Local News

Woman dies following pit bull attack

PitbullSPANAWAY — A 65-year-old woman died Wednesday after she sustained extensive injuries in a brutal pit bull attack last week in Spanaway, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office said.

Nga Woodhead was attacked by two pit bulls without provocation while she was walking around 9 a.m. Thursday in the 16200 block of Pacific Avenue South. According to the News Tribune, a 52-year-old man who saw her trying to fend off the dogs with an umbrella tried to help Woodhead, but he was bitten, too.

Woodhead was taken to the hospital with extensive injuries, the News Tribune reported. The man was treated at the hospital with dog bites on his arm. Woodhead was pronounced dead Wednesday, but her name has not yet been released or her official cause of death.

A third bystander who saw the attack obtained a handgun from a nearby resident and shot one of the dogs, the News Tribune reported, and both dogs scampered away.

Both dogs were later killed by police. One witness told the News Tribune that the dogs were “extremely aggressive and out of control.”

It is unknown at this time if the dogs’ owners will be charged with a crime.

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30 Comments to “Woman dies following pit bull attack”

    Jennifer Christian said:
    October 31, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Why does the media blow these stories out of proportion? Because of the breed? 90% of dogs that attack are mistreated, neglected or raised to be aggressive. Its not the breed its the owner its always the scumbag owner who wasnt taking care of their dogs. Why dont you give the full story instead of just reporting the shock factor! Pitbull are naturally very friendly dogs, bad owners ruin them.

      Leon said:
      October 31, 2013 at 3:23 PM

      Ya Jennifer I agree, they should shoot the dogs owner(s)! I don't know where you got your statistics, but they're not quite right. It's more like 90% of dog attacks are done by pit bulls. They attacked an innocent 65 year old lady as she walked down the street, and then a 56 year old man that tried to help her. You don't bounce back from injuries of that type when you're that old. The only good thing I can say about those dogs are that they are dead, and I hope they charge the owner(s) to the fullest extent of the law, including restitution.

        Bootlegger59 said:
        October 31, 2013 at 4:43 PM

        Totally agree with you, buddy! If I had my way, every one of those stinking hounds would get blown away on sight!! LOL, LOL, LOL, LOL, 'Naturally Friendly'!!!!!!! What a load of hogwash!!!

      Chuck from Tacoma said:
      October 31, 2013 at 5:35 PM

      I just saw a very thorough story on this. They interviewed witnesses, one of the men that heroically intervened to save the elderly woman that was being attacked and shredded as well as the man that owned the at dogs.
      The old lady was drug in to a ditch by the attacking dogs. She was mauled, having stitches, staples all over her body, as well as a titanium rod used in the rebuilding of her arm.
      Thank God it was on busy Pacific Avenue during commute hours or it very likely would have been a fatal attack. One of the hero's, a former Marine was also transported to the hospital.
      Of course, as is customary in these incidents, the dogs owners talked about how sweet and friendly his dogs have always been and that he has no idea how they escaped from their fenced yard.

      Joseph said:
      November 7, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      Not fully accurate, Pits are more inclined to bite and be aggressive, it's what the breed was developed for.
      I have a rescued one that I got as a puppy, he's as loving as they come, but he took on a opossum that my older bigger Retriever dogs wouldn't go near. He can jump at least 8 feet vertically from a stand-still on an incline, and I have to be very careful with him. Of course my neighbors let their little Jack Russell and toddler run all over the street, driving my dogs crazy, but they're not too bright.

    Amanda said:
    October 31, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    yes it does give them a bad rap :-(

    Amanda said:
    October 31, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    oh and on top of that the dog in the picture looks like a boxer not a pitbull.

      Bootlegger59 said:
      October 31, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      WHAT?? 'Naturally Friendly'?? Enough of the jokes and lies. I'd shoot one in a heartbeat!!! I detest those mongruls and the more they shoot, the better off society will be!!! You're delusional, Fred!! You've read too many novels and beginning to believe everything you hear and read. Your world doesn't exist!!

      Joseph said:
      November 7, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      You don't know much about dog breeds then.

    Slam1263 said:
    October 31, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    And why haven't they figured out if they are going to charge the animals owners?

    Actually, let's just put them in a cage full of rats, it is Halloween.

    Cindy Burns said:
    October 31, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    According to your story these animals were killed the day before these people were attacked.. SPANAWAY — Two pit bulls were shot and killed Wednesday after they attacked and bit two people on a residential street, the Tacoma News Tribune reported.

    A 65-year-old woman was attacked without provocation while she was walking around 9 a.m. Thursday in the 16200 block of Pacific Avenue South in Spanaway.

    Read more: http://q13fox.com/2013/10/31/pit-bulls-shot-after

      Chuck from Tacoma said:
      October 31, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      It did happen this morning. I was listening live on the scanner while deputies and firefighters were responding and searching for the dogs.

    guest said:
    November 6, 2013 at 11:47 AM

    they were nice dogs, wouldn't hurt anybody!

    guest said:
    November 6, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    I am curious to know who said they were pit bulls and would like to see some proof before we continue to bash a breed that almost everyone seems to get wrong when usually it’s a boxer, mix, mutt whatever.

      esco said:
      November 6, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      The local Humane Society probably confirmed it.

    barbed_rose said:
    November 6, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    27 people are DEAD in the U.S. because of dog attacks so far in 2013. Pit Bull type dogs killed twenty-five of them. Please use your Search Engine and research the names of the dead YOURSELF, rather than claiming that Chihuahuas are more dangerous, or that your own precious Pit Bull would sooner 'lick you to death'.

      guest said:
      November 6, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      Who claimed Chihuahuas are dangerous and why would you assume someone asking a question about the breed actually owns a pit bull?

    barbed_rose said:
    November 6, 2013 at 2:02 PM

    The CHILDREN KILLED by pit bull type dogs this year so far 2013 :__ Christian Gormanous – 4 yrs old_ Isaiah Aguilar – 2 yrs old _ Ryan Maxwell – 7 yrs old _ Dax Borchardt – 14 mos old _ Monica Laminack – 21 mos old _ Tyler Jett – 7 yrs old _ Jordyn Arndt – 4 yrs old _ Beau Rutledge – 2 yrs old _ Ayden Evans- 5 yrs old _ Nephi Selu – 6 yrs old _ Arianna Jolee Merrbach – 5 yrs old_ Daniel (surname as yet not revealed) – 2 yrs old (Gilbert, Arizona) _ Samuel Eli Zamudio – 2 yrs old_ Jordan Ryan – 5 yrs old (Baker, Oregon).

    barbed_rose said:
    November 6, 2013 at 2:03 PM

    The ADULTS KILLED by pit bull types (11):__ Betty Todd – 65 yrs old _ Elsie Grace – 91 yrs old _ Claudia Gallardo – 38 yrs old_ Pamela Devitt – 63 yrs old_ Carlton Freeman – 80 yrs old_ Linda Oliver – 63 yrs old_ James Harding – 62 yrs old – chased into traffic by two attacking pit bulls_ Juan Campos – 96 yrs old_ Terry Douglass -56 yrs old _ Katherine Atkins 25 yrs old _ Un-named victim died today – 65 yrs old. Pit Bull types are only about 5% of the entire dog population. FIVE PER CENT DOING THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE DAMAGE. It IS Breed Specific. It has been for YEARS. Time for people to wake up. All dogs can BITE, but Bull breeds are designed to never LET GO until the death of the victim or their own deaths.

    esco said:
    November 6, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    So will the owner get a manslaughter charge, murder charge, or a pathetic slap on the wrist?
    I wouldn't let them walk away from this that's for sure.

    guest said:
    November 6, 2013 at 3:58 PM

    The OWNERS of the animals is the one to blame here. This goes back to the same old topic us as humans have a responsibly for our actions. If you have pets and they are not in a secured yard then they should never be left outside alone. People seem to forget that any animal no matter the breed will adapt to how the owner raises it. When you raise something to be bad it will be bad. Humans need to wake up to themselves and take responsibility for their own actions.

    Thomas McCartney said:
    November 6, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    27 dead by dog attack so far in 2013.
    Pit bull type dogs killed twenty-five of them. fifteen of the twenty-five dead are children.
    Stars indicate people killed by a ‘family’ pit bull – ones that had been raised and cherished as an indoor pet, ‘never showed aggression before’, and knew the victim.

    Child fatalities by pit bull type dog (14):
    Christian Gormanous – 4 yrs old
    Isaiah Aguilar – 2 yrs old
    Ryan Maxwell – 7 yrs old **
    Dax Borchardt – 14 mos old **
    Monica Laminack – 21 mos old **
    Tyler Jett – 7 yrs old
    Jordyn Arndt – 4 yrs old **
    Beau Rutledge – 2 yrs old **
    Ayden Evans- 5 yrs old **
    Nephi Selu – 6 yrs old **
    Arianna Jolee Merrbach – 5 yrs old
    Daniel (surname as yet not revealed) – 2 yrs old (Gilbert, Arizona) **
    Samuel Eli Zamudio – 2 yrs old**
    Jordan Ryan– 5 yrs old (Baker city, Oregon)**

    Adult fatalities by pit bull type (8):
    Betty Todd – 65 yrs old **
    Elsie Grace – 91 yrs old **
    Claudia Gallardo – 38 yrs old
    Pamela Devitt – 63 yrs old
    Carlton Freeman – 80 yrs old
    Linda Oliver – 63 yrs old
    James Harding – 62 yrs old – chased into traffic by two attacking pit bulls
    Juan Campos – 96 yrs old
    Terry Douglass 56 years old. **
    Katherine Atkins-25 years old **
    Nga Woodhead-65 years old

    (1 non-pit type killing) [Rachel Honabarger - 35 yrs old - mauled to death by her own GSD mix]
    (1 husky-mix killing, unknown if the other half of the dog was pit bull) [Jordan Lee Reed – 5 yrs old]

    Two of the pit bull type dogs were BULL mastiffs, ie 40% pit-fighting bulldog.

    If 23 of 27 dead were killed by pit bull attack, that's 85% dead by pit attack, 7% dead by 'molosser', 4% by some kind of GSD mix, 4% by a husky + possibly pit mix

    If you count the pit-mix mastiffs as pit bull types, that's 93% killed by attacking pit bull types. Pit types are only about 5% of the entire dog population.

    The man who ran into traffic kept pit bulls himself. He knew perfectly well what the two stranger pit bulls that were chasing him would do if they caught him, so he preferred to risk a swift death by oncoming car.

    Thomas said:
    November 6, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Learn and become educated about the genetic truth and reality of the Pit bull Type dog and the danger they present:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ban-All-Pit-Bull-T

    Thomas said:
    November 6, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    This week, Riverside County supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance requiring pit bulls older than 4 months in unincorporated areas of the county to be spayed or neutered. Registered breeders, law enforcement and therapy dogs are exempt from the ordinance, which takes effect next month.

    In 2010, San Bernardino County supervisors passed a similar ordinance for unincorporated areas of the county, such as Mentone. Owners of non-sterilized pit bulls can be fined $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $300 for subsequent offenses.

    Highland and Yucaipa adopted the same ordinance, according to Brian Cronin, chief of the county’s animal control division, which handles animal control in those two cities.

    The San Bernardino County ordinance said pit bull breeds account for about 20 percent of the dogs at animal shelters and are put down more often than any other breed.

    Cronin emailed figures showing the county’s intake of pit bulls has decreased 28 percent since the ordinance took effect and that euthanization rates have dropped by 56 percent.

    The ordinance was passed to reduce the number of dogs destroyed at taxpayer expense, Cronin said.

    Thomas said:
    November 6, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Council Bluffs, Iowa.
    Pit bulls are not only problematic in large cities; they threaten mid-sized cities and small towns as well. Located in the heartland, Council Bluffs, Iowa has about 60,000 citizens.

    After a series of devastating attacks, beginning in 2003, Council Bluffs joined over 600 U.S. cities and began regulating pit bulls.

    The results of the Council Bluffs pit bull ban, which began January 1, 2005, show the positive effects such legislation can have on public safety in just a few years time:1.

    Council Bluffs: Pit Bull Bite Statistics.

    Year Pit Bull Bites % of All Bites.
    2004 29 23%.
    2005 12 10% (year ban enacted).
    2006 6 4%.
    2007 2 2%.
    2008 0 0%.
    2009 0 0%.
    2010 1 1%.
    2011 0 0%.
    http://www.dogsbite.org/legislating-dangerous-dog

    Thomas said:
    November 6, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to May.25, 2013.

    By compiling U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2013, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, shows the breeds most responsible for serious injury and death.

    Study highlights

    Pit bull type dogs make up only 6% of all dogs in the USA.

    The combination of Pit Bulls, rottweilers, their close mixes and wolf hybrids and other Pit Bull Type Dogs:

    84% of attacks that induce bodily harm.

    75% of attacks to children.

    87% of attack to adults.

    72% of attacks that result in fatalities.

    80% that result in maiming.

    Thomas said:
    November 6, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    In a discussion of the Denver ban, Assistant City Attorney Kory Nelson recently told the San Francisco Chronicle that:

    “Since 1989, when that city instituted a pit bull ban, ‘we haven’t had one serious pit bull attack,’ said Kory Nelson, a Denver assistant city attorney. His city’s assertion that ‘pit bulls are more dangerous than other breeds of dog’ has withstood legal challenges, he said.

    ‘We were able to prove there’s a difference between pit bulls and other breeds of dogs that make pit bulls more dangerous,' he said."

    Sources: Denver Post
    ***************************************************
    Toronto:

    In a November 2011, public health statistics published by Global Toronto showed that pit bull bites dropped dramatically after Ontario adopted the Dog Owners Liability Act in 2005, an act that banned pit bulls:

    The number of dog bites reported in Toronto has fallen since a ban on pit bulls took effect in 2005, public health statistics show.

    A total of 486 bites were recorded in 2005. That number fell generally in the six years following, to 379 in 2010.

    Provincial laws that banned 'pit bulls,' defined as pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers and dogs resembling them took effect in August 2005. Existing dogs were required to be sterilized, and leashed and muzzled in public.

    Bites in Toronto blamed on the four affected breeds fell sharply, from 71 in 2005 to only six in 2010. This accounts for most of the reduction in total bites.
    ***************************************************

    Salina, KS

    Rose Base, director of the Salina Animal Shelter who lobbied for the ordinance, told the Salina Journal:

    The ordinance has made a difference, she said. Records at the Salina Animal Shelter indicate there were 24 reported pit bull bites in 2003 and 2004, and only five since — none from 2009 to present.

    Salina has 62 registered pit bulls, Base said. Before the ordinance she guessed there were "close to 300." Since the first of this year three of the registered pit bulls have died of old age.

    "We definitely haven't had the severity of bites that we had in the past," Base said. "Our community has been somewhat safer because of the law that was passed

    Thomas said:
    November 6, 2013 at 8:30 PM

    Prince George's County, MD
    Prince George's County passed a pit bull ban in 1996. In August 2009, Rodney Taylor, associate director of the county's Animal Management Group, said that the number of pit bull biting incidents has fallen:

    "Taylor said that during the first five to seven years of the ban, animal control officials would encounter an average of 1,200 pit bulls a year but that in recent years that figure has dropped by about half. According to county statistics, 36 pit bull bites, out of 619 total dog bites, were recorded in 2008, down from 95 pit bull bites, out of a total of 853, in 1996."
    ***************************************************
    Salina KS (a second article)

    Note that they admit that the pit bull ban did not reduce the number of bites, but it did reduce the severity of bites reported by all breeds. Proof that when pit bull deniers find a jurisdiction that banned pit bulls, but reported no decrease in overall bites, is a moot point. Its death and dismemberment we are focusing on, not bite counts.

    In the monthly city newsletter, In Touch, published in September 2006, the City of Salina reported that the pit bull ban adopted in 2005 significantly reduced pit bull biting incidents in just a 12 month period.

    The number of pit bull bites depicted in the "Salina Pit Bull Bites Reported" graph shows 2002 with 13 pit bull bites, 2003 with 11 pit bull bites, 2004 with 15 pit bull bites and 2005 with only one bite. The newsletter notes that "animal bites reported have remained constant, but the severity of bites have decreased dramatically" since the enactment of the pit bull ban.
    ***************************************************
    Springfield, MO

    In April 2008, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department released data to a local TV station – following the City of Springfield's adoption of a 2006 pit bull ban:

    "The Springfield-Greene County Health Department reports that dog bites and vicious dog complaints are declining since the implementation of the Pit Bull Ordinance in the City of Springfield two years ago. In 2005 the health department fielded 18 vicious dog complaints, but only eight in 2007. Bites were down from 102 in 2005 to 87 in 2007."
    ***************************************************
    Washington

    In 2008, the City of Wapato passed an ordinance that bans new pit bulls, rottweilers and mastiffs. Nine months after its adoption, in March 2009, Wapato Police Chief Richard Sanchez reported successful results:

    "Nine months into the ban and police calls about vicious dogs have been cut in half. The Wapato Police tell Action News they've gone from 18 reports in January, February and March of last year to seven so far in '09. "Seven calls in three months… that's nothing," says Chief Richard Sanchez, Wapato Police Department.

    Chief Sanchez credits local cooperation for the decline of dangerous dogs."
    ***************************************************
    Rhode Island

    When the City of Woonsocket was debating a pit bull ordinance in June 2009, the animal control supervisor in Pawtucket, John Holmes, spoke about the enormous success of Pawtucket's 2003 pit bull ban:

    "Holmes says he predicted that it would take two years for Pawtucket to experience the full benefit of the law after it was passed, but the results were actually apparent in half the time.

    "It's working absolutely fantastic," said Holmes. "We have not had a pit bull maiming in the city since December of 2004."
    ***************************************************
    Per section 8-55 of Denvers pit bull ban:

    A pit bull, is defined as any dog that is an APBT, Am Staf Terrier, Staff Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of anyone (1) or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards set by the AKC or UKC for any of the above breed.

    Over the course of 22 years, the Denver ban has withstood numerous battles in state and federal courts. It has been used as a model for over 600 USA cities that legislate pit bulls, as well as US Navy, Air Force, Marine and Army bases ( so much for Sgt Stubby).

    without it, we'd see just what we see in Miss E's lame replies. Every pit owner would claim their land shark was anything but a pit bull.

    Miami Dade county voted 66% to keep their pit bull ban, just as it is worded, last year.

    Thomas said:
    November 6, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    In Calgary, by Bill Bruce's own admission and documentation, pit bulls lead the serious bite count with 13% of the city's serious bites attributable to pit bulls, yet pit bulls account for less than 1% of the city's dogs.

    In fact, pit bulls are responsible for nearly as many serious bites (13%) as the ENTIRE sporting breeding category (15%), which includes all of the most popular breeds (Labs, Goldens, Poodles, Spaniels, etc) and houses 70% of Calgary's dogs.

    Why aren't these breeds attacking in the face of irresponsible ownership?

    JoeBlue said:
    November 7, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Give it a rest, Thomas…

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