What causes a pitbull to attack? A Comprehensive Guide

The Case of Bethany Lynn Stephens

In 2018, 22-year-old Bethany Lynn Stephens was mauled by her two Pit bulls in Goochland. According to the Goochland County Sheriff’s Office, they saw Stephens’ body in a remote area surrounded by her dogs – like ‘guarding’ her body. However, officers discovered that the dogs were covered in blood, and Stephens’ torn clothes were scattered in the area.

Based on the CAT scan x-ray. There were no signs of domestic violence, stabbing, bullet wounds, and broken bones. The medical examiner reported that another large animal did not cause the wounds and injuries because it did not get through her skull. Thus, all injuries seen in her body are dog bites.

Stephens raised the dogs from puppies until adulthood. Loved ones and other close relatives of Stephens shared that her dogs had always been affectionate. Her dogs also never portrayed any signs of possible aggressiveness. Thus, some are in huge shock after finding out about the accident.

According to reports, Stephens’ dogs went through drastic lifestyle changes before the accident. The two Pit bulls were staying on the property of Stephens’ father, and since Stephens does not live there full time, she only gets to visit her dogs from time to time. Authorities also stated that the dogs have been recently neglected while Stephens is gone.

Aside from the dogs’ lifestyle changes, authorities do not know the exact reason why the dogs suddenly attack their owner.

The family of a 3-year-old girl named Victoria Wilcher rushed her to the hospital in April 2014 after three Pit bulls attacked her on her grandfather’s mobile home in Simpson County. Due to the accident, Wilcher lost her right eye and suffered from permanent face disfiguration. With the injuries attained by Victoria, doctors claimed that it is a miracle that she survived.

According to Sheriff Kenneth Lewis, one of the Pit bulls tore the backdoor and jumped toward Wilcher. Then, the other two dogs dragged Wilcher to the backyard. Donald Mullins, Victoria’s grandfather, with his girlfriend Rita Tompkins, rushed to help the kid. Mullins also fatally shot the two dogs.

Based on the grandfather’s statement, his Pit bulls had never shown any signs of aggressiveness. According to the Sheriff, people always use that narrative after dog attacks. After the incident, animal control officers seized the remaining eight Pit bulls (since Mullins owned 10). Until now, the specific reason behind the attack is unknown.

Moreover, the officials jailed Donald Mullins and Rita Tompkins for child endangerment, but they bonded out and immediately visited Victoria in the hospital.

Pit bulls are more dangerous than other dogs.

What causes a pitbull to attack?

While some studies have presented reliable data that suggests pit bulls bite and attack more frequently than other dogs, other reputable studies have contradicted this finding by determining that a dog’s breed doesn’t determine its propensity for aggression and that pit bulls are not significantly more aggressive than other dogs. Any dog, including beloved golden retrievers and lap dogs can bite if provoked by the right circumstances. That said, pit bull attacks can cause a lot of damage due to their size, strength, and determination. Pit bulls also have an incredibly strong jaw that allows them to clamp down on their target, leading many victims of pit bull bites to say the dog would not let go. Therefore, pit bulls attacks may be reported more often because victims are more severely injured and need medical help. Meanwhile, if a tiny chihuahua attacked, the dog is too small to cause a lot of damage and any injuries could likely be addressed at home.

What causes a pitbull to attack?

Over the years, weve heard many stories in the news about how a pit bull who behaved perfectly for his entire life suddenly snapped and turned on its owner with disastrous consequences. When these attacks are reported, its often said that the dog was unprovoked and the attack came from out of nowhere. While we cant speak for the inner workings of the minds of every pit bull out there, experts say that pit bulls are no more or less unpredictable than any other dog. If a dog is attacking, he has likely been triggered by pain or something that has made him extremely uncomfortable. In order to prevent attacks from occurring, pet owners need to be able to read their dogs’ body language to identify when he may be feeling triggered before it escalates into aggressive behavior. Pit bull attacks may seem particularly unpredictable because of an inability to understand the dogs body language and because of the force with which these dogs can use to attack or bite.

Q: Why do I always read about pit bulls in the news?

When a pit bull attacks, the injury inflicted may be catastrophic. First responders, such as police officers and firefighters, understand this as do members of the media, who are quick to report these attacks. Ongoing social tension also keeps pit bulls in the news. The pit bull problem is now over 30 years old.12 In this time, most lawmakers have been “too afraid” to take breed-specific action to correct the problem. Due to this failure, horrific maulings continue to make headlines.

About half of all media reports regarding pit bulls involve police officers shooting dangerous pit bulls in the line of duty.13 Since the late 1970s pit bulls have been used extensively in criminal operations for drug dealers, gang members and other violent offenders. The pit bull terrier is the breed of choice for criminals. This choice is directly linked to the pit bulls selectively bred traits of robust jaw strength, a deadly bite style, tenacity (gameness) and a high tolerance to pain.14 Also see:

What Caused 2 Pit Bulls to Kill Their Owner?