we want & we just love to hear about the "horrible" pit bull, anything other than the Pit Bull is not very interesting. Just a few years ago it was the Doberman, at times in the past it was German Shepherds. If any of these breeds truly was as bad as they were portrayed in the press we would be in a world of hurt. Frankly, the Pit Bull or American Stafforshire Terrier has proven to test with better temperament than a Golden Retriever by one of the most respected temperament testing associations in the country, the American Temperament Testing Society (ATTS) and their results are published on their web site, http://www.atts.org/statistics.html. I live in Sacramento California and I can drive through any of the poorest parts of town any day of the week and find 3 or 4, or more, Pit Bulls or Pit Bull mixes stray. They are the most beaten, run over, starved, and generally abused breeds around and we have not had a death by Pit Bull in this town for quite some time. A really bad breed would be killing people left & right, and despite the justification in the case of most Pit Bulls, this is not the case. In conclusion, if you want to live in an environment where there are no injuries caused by animals you have to have no animals. Period. I know there is a certain risk where animals are concerned but I'd rather have them in my life and deal with the risk.

Why is everyone here protecting the pitbulls? They are bread to KILL. We would never have one in our household. In fact, it is a requirement to raise your homeowner insurance if you own a pitbull and it is going to be kept on the premises....that is if the ins. co. finds out about it. If yours bites someone, God help you. They are horrible pets...can turn on you in a flash...or your child!!!! It is not how they are raised....killing is in their blood ! Sure, other animals can show aggression if mis-treated, but what are the odds??? Don't take that chance.

The reason we hear about pit bulls is that they are responsible for 2/3 of dog attacks on humans and other animals. They were bred to fight and kill and have no place as pets.

I would just like to ask Sally Ebbs and Derick were their stats and facts came from? It seems to me that if 2 out of 3 attacks is perpetrated by this breed and they are killers just waiting for the right moment the authorities would have done something about the threat. The reality is these people are ignorant of true facts, do some research on your own, dont believe everything you see on tv.

This is a trajedy. It is sad and could have been prevented. But if you want to deal with the problem have the facts. PBs were bred to cainine combatants, like Tosus, like Sharpes, like Chows. These animals do have a tendency towards ANIMAL aggression. Contrary to posts here, a well bred fighting dog is bred to be submissive to people as they are handled when fought...simple - a dog that cannot be handled cannot be fought and the breeder will not perpetuate the blood line of that dog. PB ARE NOT BRED TO KILL, that is a humanization...PBs WERE bred to fight and to a lesser dog that usually means death.

Human aggression is a characteristic bred INTO guardians as it is used for their work...GSDs, Mals, Rotts, Dobes....they are also bre to have strict pack structure and very sincere attention to it's leader for recall....police dog "go get the bad guy, now come back". The bottom line ANY large and powerful dog if not understood, trained or contained properly is capable of this type of destruction. So the root of the problem is the hand that holds the leash (or not) of the dog. Most often they have this kind of dog - big and powerful - for all the wrong reasons. If you were to eliminate every PB dog, these OWNERs would not replace their ill behaved and untrained pets with poodles, they will get another big and powerful dog, equally ill trained, equally ill contained and EQUALLY dangerous to the people and animals in it's environment. So if you want to fix the problem....pull the weed out by the ROOT, or I guarentee you it will come back!

I am a PROUD Pit bull owner and to hear people always condemning these loving loyal dogs is sickening. The problem is that the media sees a pit bull attack and goes haywire with it. There are several other breeds that attack. I worked at Children's hospital in the ER and I have held many children's faces together for plastic surgery, but none of them were pit bull attacks. I am sorry for this man's family, but the facts of the situation is critical. Anybody who breeds dogs know that when there is a litter of pups and if the person is not regularly picking up/feeding the pups the mother and father are aggressive for the security of their own. Just as humans protect their children. It all boils down to the owners and how they treat these animals. Just as if a child were abused more than likely they will turn and abuse too. These dogs are VERY MISUNDERSTOOD. I love my pit bull and wouldn't have anything else around my children!!!!

I couldn't agree with you more Rebecca..I love my pit bull ..thats all my children have been raised around..and thats how it will stay.My mother-in-law has dashunds and they bite all the time.I think it is sad how people want to treat pit bulls.

" It all boils down to the owners and how they treat these animals" I have heard this nonsense until I could hurl. WE have bred certain temperment traits into this breed and WE have -through selective breeding -gotten exactly what was desired, and to ignore genetics is seriously naive. This is no media 'witch hunt'--these dogs have earned their repuations fair and square. But tell you what Joe (following your 'logic') the next time I hear of authorities breaking up a dog fighting ring of killer basset hounds; or hear that police had to use a taser to capture a capture an out of control chihuahua...I 'll rethink my position;)

Sara -

Animal aggression and human aggression are two very different things. Yes PBs were bred to ba AA, but passive to folks that handled them in the pit. A PB is a working dog breed. This means they are very driven dogs. This means they need strict pack structure and dilligent up keep and care. You better understand a working dog breed before you own one.

There is very little info regarding this incident but for the gentleman that knew the victim. His post was very telling if you know even a little about how to contain and handle powerful dogs.

1. The dogs were loose with the pups in the backyard - in dog lingo that means all this area IS MINE, should not have been. The adult dogs needed to be in seperarte containers. The mom should have been contained with her pups, and when she was to be handled seperated from the pups.

2. The victim was asked to walk into the dogs territory and feed them, he was a STAND IN for the job, in dog lingo this means A STRANGER IS APPROACHING OUR TERRITORY AND OUR PUPS. Had the dogs been contained properly this poor man could have approached and safely fed all. Whose at fault...THE OWNER, he should have known ALL of this before owning these dogs and then breeding. A back yard breeder for sure.

3. And if you really think "PB" does not sell a story then you are foolish. Folks as your self love that kind of head line. It can validate your emotion, when what you really need is a broader understanding of dogs in general. Any powerful ill kept PACK of dogs would have done this. So before you condem PBs for what you think they are, be honest with yourself and say - I dont like PBs because I don't understand dog behavior in general, and I am afraid of things I don't know and have no interest in really understanding the reason this tragedy occured - so hopefully events like it could be prevented. Understand a PB is bred to be animal aggressive and people passive....then you can talk about the specific genetics of many PB blood lines. Unerstand how a dog with drive should be handled, understand dogs at all. Out of control chi (and goodness there are many) or out of control PB...same responsibility THE OWNER, difference is the risk level. Fix the owner Sara, and understand the dog.

I apologize sara, my earlier post should have been addressed to Claire K

It’s sad to hear all these comments about extinguishing a certain breed of dog. In the 1940s and 1950s American Pit Bulls Terriers were known as "the nanny dog," because they were used to watch out for children. They were highly revered dogs and a popular family pet. However, now-a-days they have become more of a “ghetto” status symbol for irresponsible owners. German Shepherds were thought of in similar ways to the Pit Bulls of today. Unfortunately, we did not eradicate that breed when we had the chance. They have now turned into at true problem in today’s society. They have become good-for-nothing police dogs, search and rescue dogs, seeing-eye dogs, etc. I’m not going to argue the fact that Pit Bull “TYPE” dogs account for a good percentage of fatal attacks because that is true. However, because many dogs such at the Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino, Bull Mastiff, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, Patterdale Terrier, Bull Terrier, Alano Espanol, Ca De Bou, and Pit Bull mix breeds are often classified in the Pit Bull “TYPE” category is it truly fair to say that only one breed is responsible? Is it fair to group many breeds of dogs that may look similar into one group and compare them to another group that only has one breed? Maybe we should make it easy and euthanize of all those breeds. Furthermore, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes account for a good percentage of fatal attacks as well. Maybe we should get rid of those breeds too? 18 people were killed by dog attacks in 2008 and one of those was by a Jack Russell Terrier. How about that breed? Should we get rid of that one too? About 17,000 people die each year for drunk driving. How about getting rid of alcohol or even better yet automobiles? 3500 people each year drown. Maybe we should get rid of water. How did a dog that was used to baby sit children change into a killer? As a lot of people suggest it is probably the dog’s genetics. I agree because dogs that were once nannies of children are more than likely predisposed to attack people. That makes perfect sense and it’s definitely not the owners fault or the how some facets of society treat these dogs. Pure genius! Thanks for the enlightenment. I will also move to bring back prohibition and eliminate swimming pools worldwide.

Well Val thanks for not only "explaining" the whole PB issue for us but also for your "discernment "of my entire mindset and dog training background...I am sure all of those who have been attacked, including the subject of this latest incident (or should I call it "the media going haywire") will be comforted to learn from your discourse that these dogs are "people passive". I do not ignore the owner factor in ANY dog attack, but it's totally fair to consider genetics and selective breeding. And from what I read from others in this thread so far.. a lot of us are sick of the victims being blamed for their own attacks.


I would add you might actually read my post before inferring I blamed any victim for being attacked. I blame irresponsible dog owners as that is where it rightfully belongs and if you are as proficient in "dog training" as you say you are it would be hard for you to disagree.

It seems rediculous that the lack of understanding of dog behavior and responsible dog ownership would comfort any victim or their families, however it would go a long way in starting to solve the dangerous dog problem. There is no "dog factor" in dog attacks, if you own a dog capable of hurting anything it is your responsibility alone to prevent it, not the dumb animal.

And again I find it hard to believe from your posts you know anything of substance about the PB breeds, and it is also clear you don't care to. Fine. But you will excuse those of us that have responsibly owned, trained and worked these breeds to call you on it.

The media does what they do for a reason, that is a fact. To blindly buy into it without understanding the facts of the situations is being naive, and if that is what you choose so be it. I choose to try and solve the problem as it is a human problem and the only real way to accomplish anything IMO.

Happy Holidays


check this out...... you shouldnt always go by what the media says.

Hello. I am not a pit bull hater. I have not read much about pit bull attacks or heard about them until I looked it up myself. The reason I did, was that we were going to have folks stay with us that had three dogs, one being a pit.

This pit was raised with them from a tiny pup. The owner is truley an animal lover and trainer. She taught him early on about mindiing. He was so well behaved and obedient it put me at ease. I grew to start loving this dog, however, yesterday, this same loving dog mutalated one of the other two, a malamute. Not only did it mutalate it, I had to watch, I tried everything I could think of. A 5 gallon bucket of ice cold water, yelling, doing the same commands that this dog always responded to. There was absolutely NO response. The dog was in another zone. At the begining, the malamute got free and went behind a dog house, the pit sat for a while and I though I might be able to separate them, however the pit went behind the dog house and pulled the helpless dog out and mutlilated him. Because of the nature of the insident and the absolute uncontrolled rage, I had to stand by and witness this attack until my husband arrived home after my frantic call to him. When he arrived we called the owner and he wanted us to wait unitl he got there, he was in disbelief and wanted to make sure that he would not be able to save the other dog, although the pit started in again while the dog lay there helpless and my husband put him out his missery. The pit just sat there. Sadly, tomorrow the pit will be put down.

This dog has never shown aggression. He is a dream, he would just lick you to death. However, after witnessing what CAN happen and the ZONE an attacking pitbull can get in and the power of their jaws, the shake and tear instinct they have where NO man could safely get in the middle of. I feel that you who keep commenting stating that it is the owner and their lack of care and experience, you are VERY VERY mistaken.

I am so sad about the loss of both of the dogs we are facing and it is a tragedy. There is nothing that could have been done. This dog had rasied these other two pups. He was very tolerant and sweet natured. He was 6 years old. I wish there were some way to convey the fact that it is not that other dogs can not, and have not bitten and at times killed a person. But, a pit bull is a far greater risk of death and severe damage than most other breeds. I for one, don't see a need for anyone to own a dog that is so powerful and known to turn on people that know them and love them.

So, just be careful you who say, I love my pit, I wouldn't have any other dog around my children. A pit can turn on you or your children and after what I witnessed at my home yesterday I can tell you the damage is more than you can comprehend. Don't be so prideful and a know it all that you blame the media and bad pit owners. That is NOT always the case. Take the risk if you like, but never underestimate the power of a big breed, ever.

The owner of this pit are wonderflu pet owners and very knowledgeable. They were in coplete disbelief. But thanfully they are mature enough to know when they need to put a dog down. It is a very sad time around our house.

Don't be a fool.

Many breeds of dogs attack people. Pit bulls are the only breed reported because they sell newspapers and generate big $$$$ for the media. "Banning" dogs is a ridiculous concept. The irresponsible dog owner will simply get another type of dog. Dogs that attack are starved, abused, unsocialized, etc. And "banning" a breed does nothing to resolve the problem. I'm sorry you readers fall for the media's ploy to sell their newspapers. Do a little research and you will see there are dogs that are far more dangerous than these. They just don't sell newspapers....


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