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Posted on Tue, Dec 27, 2011 : 10:54 p.m.

2 small dogs killed and owner hurt after mauling by American Bulldogs that escaped from yard

By Staff

Two American Bulldogs escaped from their Pittsfield Township yard and attacked a neighbor and her two small dogs on Tuesday afternoon, injuring the woman and killing her pets.

The victim, 45, was walking her dogs in the 3700 block of Maple near Ellsworth and Golfside roads on the township's east side.

The dogs of a neighbor got loose from their fenced yard as she and her dogs were walking past the house "and began attacking the woman," according to Pittsfield Township police.

The two small dogs also were mauled and died from their injuries. The woman was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital for treatment of serious injuries that police said are not life-threatening.

The dogs that attacked were taken to the Humane Society of Huron Valley, where they were euthanized on Tuesday night, according to HSHV officials.

Police are continuing their investigation and charges may be pending, according to police.

Unavailable this morning is information on the attacking dogs, including whether they were licensed. Their owner is a 51-year-old township resident.

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Wolf's Bane

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 8:20 p.m.

I agree with others. For years we have complained about the lack of an Animal Control officer in Ann Arbor and the lax enforcement of they city's laws governing dogs. Yet, now we have 'disco' inspired cross walks and a vertical fountain at city hall, but still no effective means of protecting tax payers from these vicious creatures! This misallocation of funds must end.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 7:59 p.m.

Very unfortunate incident. My condolences and best wishes to the person attacked. I happen to own an American Bulldog which I got from a rescue shelter. They are in fact mastiffs not pittbulls. A simple google search of "American Bulldogs" will give you accurate info on the breed. The owner of the dog is to blame, not the breed. Please don't post inaccurate information when the truth is readily available. The American Bulldog is loyal, reliable, brave and determined. Not a hostile dog. Alert and self-confident, this breed genuinely loves children. It is known for its acts of heroism towards its master. They have strong protective instincts, and need a firm, confident, consistent pack leader. Well-socialize and obedience train them at an early age, to prevent them from becoming reserved with strangers. Without that strong minded pack leader who can tell the dog what is expected of them, they may be aggressive with other dogs. They need to be around people and know their place in their pack to be truly happy. This breed tends to drool and slobber. Without enough daily mental and physical exercise they will become high strung and may become hard to handle.

Debbie Bell

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

"may become hard to handle"... what does that mean? Scarey.

Debbie Bell

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:02 a.m.

Matt wrote that AB's "need a firm, confident, consistent pack leader". Same with pit bulls. But then, a thinking person must ask, "who can guarantee that their dog will never, ever, not even once get loose? A dropped leash, a dog shoving past a open gate? Some dogs will be very "good" at killing other dogs, even little dogs being carried to the car. Why choose a dog type that every website mentions is commonly dog aggressive, a loaded gun on legs? With hundreds of breeds that do not have that trait, why continue breeding them?

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 7:45 p.m.

This is a very sad situation to be sure. I can't even imagine how angry I would feel if someone's dogs got loose and killed my dog or how awful I would feel if my dog got loose and hurt someone. But we do have a legal system that will dispassionately compensate the victim and punish the dog owner and that is as it should be. It is all true that one can never really trust any dog in the same way that one can't ever really trust other people. But really, come on. Most dogs are trustworthy just like most people are trustworthy. Maybe more so. Statistically, people are much more likely to be killed by other people than they are to be killed by a dog.

Dog Guy

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 7:10 p.m.

A friend has long kept a wolf in his house as his kids grow up. He dominates the wolf; no problems so far. In many ways he is the smartest person I know, but I have doubts (other than game laws) about keeping a house wolf. Of course all breeds of dog (Canis lupus familiaris) are domesticated forms of gray wolf. Some breeds average more social than a typical gray wolf; some less social. By its much longer duration, the wolf form is likely the most predictable. I never know what a bull dog or a Chihuahua is going to do next. As noted above, my friend is most often very intelligent and I give him the benefit of my doubt.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 5:54 p.m.

Once again people are putting the blame in the wrong place. It is not the dog's fault. They were not trained properly or looked after by their owner. You OWN the animals. They are your responsibility. You opted to have them. Pets are like kids, they need guidance, care and lots of time and training. Don't do that you get a spoiled brat. Yes, dogs do have instincts. Mostly because we put it there through breeding. That's why you TRAIN THEM. I'm so sorry to hear this happened. I wish the woman a speedy recovery. I'd be devastated if anything happened to my pets.

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.

Are we talking Boston Bull Dogs, those little black and white ones with the pushed-in faces? Staffordshire Terriers, commonly known as "Pit-Bulls" or what" There are several makes and models of "bull dogs" out there.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 8:19 p.m.

The answers you seek are in the first sentence of the story.

Mush Room

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 5:24 p.m.

No dog can be completely trusted. I had one once that went 10 years without even barking at a person or another dog and then one day almost killed a dog three times its size. I had a lap dog once about the same age that loved everyone but was awoken one day by a little kid who put her face next to the dog's snout and the dog bit her on the face. While a kid myself I had a 5 year old bird dog that had but one incident. The dog was hunted with many other dogs for several years without a problem and then one day got into a serous fight with a dog it had been together with for several seasons. Any dog, including the cute little lap dogs, can be aggressive and without constant vigilance, anything can happen. I feel for the woman who was hurt and the loss of her dogs. I also feel for the person who's dogs were the aggressors. Dogs can be very good escape artists and unpredictably aggressive. Dogs are instinctively territorial and I've seen many that were aggressive when they felt their territory was violated by another dog. Dog ownership is a much bigger responsibility than most people realize and doing it right with fences they can't climb over or dig under can be an expensive undertaking. Also, the training is never over. Just about the time you think you're done, they do something obnoxious and you have to figure out a new training strategy. I love my dogs, but they require a lot of work.


Fri, Dec 30, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

Many years ago I had a shih tzu a small dog. This dog was about 4 years old so not pup. Very very nice small dog. One day my granddaughter went to pet him, behind his back. He took a nip out of her. He was defending himself. This is what they do. The only way they can. So I agree 100%. Majority falls on the dog owner. Any dog or any person can turn on you. Need to teach the kids and people to do certain things. Like approach them from the front. Put your hand down so they can smell it. Being a pet owner is like raising kids. If you are not willing to do this then do not get one. They can be a wounderful addition to your house. Like ours. We have two. A golden doodle and small one. Both are part of the family. I see a lot of dogs without leash's walking down the street. We need people to drive around and make people follow the law. Leash and pu wast

Dog Guy

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 4:10 p.m.

In Europe before the second great unpleasantness, people took along a velo dog for protection from attacks by catch dogs.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:51 p.m.

As a side note, pitbulls and American Bulldogs ARE NOT recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale, the American Kennel Club, The Australian National Kennel Council, The Canadian Club, The Kennel Club and the New Zealand Kennel Club. I wonder why only the United Kennel Club chooses to recognize them.

Wendy Ochoa

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

The history of the breed goes is specifically American with two breeders Johnson and Scott - hence the two bloodlines. It is not surprising that the Austrailian, Canadian, New Zealand, or other international groups have not recognized the breed yet. The UKC only began to recognize the breed in 1999. As an owner of an American Bulldog, I can attest to their very gentle nature. In instances where dogs have killed it is almost always because of improper supervision and/or irresponsible supervision. This is the most unfortunate of tragedies, but it certainly seems in this case that it could have been avoided by an owner not leaving his dogs unsupervised - which is the case in a yard with only a 3 or 4 foot fence.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 5:12 p.m.

Why are staffordshire terriers and pitbulls listed separately? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> &quot;...The official Standard of the American Staffordshire is, however, much more restrictive than the Pit Bull's...&quot;


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 4:16 p.m.

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Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:43 p.m.

As mentioned by others, this is not the first incident with these dogs. One of the dogs escaped from the house and attacked our dog this past Spring. Luckily I was walking with my wife at the time and was able to keep the dog at bay, while screaming at the house for the owner. After what seemed like an eternity, the owner came out and secured the dog. We filed a police report, with Pittsfield Twp and fortunately, our dog didn't have serious injuries, though he still has scars. We no longer walked down that block, from fear of being attacked again. Our fears seem to have been well founded. Our sympathies to the woman attacked, how traumatic to lose two beloved pets in such a horrible manner. I hope she pursues full legal remedies.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 7:57 p.m.

How horrible for you!!! It gives me chills. Was any charge filed against the owner of the dogs at the time? I am so sorry for you and admire your bravery for walking again! I'd hide in my house!

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

In my viwq, it's unfortunate that dogs and people are held to different levels of punishment. That okay, Tony? I meant my comment to be a satyrical one in regard to the euthanizing of the dogs, not a call for actual changes in the law to require equal punishment for owners who don't control their lethal pets.

John Spieser

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

An American Bulldog is not a &quot;huge pitbull&quot;. That is an inaccurate statement. Responding to the comment about Golden retrievers; &quot;when was the last time you heard of a Golden retriever viciously attacking&quot;, for me it was about a month ago, in an Ann arbor neighborhood. A Golden ripped a small dog from it's owners arms and gave it a kill shake. The owner beat the golden to save her dog. These scenarios, in my opinion, are the result of a community with a massive dog population and a bare bones management plan, not inherently vicious dogs. I could own six dogs if I wanted to and the only physical obligation I have to the community/neighbors is to keep them on leashes or behind a fence. I'm not required to train or even execise them. I can leave them in the yard everyday if I want to. I think these dogs (all of the breeds) continue to prove that they are too decisive, quick, formidable and wanting for that overly simplistic system to be successful. I have been waiting for a long time with the hope that A2 would develop a (complete and effective) management program for this dog population that continues to grow rapidly; I must say that I have my doubts of it ever happening. Things are only going to get worse if a true Animal Advocacy policy is not implemented. We only have ourselves to blame. It's sad.

Debbie Bell

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

How do you know it was a golden? Pit promoters frequently deny &quot;breed determination&quot; when a pit looking dog kills another dog, so prove it was a pure golden. Probably a Golden/pit mix. Free mandatory spay/neuter microchipping of all pits/pit mixes/AB/all dog aggressive dogs. No one sane benefits from dog aggressive dogs. And some people, especially little dog sized humans will benefit from less dog aggressive dogs, too.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:10 p.m.

As a fellow Pittsfield Township resident and dog owner, it really is sad to see this story. Even though I have a socialized dog who LOVES people - he's still willing to defend me from a threatening dog. I'd hate to think of being in a situation this terrifying. I can't control the insticts of either party when it comes to animal interactions, I can only control the removal of my dog from a situation IF I can lead my dog away from another leashed or fenced in animal. If the attacking animal is loose, I'm lost. I do believe there needs to be better enforcement of leash use and waste pick up laws in the area. There is dog crap left all over the place - especially along Packard nearby all the apartment complexes. How hard is it to carry a poo bag? I have a dispenser clipped to my leash. Also, as far as the licensing for the Swift Run dog park goes-I HARDLY see the correct tags on dogs there. No, it is not a free park set up for your pet to run wild. The two times I have seen an authority there looking for tags, the park clears out like a ghost town. I've had people come up to me and ask if you need a permit. Signs should be more clearly marked to indicate appropriate fees and tags are required. I realize that there are more important laws to enforce, however I do see it as a neglected category.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 7:28 p.m.

The dog park isn't for the dogs. It is for the owners of the dogs. Just like the basket ball courts aren't for the basketballs, they are for the citizens who enjoy playing basketball.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 7:25 p.m.

Why should the county/city set up any park for any citizen to use free of charge? Why is dog owning as a hobby less worthy than basketball (free lighted courts available across the street) or baseball (free diamonds around town) or whatever. I can't tell you how often I am at the dog park and the parking lot is so full that one has to park across the street where often there are only one or two other cars. There clearly is a demand for the dog park that is much greater than the demand for ,many other parks in the area. It seems to me that such a park should be free unless the costs of the park seriously outweigh the costs of the free parks. I highly doubt that a few rolls of plastic bags and some $2 water bowls chained to benches cost anyone much.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

Why should something set up specifically for your dog be free? They set up watering locations, provide free poop disposal bags and containers and groom the grass a few times a year. I think the fee is justified in that regard. If you want a free park for your dog, leash it, and walk around Lillie Park across the street.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:54 p.m.

That park really should be free though. It is busier than any other park in the city which means it is obviously very popular. There is no good reason to charge dog owners more than the non dog owning citizens.

Tony Dearing

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:03 p.m.

Comments were removed because they violated our conversation guidelines, which do not allow calling for a punishment that goes beyond what is allowed under law.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:02 p.m.

I work in the veterinary industry and I know people close to the situation who have told me that these dogs were repeat offenders (one of them at least 4 times), and legal action is being pursued. This was not mentioned in the story. The breed certainly is not the problem, but generally it's the owner. On a side note, the most consistently aggressive dog breed I have seen by far is the goldendoodle.


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 12:20 a.m.

wow i have a goldendoodle and it is a wissy. this sure has come to a surprise to me big time. i guess you know what you are saying since you work at a vet. but i still am in shock. never heard of a goldendoodle that was mean.

David Paris

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 10:03 p.m.

Agressive is one thing, vicious &amp; deadly is quite another.

Paula Gardner

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

This story has been updated to report that the dogs were euthanized on Tuesday.

Dog Guy

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:35 p.m.

If either your pit bull or your American bull is not fearless and aggressive, you are certainly due a refund.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

Dog &quot;control&quot; should not be limited to densely packed suburban areas. I live in a rural area and walk outside daily. Recently, on two different days, I was &quot;greeted&quot; by large dogs from different homes who came right up to me on the street and either circled around me or followed me, all the the while barking at me in a &quot;not-so-pleasant&quot; way. I have never carried any kind of protection against dogs with me in the 7 years I have been walking the same route. But this incident caused me to rethink my strategy for the first time. It's very frightening to have dogs that you do not know run up to you in a &quot;threatening&quot; way, especially if the owner is nowhere to be seen. If you're going to be a dog owner, you need to be able to keep that animal under control at all times. I am curious to know in this story ... where was the owner at the time?


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

Out where I live any sheep farm you pass has a Great Pyr out in the field guarding the sheep. They live out there with the sheep and they are only confined by the farm fences. Several times one of the dogs have gotton loose and were hit by cars or have simply vanished. Right or wrong, you are not going to convince a farmer to not have dogs out with their sheep in coyote country.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:01 p.m.

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Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.

Wow.... <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:24 p.m.

Thank you for posting this link. I had forgotten all about it.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:58 p.m.

The utter ignorance of some of these comments is pretty appalling. For information on the American Bulldog, look here: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> The American Bulldog is a distinct breed cultivated in the U.S. for working on farms or guarding businesses. It is recognized as a distinct breed by the United Kennel Club, the National Kennel club, as well as in bulldog specific groups in the US and South Africa. Unlike the American Pitbull Terrier, the AB is not crossed with certain terrier breeds, which can provide a certain level of instinctual aggressiveness. &quot;Can&quot; and not &quot;will&quot;--only a small percentage of pitbulls will be natural-born killers. As the Wikipedia entry states, these dogs need to be socialized and trained at early ages so that they know their role and boundaries--I would add that ANY dog needs this, including small lap dogs. However, there is no denying that a dog that is powerful can do far more damage that a small one. These two rogue dogs were obviously not given this training and tragic things happened as a result. I support the most punitive punishment for the owner of the dogs, for basically having neglected them in training and containment. I do not take this lightly--I own two large bully-type dogs and I hold myself accountable for making sure they are trained, socialized, and contained. My dogs can be loose in the dog park under my supervision, but I would still never put them in a fenced yard unless they were supervised by me. Now please, if you are going to comment, stick to the facts. My deepest sympathy to the owner of the small dogs who perished. I know you are heartbroken.

Debbie Bell

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 2:19 a.m.

RuralMom. Do you have pits/pit mixes? Do you own and practice using a break stick, as PBRC recommends? Tina Marie Canterbury, Carter Delaney, Carmen Ramos, Darla Napora, Joseph Hines all loved their pit bulls to death, that is, until their pits mauled them to death. Empirical evidence is that a pit does not have to be vicious or angry to have the instinct to tug, crush, maul pop into his mind and suddenly he feels good and cannot stop. If someone stopped the attack, the dog would later lick his owner's wounds. Punish the owners? It's too late then. Let's stop making dogs that are experts at mauling and killing other dogs. Free, mandatory spay/neuter microchip. If a boxer/lab (wink) gets &quot;misidentified&quot;, no problem, she gets a free spay. No responsible pit owner is punished, as his dogs are spays/neuters. Breeders of other dogs: spay/neuter your pups before sale so they aren't selectively bred for increasing reactivity and aggression. Be very careful who you sell your pups too, so your breed doesn't get added to the free mandatory spay/neuter/microchip law.

Debbie Bell

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 1:42 a.m.

Dog breed descriptions are written by people who breed and want to sell dogs. Think of it as an advertisement for the breed. If it was honest, it would also mention the times these dogs have killed other pets. AB are noted for dog aggression. Why would anyone who loves dogs want to breed, sell and promote dog-killing dogs? The answer: people who love dogs do not breed, sell, or promote AB or pits.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

Justcurious, did you miss the part where my dogs, regardless of breed are never outside of my home in my fenced in country yard, without supervision? You just gave a prime example of someone so caught up in the hype, that you don't even know what you are talking about! Why in the world would I need a dog park when my fenced in yard is their playground? Children play with my dogs, under our supervision constantly. You will not find 1 person experienced with my animals that has any concerns. Its called being a responsible dog owner, paying attention to the animal, and managing its needs, as if it were a human child. ALL animals should be treated this way, its not breed specific. I will continue to rescue this misunderstood breed and love them for all their strengths and weaknesses, as I advocate that owners need to be hands on present and attentive to their needs continually, not when its convienent for the human!


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

I would summit to both of you that you CANNOT trust your dogs at the dog park or with other dogs or children. You may live to regret it. I too own 3 dogs but not the type that you have. My terriers would bite under the right circumstances also.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

EXACTLY! Our 2 rescues, one at 6-8months TERRIBLY abused, and a puppy rescued at 4 weeks, are NEVER outside unless we are home! We also know the older animals triggers, like you don't walk in the house with your hood up on your jacket. The younger one, doesn't seem to have a trigger yet, but we watch her closely. Its about informed, educated, dedicated owners. Oh and they both play wonderfully with my 8 yr old Eski Poo. You have to know the animal and breed, you can't just put them in the backyard and ignore them while they stand guard of the yard. They are HIGHLY intelligent creatures, you have to find a way to positively channel that energy. Weirdly my to Pits play nice with all other dogs, the Eski Poo does not!


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:48 p.m.

Is it legal to shoot a dog if it is threatening you?


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

My information on this was deleted for some reason. Contacted AAPD last summer after seeing a nearly uncontrollable Pit Bull lunging at anyone within 20-25 feet. Told the officer I'm legally armed and asked what should be done if such aggressive dogs actually attack. The answer was: Anything necessary to stop or prevent the attack. Obviously, for an armed citizen, that would include shooting the dog. Not happy about that: but this is just what might be necessary if one is to avoid becoming one of the victims.


Thu, Dec 29, 2011 : 12:42 a.m.

Not in my yard! Is it illegal to walk your dog off a leash? Yes


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:30 p.m.



Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

This is a very unfortunate incident and I feel really bad for both neighbors. As a neighbor that lives just a few houses down from the owner of the two American bull dogs involved, these dogs are normally secured behind a fence or inside the house. Based on the minimal facts provided in this article it appears the dogs escaped somehow. This is a terrible tragedy and I hope the neighbor recovers from her injuries. As a dog owner it is very sad that her 2 pets were killed and 2 more pets may have to be euthanized. I believe comments by Joe_Citizen and lorie are inaccurate. The American Bull Dog Breed is a wonderful breed of dog but like all dogs proper training and supervision is required. Any dog can be dangerous and dog behavior can be unpredictable even among the best trained family pets. I would also like to point out that Pittsfield Township is very good about monitoring off leash dogs among township parks and preserves. In a neighborhood setting this may be more difficult and enforcing leash laws is probably a low priority. I would rather have the Pittsfield Police Department using its resources to catch burglars, robbers, rapists and armed thieves than issuing citations for dogs being off leash. If you are a dog owner secure your animal that is your job. If you know that your dog has a vicious propensity against people and other animals secure your dog and take responsibility as an owner. I wish both neighbors the best in working through this ordeal. My thoughts go out to both of them.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

&quot; I would rather have the Pittsfield Police Department using its resources to catch burglars, robbers, rapists and armed thieves than issuing citations for dogs being off leash.&quot; How would that change if the dog off a leash killed a person? That is negligent homicide in my book. So just because you value property by catching burglars over saving lives does not make it right. I rather have the police DO THEIR JOB. This is the same mentality of police should not go after a drunk driver until they actually get in an accident.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:24 p.m.

Yeah, sounded like pitbull to me. American bulldog is just a big pitbull. Could you imagine this happening to you ?. No excuse. If those pitbulls are not licensed I would sue the Township for negligence also.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

We're finishing a fence today for a soon-to-be owner of an Alaskan Malamute. The breeder has stipulated a six foot high metal fence to be built before they will allow the adoption to go through. This is for a pup. These folks also live on about two acres, with a very large prairie/woods behind, out in the country. I would imagine them to be responsible folks with a breed like this. Dog breeds are bred for specific purposes. Sure, you may have a passive bull/pit, but the underlying genetics is still there. Geez, have a look at the physical nature of this dog. It is designed to fight. As others have posted above, dog ownership is a serious thing. We have a long way to go as a community in enforcing the responsibility of owners towards their dogs.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1 p.m.

I'm sure the bull owner will be contacted by the woman's lawyer soon. You can lose a large chunk of your assets in such attacks


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

&quot;You can lose a large chunk of your assets in such attacks&quot; As well they should!


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

As an owner of five dogs (two Great Pyrs, two mixes, and a pitbull/bulldog mix) and a foster of many more (in the past two years we have had over 30 dogs come through our home) my heart breaks for all involved. To the owner of the attacking dogs, I know that you most likely had no idea that your dogs could do this, please learn from your mistake. Any dog has the capacity to attack in certain situations, you must make sure your dogs are contained or you face the possibility of this kind of tragedy. Most of all to the lady who was injured, my heart goes out to you over the loss or your two pups. No one should have to be afraid to walk their dogs down a street and certainly no one should be attacked in this way. Please know that there are other people out there who mourn with you, even though we do not know you personally. Heal well from your injuries, both physical and mental. The loss of four dogs, the injuries to a human being and the mental anguish to all involved provides a stark and horrifying reality to what can happen if you do not have control of your dogs, especially large dogs. Dog ownership is a wonderful experience, it also carries with it a huge responsibility, please everyone learn from this. Make sure your dogs are contained and safe so this kind of thing cannot happen.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

Very good post a2zoo. Thank you.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

I live in this neighborhood and walk my three mixed breed dogs daily, weather permitting. My dogs are always leashed and we have a 6ft privacy fence. Most of the dog owners in this area are very responsible and try very hard to keep their dogs under control. Les Gov, I think I know the dog and owner you are talking about and I have had cofrontation with him when his dog runs up to my dogs when we are walking and his reply is &quot;My dog is friendly&quot;. My dogs don't know that and they are very protect full of my, my wife and each other. Dogs are great pets but you need to be responsible and keep them under control at all times and if you can't don't own them.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 12:34 p.m.

This is one of my pet peeves. Dog and cats that live in town should follow the law. in town. I have seen and live in a neighborhood that has people walk their dogs. They do not leash them they carry the leash. They do pu waste. If the city want money have a person like a park ranger ride the streets and give tickets. Now for cats. Cats run loose without any restrictions. They do the same as dogs deposit waste and it stays in your yard or mulch. I think once you have a law you need someone to inforce it. I love dogs had them for 50 years. Just why people cannot follow the law. If they do not give them ticket them.

Paula Gardner

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 12:25 p.m.

This story was just updated to clarify in the headline that the attacking dogs were American Bulldogs and that the victim is 45, not 51, according to police. We've contacted police this morning and they say they no additional info yet, but we're continuing to work on this story. Anyone with information on the attack should contact Lee Higgins at or me at


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:52 p.m.

Thanks. Could you also fix the typo on the story on this sentence &quot;The woman was taked to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital for treatment of serious injuries that police said are not life-threatening.&quot; It should be &quot;taken&quot;.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

Right there with you Cash. Owner's of these dogs that do this need to be sued to bankruptcy for their lack of responsibility, only then will things change. But I imagine that judges and juries probably are sympathetic to dog owners, and probably go easy on them.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 12:41 p.m.

Thank you, Paula. This is a horrifying incident to many of us who want to walk in our own neighborhoods but cannot, due to lack of personal responsibility by some dog owners. We need more attention drawn to the danger of unsecured dogs of all breeds. People need to get past arguing about breeds and get to the real point...personal responsibility. I appreciate your effort to get more information. Thanks.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 12:08 p.m.

It's very sad that I can't walk a.block or two and not be scared out of my wits by peoples dogs charging at me and barking. We need stricter laws to control these kind of situations before another person gets mauled to death

Wolf's Bane

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

I think it's safe to say we've all have complained about the lax leach laws for years, but A2 believes a vertical fountain sculpture resembling a urinal is more important than a dog catcher.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

We have a couple of women walkers on the west side Dexter/Maple area that feel they do not need to obey the law. One will have her dog on a leash while the other lets her Lab walk through every yard on their route. They constantly walk the neighborhood while the Lab wonders through the yards at will. These type of owners are irresponsible and arrogant! This is the type of person that gives all dog owners a bad reputation. No more Mr nice guy here!


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 12:03 p.m.

It would be great to have a little more information on this LOCAL story! Had there ever been trouble with these dogs before? How did the dogs get out? Who were the owners of the dogs? Will the owners be charged with a crime? This poor woman will NEVER get over this attack. Why is this a minor story borrowed from Detroit media? This should be a top story, reported on by local reporters. Please get more facts on this incident.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

Ok, my bad. I didn't go to those sights last night and there was nothing this morning that I saw. Apologies all around.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

I read this story on the Free Press website a little after 9 last night - it wasn't posted on until almost 11.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

Walking Joe, Just FYI here are the two articles written yesterday by both Detroit news media. The Free Press article is the one originally posted here. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

Walking Joe, it was moved up and info added after I posted! And both the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press had this story first....this story was originally posted here with a link to the Free Press, not any A2 reporting. My post was posted on that link and later added this &quot;updated&quot; version.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:14 p.m.

Cash, I have been to several &quot;Detroit media&quot; websites (i.e. channels 4&amp;7, The Detroit News and Free Press) and haven't seen a word about this attack. This story is being treated by as a top story.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 11:26 a.m.

&quot;American Bulldogs&quot; is a made up breed that is actually a huge pitbull. I am pleased these dogs were immediately euthanized. Now, what about the law suit to bankrupt the irresponsible owners who, through their negligence, destroyed this woman's value able property and attempted to kill her? really people, don't have dangerous dogs.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.

all canine are pre-deposed to killing...along with's centuries of domestication and proper training that prevent the predator behavior. Just for kicks, would you happen to know which breed is #1 in bites? I'll let ya guess.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:13 p.m.

Rampage - I understand that any animal, including humans, can be trained or mistreated into becoming a vicious animal. But a Pittbull's genetic predisposition is aggressive and that trait can be difficult to control sometimes. Not uncontrollable all the time, but far more than other species. If the Pittbull was a more reliable species with controlling its aggression, then police agencies would use them. As for the media...I don't think they have a conspiracy against the Pittbull.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:06 p.m.

@Rampage, I am too am very experienced with dogs, dog breeding, dog owning, and dog rescuing and I am not uninformed. I am a realist. Some dogs (especially with pitbulls/&quot;american bulldog&quot; etc) are hardwired to kill. The breeds were developed for that purpose specifically. The fact that they are owned by people who nurture them to be sweet is great until someone/something gets killed because it triggered the hardwired instincts the dog was bred for. I am only sorry these dogs were not immediately euthanized, I misread the story. They should be - they are dangerous, deadly at this point.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

Gorc - Working in several rescue organizations as well as shelters has given me the insight as to how various breeds of dogs act when trained to be aggressive, not just what the media feeds us. Some of the most violent dogs I have seen in the dozens of shelters I have worked in have been labs, and believe it or not, I have seen terribly aggressive goldens. Are aggressive goldens rare? Absolutely. But they do exist and are a direct result of abuse and training by human beings. Lorie - I am not going to argue nature vs nurture with you. Just know that your original comment sounded very heartless and ill informed.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

rampage (interesting name)...baloney. There are dogs that are bred to to kill other dogs and people. &quot;American Bulldogs&quot; are large pitbulls and are bred to do this. These dogs are the equivalent of a loaded gun - this is the same &quot;breed&quot; that killed as least one (I think two) people out near Dexter just a few years ago. They are randomly dangerous based on breeding (and the lack of a true breed standard) and a lack of ethical people involved in the breed.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

Rampage - pure breeds of both cats and dogs have specific behavioral tendencies that are genetic for that species. If a cat or dog is a mixed breed then there behavior can be a different compared to the dominat species that they are. When is the last time you read in any media outlet that a golden retriever mauled another animal or person?


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 12:53 p.m.

American Bulldogs are very much a real breed of dog. They, like all dogs, are not intrinsically dangerous. A golden retriever can be a vicious killer if he/she is trained to be. And I highly doubt this woman will be excessively concerned with the &quot;value&quot; of her dogs; I think she'll be more concerned with the memory of seeing her beloved pets be mauled to death.

Craig Lounsbury

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

the story says &quot;The dogs..... may be euthanized, according to police.&quot;

Les Gov

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 11:20 a.m.

You have to be careful in Pittsfield Twp. The so called Twp authorities don't do anything to enforce the leash laws, except to look the other way. Almost daily we have a dog that wonders the hood. The owner doesn't care and Pittsfield Twp doesn't care. Dogs are great when they have respectful owners. The problem are the people that have dogs as a status symbol and don't keep their animals on their property.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

Les Gov, Sounds like you are advocating Mor Gov, interesting how that works ;)

Joe Hood

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 10:31 a.m.

@Joe_Citizen: Pitbulls or bulldogs? Pitbulls have this type behavior but not bulldogs.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

Sorry pal, but you might want to check before you speak. American Bulldog, is called a pit bull because they are made for fighting in the pit. Hence the word &quot;Pit Bull&quot;.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 12:15 p.m.

FYI-Bulldogs killed 2 people in Livingston county 3 years ago.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 7:44 a.m.

Again they are made to be hunter/killers. These dogs are not for society at all. They should be on large farms, and that's it. there are some 800 breads and this one should not be near community's.

Wolf's Bane

Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

Yeah, everytime my neighbor's Schnauzer gets out, he charges and attacks me ... EVERYTIME! These Bulldogs dogs ARE hunter/killers and should be banned along with the folks that breed them in Puppy Mills.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

I have a clue there pal. I studied dogs and breeding, this one was bread to hunt down wild hogs, and fight other dogs. They were not meant to be a house pets, and for that matter even for protection. These dogs are meant to fight and hunt...


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

Didn't an attack like this happen in our area several years ago, with the same breed of dog? I vaguely remember it was an old man or woman who was attacked by four of them?


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

You should not be speaking on a subject you clearly have no clue about. Remember Petey from the Original Little Rascals? Or the Victrola Dog? Yep same breed, it is HUMANS that have done horrible things to this breed of dog, not the animals. I have 2 I have rescued, I would not have any other kind of dog! You have to know animals, especially your own animals. I might add that yesterday was not the kind of day to leave your animals outside, mine are never out even in our fenced in country yard, without someone being HOME and paying attention! Its not the breed of dog, its the breed of Owner that is the problem.


Wed, Dec 28, 2011 : 10:32 a.m.

Its all in the raising and training of these animals, not just the species/breed itself. Just like human killers, a poor upbringing is a sure way to make a monster.