Women recovering from dog attack, animal control issuing tickets


Story Comments Share

Updated: 3/20/2013 3:38 pm Published: 3/19/2013 1:18 pm


A 43-year-old woman is recovering from her first surgery and a 78-year-old woman is in critical condition after a vicious dog attack in north Tulsa on Tuesday.

Animal Welfare tells FOX23 they plan to issue tickets for 'harboring an un-neutered dog' and no licensing. It is not legal in the City of Tulsa to license an animal that has not been spayed or neutered.  

They also say there had not been issues with that dog in the past.

One veteran Tulsa Police Captain calls it one of the most horrific dog attacks he’s seen in his 30-year career. 

“If I hadn’t been there myself I wouldn’t believe that these injuries were caused by a dog,” said TPD Captain Steve Odom. “I certainly won’t forget about this.”

Tulsa police say two women ages 43 and 78 were ministering in the neighborhood near E. Pine and N. Lewis when they were mauled by a homeowner’s pit bull on Tuesday morning around 10:00 am.

Officers say a man who heard the women crying for help ended the attack by shooting the dog who police say weighed about 80 to 85 pounds. 

“We just heard this blood curdling scream,” said Michael Harrell.

He works at Interstate Steel and jumped in his truck when he heard the women screaming for help. The home was only a block away from his business.

"The dog was biting her at the corner of the house,” said Harrell. 

So he grabbed his pistol and ran up to the fence.

"There was another lady sitting on the ground in the front, appeared to be unconscious, not alive or she would not move,” said Harrell. “The dog literally looked at me and then went right back to biting her again. He kept changing from her face, to her foot, to her arm, to her foot, face to arm, then leg.”

He says the owner was in the yard and hysterical. She was armed with a baseball bat she used to try to stop her pit bull.

"She was down on her knees screaming and crying and just helpless, she was covered in blood,” said Harrell.

He says he went to the opening gate and shook it.

"Finally the dog just locked eyes with me and when it did it bolted straight for me at the gate,” said Harrell.

He says his concealed carry training kicked in and he made a quick decision. 

"That's when I asked the lady, ‘is this your dog’ and she said ‘yes’ and I said ‘can I shoot it’ and she ‘yes," said Harrell.

He said the dog went down with one shot.

"Thank God he was there to do that or else we would have two dead victims," said Captain Odom. 

Harrell says he is a former school teacher and he taught kids when they can help, not to freeze but do something.

"It was terrifying. What it was doing to those women were, you don't see it, you don't understand it in a horror movie. It's that kind of thing, to see their face. It was terrifying," said Harrell.

The mother of the one of the victim’s says her 43-year-old daughter was trying to help her friend who was being attacked by the dog who then attacked her daughter in the yard.

FOX23 News looked up Tulsa’s Animal Ordinances and found under Title 2 laws about dangerous dogs. In this case, it is still under investigation.

However, the laws state you need to register a dangerous dog and if not you must provide more than a warning sign, you must have an insurance policy. It’s unclear if the dog in this case was registered as a dangerous dog. 


Dogs may not be declared dangerous if it causes harm because of a trespasser or abuse.

The mother of the 43-year-old woman says her daughter had surgery today and has a total of 60 stitches in her face, arms, neck, head and most of her leg. She says her daughter’s leg needs to be reconstructed and will have surgery again on Friday. She is on a breathing machine and barely conscience.

FOX23 News is being told the 78-year-old woman has severe facial injuries.

FOX23 called the City of Tulsa Animal Welfare to look into dog bite statistics by breed, they told us there is not accurate data on dog bites by breed. They told us they believe smaller dog breeds bite more often but are under reported by victims.

Many larger breed bites are reported because state law requires doctors to report dog bites due to rabies.

Story Comments Share

27 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

DWontheplains - 3/25/2013 1:24 PM
0 Votes
Most dogs are territorial, not just pit bulls. I have austrailian shepards and if you get on their property you have had it. It is in their nature to protect their family and their home. Any one stupid enough to go past a beware of dog sign is asking for it. My austrailian shepards are wonderful when they are with us. People come over and pet them in the livingroom. Our vet loves them. That doesn't mean that they are going to let you on the property without their owners permission. I say if you want to go door to door that you need to carry your own insurance seeing how you are the one that thinks yo have the right to show up at peoples homes unannounced and uninvited.

Davasc - 3/21/2013 9:09 AM
2 Votes
This whole official response completely contradicts everything pitbull owners say any other time this has happened....they scream, "it's the owner, not the pitbull." Well, this time the dog is being blamed but is already dead and apparently the two victims will have astronomical medical expenses, life long disfigurement, post traumatic stress, nightmares that they will be responsible for since officially it was an accident despite the evidence to the contrary by people who knew the owner and pitbull. A Beware of Dog sign means the owner knew the dog to be dangerous. If the owner had met them at the door with a meat cleaver and just began hacking them...would that also have been an accident? She knew the pitbull was vicious...send her to prison. The women and their families should sue her at the least....

Unwashed Mass - 3/20/2013 6:46 PM
1 Vote
The dog's owner will have their hands full paying the victim's hospital bills, without having to pay petty tickets for "harboring an un-neutered dog." Someone at Animal Control should be fired.

roastpuppy - 3/20/2013 4:41 PM
2 Votes
To fedup: First, I seriously doubt there is a person on this site who doesn't know pit bull is a "type" rather than "breed" of dog. Second, the ATTS was NOT created to evaluate dogs for “pet” suitability. It was developed in 1977 by Alfons Ertelt and he was a printer, NOT an animal behaviorist. However, he owned German shepherds and was involved in the sport called shutzhund, which involves training dogs in the same manner police dogs are trained. The ATTS was intended to test working dogs for jobs such as police work and it favors bold animals, i.e., dogs that face danger head-on without hesitation or fear. Courage was a desired trait and was rewarded, timid dogs failed. Thus, German shepherds did much better on the ATTS than did collies and other timid breeds. In fact, 95% of the dogs that fail the ATTS do so because they “lack confidence” when approaching a weirdly-dressed stranger. Of course, pit bulls are going to score well on a test geared toward aggressive behavior because these monsters were bred for the purpose of fighting and killing other pit bulls and anything else that moves, including weirdly-dressed strangers!

gettingby - 3/20/2013 10:22 AM
4 Votes
Politicians and the media have whipped up a lot of passion against guns, but the only thing that saved these women's lives was a trained private citizen who owned a gun and knew how to handle himself in a crisis. Until pitbulls are made tough to find, they will populate and reproduce. A place to start is with CL and the Tulsa World-----make it impossible to sell or give away the animals on the internet or the news stand.

lizziepoo82 - 3/20/2013 8:48 AM
1 Vote
I have two pit bulls myself and they are not aggressive at all. I believe these dogs can be aggressive by the way they are raised. I will pray for a speedy recovery for both women, I am so sad this had to happen to them.

maxgold - 3/20/2013 4:19 AM
2 Votes
If we ignore the expert opinions of kennel clubs and breeders, we can still test the theory that Pit Bulls have to be trained to be aggressive. All we have to do is look at other behaviourally selected breeds. Consider the English Pointer. An adult Pointer is supposed to run, lickety-split, back & forth across a field until it smells the scent of a bird. Once it senses the bird, it is supposed to stop, instantly, & hold the “point” until the hunter gives a signal. Some of the sequence is trained – the pointing is not. To test this, take a Pointer whose parents are good hunting dogs. Raise him for a year without ever letting him see a bird. Now put him in a field full of pheasants and see what he does. He’ll point. He doesn’t need training, encouragement or coercion to cause him to point. His genes have passed along a specific behavior - if you smell a bird, freeze. Pointers who possess this innate reaction sell for very high prices. Try telling a hunter that he paid $10,000 for a finished field Pointer that had to be taught to point. He’ll laugh at you. He paid a premium for a pedigree that assured his dog’s potential for excellence. If you need another example, consider the Australian Cattle Dog – AKA Blue Heeler or Queensland Heeler. The name “heeler” describes the instinctive tendency of this breed to bite the heels of the animals they herd. This trait was created when Scotch Collies were mixed with Dingos in the late 1850’s. By 1900, the genetic behavior pattern was firmly established. Now, virtually every Heeler heels, instinctively. If you tell an Aussie drover that his dog had to be taught to heel. He’ll laugh at you, too, mate. Like his Pointer counterpart, the Heeler displays a trait that is transmitted genetically. It requires no training or encouragement. Gary Wilkes - Internationally acclaimed behaviorist, trainer,author, columnist and lecturer. He has more than 30 years experience working with dogs, including eight years of shelter work.

maxgold - 3/20/2013 4:17 AM
2 Votes
If we ignore the expert opinions of kennel clubs and breeders, we can still test the theory that Pit Bulls have to be trained to be aggressive. All we have to do is look at other behaviourally selected breeds. Consider the English Pointer. An adult Pointer is supposed to run, lickety-split, back & forth across a field until it smells the scent of a bird. Once it senses the bird, it is supposed to stop, instantly, & hold the “point” until the hunter gives a signal. Some of the sequence is trained – the pointing is not. To test this, take a Pointer whose parents are good hunting dogs. Raise him for a year without ever letting him see a bird. Now put him in a field full of pheasants and see what he does. He’ll point. He doesn’t need training, encouragement or coercion to cause him to point. His genes have passed along a specific behavior - if you smell a bird, freeze. Pointers who possess this innate reaction sell for very high prices. Try telling a hunter that he paid $10,000 for a finished field Pointer that had to be taught to point. He’ll laugh at you. He paid a premium for a pedigree that assured his dog’s potential for excellence. If you need another example, consider the Australian Cattle Dog – AKA Blue Heeler or Queensland Heeler. The name “heeler” describes the instinctive tendency of this breed to bite the heels of the animals they herd. This trait was created when Scotch Collies were mixed with Dingos in the late 1850’s. By 1900, the genetic behavior pattern was firmly established. Now, virtually every Heeler heels, instinctively. If you tell an Aussie drover that his dog had to be taught to heel. He’ll laugh at you, too, mate. Like his Pointer counterpart, the Heeler displays a trait that is transmitted genetically. It requires no training or encouragement. Gary is an internationally acclaimed behaviorist, trainer,author, columnist and lecturer. He has more than 30 years experience working with dogs, including eight years of shelter work.

maxgold - 3/20/2013 4:11 AM
4 Votes
To assert that Pit Bulls are only aggressive if you train them to attack, contradicts the existence of every other behavior-specific breed on the planet. According to them, my Heeler would be just as good in a dog fight as their Pit Bull and their Pit Bull would be able to bite the planted heel of a cow, just like my Heeler. My Heeler, Tuggy, laughs at that. Pit fighters would belly laugh. No other breed in America is currently bred for fighting, in such great numbers as the American Pit Bull Terrier. No other breed has instinctive behaviors that are so consistently catastrophic when they occur, regardless of how rarely they happen. The reality is that every English Pointer has the ability to point a bird. Every Cattle Dog has the ability to bite the heel of a cow and every Beagle has the ability to make an obnoxious bugling noise when it scents a rabbit or sees a cat walking on the back fence. Realistically,if your English Pointer suddenly & unpredictably points at a bird in the park, nobody cares. If my Heeler nips your ankle, I’m going to take care of your injuries and probably be fined for the incident. If your Beagle bugles too much, you’ll get a ticket for a noise violation. If your Pit Bull does what it’s bred to do...well, you fill in the blank. For the last 25 years I have trained and rehabilitated Pit Bulls as a regular part of my business. I have found them to be bright, affectionate & loving. I’ve also seen what they can do to other dogs, livestock & people. It’s not pretty. It isn’t supposed to be. They were bred to do one thing – attack with no reservations. Like a hand grenade, they are inert until you pull the pin. Once the pin is pulled, there is nothing you can do to stop the explosion. Pitbulls differ from grenades in one very important aspect – the dog controls the pin. Gary Wilkes - internationally acclaimed behaviorist, trainer & lecturer. He has more than 30 years experience working with dogs, including 8 years of shelter work

Jaloney - 3/20/2013 1:12 AM
4 Votes
Turn off the UNreality t.v. Those "stars" are PAID to promote pitbulls.. just like t.v. celebs promoted cigarettes for money for decades on the t.v. Wealthy dog fighters promote this fad because they don't have to worry about getting caught and can keep their barbaric sport going with pitbulls popularized. The it's the owner not the breed mantra sounds logical but it's not. This repetitive slogan is illogical. Other dog breeds owned in much greater numbers have equal chances of getting neglectful and abusive owners, yet they adapt to human shortcomings and don't maul people or pets at anywhere near the rate that pitbulls do. Labs are routinely forgotten and chained in backyards and they are the most popular dog breed in America, Labs are not the top killers, pitbull are. Mortality, Maiming and Mauling by Vicious Dogs, Annals of Surgery, April 2011, is study of dog injuries in hospitals spanning the last 15 years. The study found that you have a more than 2500 times higher chance of dying if attacked by a pitbull. The statistics on pitbulls seriously harming people at a much higher rate than other dogs are overwhelming. You can't love out genes or untrain genes. Family owned and loved pitbulls can turn on a dime. If you believe that pitbulls are just like any other dog, and regurgitate the false "its the owner not the breed mantra" you might of believed the world was flat, too Just because something sounds good doesn't make it true. Regulating pitbulls is for the greater good of all. We can't keep having kids walking around looking like bombing victims for life and their parents begging for help to pay for the medical bills. These dogs were created for evil and nobody knows when or where.. but family loved and unabused pitbulls suddenly turn into monsters.
FOX23 Weather Center
61°
Feels Like: 61°
High: 73° | Low: 59°
Cloudy
Top Stories
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.