A 40-year-old man died in a vicious dog attack on Christmas. The Indiana man, Edward L. Cahill, was killed by his pet dog, named “Fat Boy.” While police in Portage are trying to determine what led to the fatal pit bull attack, a longstanding debate over the popular — but infamous — canine companions shows the public is still split over their safety to humans. Additionally, people wonder what would make a dog bite a person to death, citing a report by the Examiner.
Cahill was alone with two of the family pit bull terriers at the time of the attack. At some point, one of his 8-year-old pet dogs became aggressive and mauled its owner. Police received a frantic call from the Indiana man’s girlfriend some time later after the dog’s fatal attack on the man.
Bianca Rodriguez said she returned home about 5 p.m. EDT on Christmas Day, and found her lover unresponsive on the living room floor of their residence. He was covered in blood and had numerous wounds about his body. One of the pet dogs was nearby, and had blood stains around his mouth. The other pit bull was secured in a bedroom at the time of the man’s mauling. She then called 911 to report the grisly finding.
Police and paramedics arrived a short time later, but there was nothing they could do. A medical examiner pronounced Cahill dead on the scene. A preliminary cause of death was due to massive blood loss due to dog bite wounds on the man’s neck, face, and arms.
During the death investigation, officers learned from the victim’s girlfriend that the pet dog responsible for killing the man exhibited “extremely aggressive and unpredictable” behavior in the past. This was made worse when he was in an excited state by having a doggie chew or bone in his mouth.
Both Cahill and his Rodriguez’s son were bitten in the past by the pit bull. Moreover, investigators learned the man had given both pit bulls rawhide bones early that morning. The assumption is that both animals were in the midst of play, perhaps playing the game of “keep away,” when Fat Boy became violent and attacked the man. It was later euthanized.
Although Rodriguez is grieving over the loss of her mate, she does not harbor any hate towards the family companions. And despite the outcries from the public, she defended the dogs.
“I don’t want people to think bad of pit bulls. They were playful dogs. One slept with the girls and the other slept with me and my husband. It was just a freak accident. He loved his dogs. That’s all I can say, and I think it’s something that just went wrong. He was a great man. He was my best friend, my rock, and he loved his four kids.”
Pit bulls have a long and notorious history of being very dangerous and unfit to keep as pets. They are often used in dogfights and guard dogs. With one of the strongest bites among domestic dogs, when they are involved in attacks on humans, the incident usually results in death or maiming, according to DogsBite.org, which provided an alarming statistic about pits.
“In the 9-year period from 2005 to 2013, pit bulls killed 176 Americans and accounted for 62% of the total recorded deaths (283). Combined, pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 74% of these deaths.”
However, like the wife of the Indiana man killed by his pet dog, some suggest the American pit bull terrier has been unfairly judged. Many suggest that any animal is capable of launching an attack on humans if there is not proper training, or there is a history of abuse against the animal.
The Inquisitr reported back in October on a controversial move by Aurora, Colorado, officials to have voters consider a measure that would repeal a longstanding ban on pit bulls. After research, experts suggest that most attacks by any dog breed are normally precipitated by some degree of owner negligence. The amendment, the first of its kind to be part of a general election, aims to punish bad dog owners, not the dog breed. Share your thoughts below on the breed.
[Image via: New York Daily News]