By Jeff Borchardt
I guess there’s really no way to describe grief. The pain that goes with it. The emptiness. That lump in your throat that won’t go away. I have actually prayed to God that a comet would slam into the Earth and end it all. The one emotion that haunts me the most is anger. You see, my (our) perfect, tiny, smart, handsome, little round headed boy was killed by two pit bulls on March 6th, 2013 in Walworth County, Wisconsin. I know I will never be the same person as I used to be. I have accepted that on some level. I think?
After that doctor knocked on that door in Children’s Hospital and pulled Kim and I out of the room where our family and friends were waiting to hear the word on Dax is when my journey began. He said,
“He didn’t make it. I’m so sorry. If it makes you feel any better he didn’t feel any pain. It was ultimately his severed spine that killed him. Would you like to say goodbye to him?”
I already knew what he looked like because I had to see him at Mercy Walworth Hospital and Medical Center before they put him on a flight for life. The first responding deputy on the scene where he was attacked was the man to pull me into a room and tell me how bad it was.
“I’m not going to lie to you Jeff. It’s very grave.”
You see, the lady at the front desk had written down “dog bite” on the paperwork when I arrived. I thought,
“Dog bite. How bad could it be?”
I asked myself to this day why the doctors at Mercy asked me if I wanted to see my son in that condition. Maybe it was because they could see the look on my face like I didn’t think it was that bad? Maybe they didn’t think he would survive the flight for life? I will never know. All I remember is that they said there was nothing more they could do at their facility. The doctor stands there looking dejected.
“Would you like to see him?” I replied, “I don’t know. Do I, Doc?”
I followed them down the hallway toward my son. The first thing I saw was a nurse giving him CPR. She looked directly into my eyes with a terrified expression. Then I looked down at my son and saw what still flashes in my head to this day. He was stripped completely naked. He had bites and bruises all over his body. Exposed flesh, blood, everywhere. The entire right side of his face was gone. I mean gone! I began to scream and collapsed to the floor, knocking equipment over. I managed to get seated on a chair in the corner, making quick glances at Dax still being worked on. I don’t know how long I was in the room, but it was not long before they rushed me out of there. I was doing no good. Fast forward three hours later to the doctor pulling Kim and I out of the waiting room in Children’s Hospital.
“He didn’t make it.”
If I ever bumped into the doctor that told me my son was dead on the street, I would know right away who he was. I have no idea what his name is, but I will never forget that face. He was the one who asked us that burning question that haunts me to this day.
“Do you want to say goodbye to him?”
I was trying to stop my wife from seeing him because I already knew the horrific and devastating injuries that Dax suffered. I didn’t want her to see it too, but she just started walking down the hallway before I even had a chance to say anything. As we rounded the corner, I could see all the nurses taking off their gloves. Every one of them had an expression of defeat like I’ve never seen before. Not a single one of them could look us in the eye. Not even a glance was sent in our direction. We walked into the room where Dax was lying on the gurney. I was relieved that they had his entire body covered up so we could only see his head. They had added a neck brace and there were bandages around his forehead. But there he was cold, alone and broken. His little body was bruised and battered. What was once his baby flesh was exposed to the bone.
I could only look at him in glances. It was so bad. But every time I looked down to look away, I could see blood spatter on the floor. I looked up again. My eyes followed his hairline on the good side of his head which was once so perfectly shaped. Then I saw the mauled side of his face. Indented. Caved in. Crushed. My perfect, little round headed boy now looked like a hand grenade went off underneath him. I looked again. Screaming,
“Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God!” I cried the entire time. (His left eye was closed.) “He is dead. He is dead. Let’s go Kimmy. Let’s go tell our family.” I really dreaded this.
We had to exit the hospital from the back because the news media was camped outside the main entrance. On our hour drive home we didn’t say a word to each other until about 5 miles from home; I turned to my wife and said,
“Do you want to try and have another baby?” She replied, “I don’t know. “I was thinking the same thing.”
We arrived back home to a house full of toys as we had just left it this morning. How the hell are we supposed to move on from this? (I was asking myself that same thing over and over for months.) The night of Dax’s death, I asked my friend to bring me over a bottle of Rumpleminz and a case of beer. I was going to try and drink myself to death and almost did. I woke up around 4 AM to my wife screaming at me.
“You’re not helping Jeff!” I said, “I don’t care!!!! I want to die!!”
At that moment, I realized that I was lying on the floor next to our sofa in a pool of my own vomit. I wasn’t dead. Dammit! This is real. Dax is gone.
The next morning my wife asked me how could I say that on Facebook? I said, “Say what?” I’m going to leave it at that because it was so bad that I’m sure if any pit bull victim stalker or harassers are reading this, they would use it against me. Let’s just say it was “anti-pit bull.” Fortunately, she had already logged into my Facebook account and removed it. I’m sure somebody out there took a screenshot and is just waiting for the perfect time to use it against me. But that’s OK. I could really care less what anyone says about me after this blog.
The person I was, is gone forever.
That morning we had to go down to the morgue to decide what we were going to do with his body and make funeral arrangements. This was no easy task to get me out of the house. I refused to stop drinking. I refused to get in the shower. I refused to get dressed. My family literally had to drag me out of the house kicking and screaming. We were at the funeral home and the man was talking but all I heard was, “Blah, blah, blah.” I didn’t care what he was saying, nor did I desire to listen. Ultimately we agreed to have his body cremated. Our theory was that we didn’t know where we were going to end up so we wanted to have him with us where ever we settled down. We left the funeral home and back to the house where the rest of the day remains a blur. That next night ended with pure numbness, sleeping pills and recovery.
I woke up the next morning and posted the following on Facebook:
“The biology, make up and history of pit bulls will be looked at and analyzed in a different way from here to the future….I do not wish harm to any existing family members (pit bulls), but once your pit bull is dead like my son, you can be sure I will do everything in my power to make sure this breed is bred out of existence…These pit bulls were not abused, mistreated, or harmed in ANY way…They are naturally wired (by God almighty and nature) to bite down on flesh and not let go…I’d always thought my little Chihuahua would be MURDERED by a pit bull. I never thought it would be our baby boy…I will have that picture seared in my head forever.”
Let me tell you something. There is no playbook for what I’m going through. I have said some pretty stupid things in my anger. On the other hand, I have said some pretty smart things. I don’t know about you, but that last statement sounds like I knew exactly what I was talking about when it comes to pit bulls. It sure sounds like breed specific legislation (BSL) to me.
“I do not wish any harm to any existing family members, (pit bulls) but once your pit bull is dead like my son, you shouldn’t be able to own that breed anymore. They are naturally wired to bite down on flesh and not let go.”
We’ll leave the “By God almighty and nature” out of it for now because obviously I have learned that God had nothing to do with bull baiting and dogfighting.
I said that I always thought it would be my Chihuahua that would be killed by a pit bull if there were such an attack. Yep. Pit bulls were selectively bred to kill other animals. Sooooooo, how did I know all this before “educating” myself? Good question. You see my experience with pit bulls did not start with the death of my son. No, no, no. I’ve never liked these killer dogs, and for good reason. One of my first experiences with a breed that was created by man to kill other animals came at a three-day outdoor techno festival in Black River Falls, Wisconsin in 2001ish. There were literally thousands of people there. I was walking behind a man with a Rottweiler on a leash. At the same time there was another person coming towards us with his pit bull on a leash from the other direction. They were just about even with each other on the path when the pit bull lunged over at the Rottweiler and gripped him on his side. People started screaming and the Rottweiler started howling in pain. The owner of the Rottweiler started kicking the pit bull in the head and side trying to get it to let go with no success. I’ll never forget the owner of the pit bull screaming,
“Stop kicking my dog!” The owner of the Rottweiler was screaming back, “Then get your fu*king dog off of him!”
Approximately ten excruciating minutes later about a hundred people were standing around watching this. They finally got the pit bull to loosen his death grip. At the same party, the next day, a different pit bull mauling. A lab was injured much the same way. Two separate attacks by pit bulls on other dogs and I just happened to see this out of 10,000 people in a campground. Was I meant to see it? Was this God preparing me for a fight fifteen years later?
Fast forward till the summer of 2011. My wife was pregnant with Dax. I was running sound for a show in Pardeeville, Wisconsin. Just off to the side of our stage was a group of campers all in one area with their tents. I was over there hanging out and talking with them about the weekend. They had what looked to be two younger pit bull puppies about 6 months in age. We’re all sitting there talking when suddenly a fight breaks out between the two dogs for no apparent reason. The owners were shocked and immediately broke it up. No sooner than they broke up the fight, the one pit bull comes charging back again and starts to attack the other one. AGAIN. The second fight ended up going on for about 3 minutes before the owners were able to get them under control again. They just kept going after each other. The scene was insane! The owners were shocked too. They said the two dogs had been raised together but they had never seen them act this way. I just walked away shaking my head. Not knowing what I had witnessed was really not the dog’s fault. They were just acting out their genetic heritage. But once again, I ask myself today if this was God preparing me for what lay ahead. Why out of the thousands of people at this festival, did He choose me to witness this? Another time I was visiting my parents’ house on a hot summer day and we decided to walk our dogs down to the lake for a swim. We were almost to the lake when I look over and see two pit bulls charging across the neighbor’s yard at full speed. They were heading straight for my dogs with zero hesitation and you could tell they weren’t going to stop. The only thing that spared my dog’s life and possibly serious injury to myself, was a steel cable that was thankfully tightly secured to both of their collars. Those two pit bulls were running full speed towards my dogs when they were yanked back by the end of the cable. This didn’t even phase them as they kept slamming their entire bodies with full force against the chain. The owner nonchalantly came strolling out of the house and took the dogs back inside. I was so furious and said,
“That’s great. That’s real great. Someone is going to get hurt.”
The owner didn’t even acknowledge me. He just took the dogs back inside and closed the door. So you see, the irony when I said,
“I always thought it would be my Chihuahua that would be killed by a pit bull.”
It didn’t make it right at the time. I had just accepted what I knew to be true from my life experiences. Pit bulls are inherently dog aggressive.
When Susan and Steve adopted their pit bull puppies, I was a little upset. I knew now that I would have to leave my dogs in the car unless their dogs were secure in the dog run or in their kennels when I visited. Even with my life experiences with pit bulls, I still let them sniff each other through the fence. All four of our dogs were wagging and sniffing each other though the fence. These pit bulls were different. They played with the landlord’s sheep dog, “Judy” all the time. They seemed really nice with my dogs and anyone that came to visit. They were making a believer out of me.
“It’s all how you raise them” seemed to be true.
Susan and Steve’s dogs were really good pets. They obeyed all commands and were very obedient. But I was still skeptical about letting our dogs play together due to my life experiences with pit bulls and other dogs. This was just now the routine. I knew that pit bulls were dog aggressive, but were always told that the human biters were “culled.” I never heard of a dog killing a human, let alone an innocent baby. Boy how I wish I had followed my first instincts. I knew better than to trust this breed but I believed the myths that it’s the owner, not the dog. I am so mad at myself sometimes! I know I am in denial. I find myself bargaining with God.
“Please let me have a do over. I will change if you let me hold my son again.”
*This brings me to my next section. The “Kubler-Ross – Five stages of grief” This blog post will be focusing on the “Anger” stage the most. Then it will be followed by “acceptance.” Anger is by far the scariest and most devastating emotion I have experienced out of the five stages of grief. Anger has led to me saying things that I regret and will come back to haunt me years from now. It is one I still suffer from today but I refuse to let it tear down my mission to save another family from going through what we had to.
The Kübler-Ross model, commonly known as the five stages of grief, was first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying.
The progression of states is;
- Denial – “I feel fine.” Or “This can’t be happening, not to me.”
Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of situations and individuals that will be left behind after death.
- Anger – “Why me? It’s not fair!” “How can this happen to me?” “Who is to blame?”
Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.
- Bargaining – “Just let me live to see my children graduate.” “I’ll do anything for a few more years.” “I will give my life savings if…”
The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, “I understand I will die, but if I could just have more time…”
- Depression – “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?” “I’m going to die… What’s the point?” “I miss my loved one, why go on?”
During the fourth stage, the person begins to understand the certainty of the predicament. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the person to disconnect oneself from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.
- Acceptance – “It’s going to be okay.”; “I can’t fight it, I may as well prepare to accept it.”
In this last stage, the individual begins to come to terms with their own mortality or that of their loved one or the loss that they have experienced.
How I have experienced the 5 stages. (Not necessarily in order)
I have experienced this after my son’s death. “See? I’ll be fine. I’m going back to work. I’m smiling again. This isn’t so bad.” This is only temporary. The waves of depression and realization feel like suddenly someone has thrown a big, heavy blanket over you. The weight and pressure gives you the sensation of suffocating. You literally cannot breathe once this blanket hits. Ironically for me, this is usually triggered on a good night. For example, when I’m spinning records and having fun, I suddenly think about the defeated looks on the doctors and nurses faces when we were walking down the hallway to say goodbye to our son. The grief bubbles up to the surface when I least expect it. I see no quick resolution or escape from the sadness that goes so deep into my very being.
I know what the Kubler-Ross theory is saying here, but I experienced the opposite effect. I actually WANTED death to hurry up and let me be reunited with my son. As I said before, I have prayed to God that a comet would slam into the Earth and kill us all. Many times on my way home from work, I have thought about driving my car into a tree and killing myself. The only reason I haven’t done it was because I’m told that is a one-way ticket to hell. I couldn’t leave my wife and family to deal with even more grief, could I?
Three or four days after Dax was brutally mauled to death, we were all sitting at our house. Kim’s parents were there with us visiting from Denver. I was lying on the sofa under the blankets and on my phone using Facebook. I was reading comments while everyone was arguing back and forth about pit bulls. I made a status update that said
“I want to die. Someone please come kill me.”
Not even ten minutes later there was a knock on the door. The county worker must have been monitoring my Facebook page. At the door was a Darien police officer and a woman from the county health department. They were there to make sure I wasn’t in danger. They would’ve taken me away had I been alone. My wife immediately took my phone away. The thoughts that were going through my head when I made that comment were,
“When did Dax’s soul leave his body? Was it at the gate of the dog run where the attack happened? Was he in pain or is it shock like the doctor said? Did his soul leave his body at Children’s Hospital when he was pronounced dead? Did he see mommy holding my hand? Did he hear Da-Da screaming at the top of his lungs? Was he hovering over his body watching the chaos, confused and scared?”
My heart was crumbling with pain not knowing.
I think this stage goes without saying. Most of my uncontrollable crying comes when I am isolated and by myself. Usually, on the way home from work in the car is when it really sinks me. You have no idea how hard it is to be alone with your thoughts after the loss of a child. It was this solitary time that I would pick up the phone and have the need to call someone. I’m going to give this advice to anyone that is friends with someone dealing with child loss and devastating grief.
Don’t put your phone on vibrate and go to sleep. You have to hear that phone ring when they call. Don’t let your friend be alone for five minutes. You will be able to tell if they want you to leave or not. This is what friends do for each other, right?
In my case, you might be the person that picks up the phone in the middle of the night that will get me past that 20 minute drive, or sleepless night. But I am not the only one experiencing devastating loss. This touches so many people especially as these attacks are increasing. Some of the victims I have connected with in this advocacy movement have been crucial in moving me past this stage. And to be honest, they still keep me out of depression and despair. This advocacy keeps me out of it. You know who you are. If you’re reading this, I could never repay you. I could never thank you enough.
Another extremely vague and seemingly unattainable stage. Almost as if hey, “If I reach this stage, I’m cured. Right?” Wrong. This stage is like that high that I used never be able to catch when I was addicted to drugs. It starts to feel better when our advocacy moves forward. When we connect with new victims and try and help them. We move them into our secret groups on Facebook so it gives them a place to share or vent and connect with other victims and advocates who know what they are going through. It makes US happy when we help THEM get through the 5 stages of grief together. We connect. We laugh. We meet each other at events. We shouldn’t know each other but we are grateful we do. We start to move forward together. We are almost to the acceptance stage. Our goal is within sight. Then BAM! Kara Hartrich is mauled to death by 2 family pit bulls on her fourth birthday. We sit back in shock. We just can’t believe it. How can this happen? Why is our message not getting out there? Oh yeah, now I remember.
This little girl’s story is not getting anywhere NEAR the media coverage she deserves! What the heck just happened to all of us? We were almost to that acceptance stage. Now we have to start all over with this mother. Together! Again! Do you see a pattern developing here? Nobody that is a victim of a dangerous dog attack that will not allow their child to die in vain will ever reach this stage. Not as long as family fighting and gripping breeds of are bringing more mothers, fathers and family members into our secret groups.
- And now for the most important and scary stage of them all. Anger. I saved the best for last. I saved this stage because it brings me to the point of this blog.
Was I angry when I had to make that call to Kim and tell her that news?
“It’s bad! It’s really, really bad! Turn around and head to children’s hospital baby! They’re putting him on a flight for life?”
Yes! I was very pissed. Was I angry after our son was pronounced dead on the way home when I put on Facebook, “If you have a pit bull, do yourself a favor, take it out back and put a bullet in its head?” Yes! I was really angry. Was I pissed when I texted Steve and asked him, “What the “f” just happened?” Of course! I was enraged. I was really angry when he texted back and said, “I don’t know what happened!
They just snapped!”
Was I angry when the authorities told me they had humanely euthanized” the two pit bulls that killed our son? YES! I was furious, I was livid. I wanted a chance to kill those dogs myself. “Humanely euthanized” was too good for these dogs! But excuse me ladies and gentlemen. I’m talking especially to the parents out there. How would you feel forty eight hours after seeing half your son’s face ripped off, eyeball hanging from his socket, and skull crushed? Could you see yourself saying this?
“The biology, make up and history of pit bulls will be looked at and analyzed in a different way from here to the future….I wish to go on record from my heart. I do not wish harm to any existing family members (pit bulls), but once your pit bull is dead like my son, you can be sure I will do everything in my power to make sure this breed is bred out of existence…These pit bulls were not abused, mistreated, or harmed in ANY way…They are preselected through breeding and hardwired (by God almighty and nature) to bite down on flesh and not let go…I’ll always thought my little Chihuahua would be MURDERED by a pit bull. I never thought it would be our baby boy…I will have that picture seared in my head forever.”
In retrospect, I have remorse for saying a lot of things. I’m not trying to make excuses for the things I have said. I honestly do regret saying things when in this stage. But seriously. Can I get a break? I’ve never carried out the threats I made while in this stage. That was my anger boiling over and I hope you never have to have those feelings yourself.
At the funeral an elderly neighbor lady in the neighborhood I grew up in asked me…
“Why do you think the dogs did it?”
“Oh gee, I don’t know lady! Why don’t you ASK the damn dogs why they attacked their owner to get to my son in her arms to kill him?” I thought.
My rage was right there at the surface. You know how hard it was for me not to explode at her? I almost did it but thankfully, I didn’t say a word to her. You know how many times I talk to people and wonder to myself, “What would happen, how would this person react, if I just started hitting him right now?” You know what? I never did it.
When I stood up at the second Watertown meeting to share my story in front of the city council that was considering BSL, I had to listen to this self-proclaimed “expert” that just called me “negligent” about ten times in a letter to the editor THAT WAS PUBLISHED in the Watertown Daily Times speak my son’s name, yes. I said some pretty bad things about how I wanted to hunt her down and let her have it.
But I never did. I never truly intended to. I was angry.
After finding out our private groups that were established to help and support victims achieve acceptance, is actually being infiltrated by crazy, pit bull enthusiasts posing as victim’s advocates, I get angry. When this “mole” shares our personal info, stories, and sometimes our JOBS, on websites like FoolishFollies (founded to harass victims of pit bull attacks) and WhoisColleenLynn, (founded to harass a victim of a pit bull attack) in an attempt to slander and harass us into silence, I get VERY angry. And yes, I have said and done some pretty bad things in an attempt to “get even” with these anonymous keyboard warriors. But don’t worry. I have never intentionally done anything that would cause a HUMAN BEING any physical harm.
So 3-4 months after our son was killed by pit bulls and I am connecting with other families that have gone through the same thing, we are all informed of the daily pit bull attacks. This makes me angry. This makes US angry. VERY angry. During this time period, (3-4 months after Dax was brutally mauled to death by two pit bulls in an attack that lasted 15 minutes) I hit the tipping point of anger that led to “THE SCREENSHOT.”
After the death of our son, we had to move. This was no longer a financial decision, it was an emotional one. We could no longer bear the memories we shared with our only son in that house. The marks on the walls he had left when Da-Da let him draw. His finger prints still on the windows. We took a huge loss and abandoned our 10 year investment in our future. Dax was killed in March, we were moved into our new lake house by May.
Our new neighborhood is amazing and vibrant. Our house is almost perfect. If it weren’t for the stairs, we would be pretty comfortable. Almost all our neighbors are friendly and very nice. There are dog owners of all kinds of breeds. It just so happens that the only pit bull owner in our neighborhood is the ONLY dog owner that feels he must walk his dog around without a leash. This pit bull is a brindle, (same as the pit bulls that killed Dax) and at least 70 pounds. On several occasions I have been walking down by the harbor and seen this dog insanely barking out of the second story window at other dogs, but when I drive by when the owner is with him, he is totally mellow and obedient. I’ve even seen this dog playing with other small dogs. It seems like this is a good dog that “has never had any problems before.”
Where have I heard this before?
After seeing this dog walking around with no leash on several occasions, I finally called the police. This was a waste of my time that only made me angrier. The officer told me there’s nothing they can do about it because there’s no leash law in our town, but “If it makes you feel any better, that guy has lived there with that pit bull for three years and there’s never been any problems.” The officer told me over the phone.
“Ahhhh, no officer. I do not feel better Sir. Considering the pit bulls that killed my son were about three years old and never had any problems either.”
I couldn’t believe it! No leash law? I asked the officer, “Do we have to wait for another tragedy to do something? Didn’t we learn the hard way with our son?” I was furious! I was angry as hell! I wanted to lash out at anyone that crossed me! “How can you people go on with your lives like nothing happened? It was only 3-4 months ago!” I vent my frustration out on Facebook by going on a public group I co-founded called The Pit Bull Propaganda Machine Revealed and said this,
don’t worry. I never really did this, nor would I in reality. This was just me experiencing one of the “Kubler-Ross Five Stages Of Grief – Anger.” What WOULD I do if a pit bull moved next door today? I don’t know. Probably move. You see our house has a lot of stairs. And I’m sick of climbing them just to get to my car. Grocery day is a total pain so moving wouldn’t be a bad option. However why should we have to move? Don’t families deserve to live in safe communities? Why should we be pushed out if a pit bull owner decides to insert themselves into a stable and secure neighborhood? As I learn about pit bull politics I become educated about the tactics that their owners use. For example;
“Pit bull is not a breed” or “That’s not a pit bull, that’s an American Staffordshire terrier” or “That’s not a pit bull, that’s an American Bulldog.”
We have an intelligent landlord and he won’t rent to owners with “pit bulls or bully breeds of dogs.” He owns all the houses on our side of the block so we don’t have to worry about a pit bull moving in next door. I have spoken to my landlord about this issue and my own experience in detail. Thanks to DaxtonsFriends.com and learning about breeds, my landlord now sees the risks and dangers and will choose not to rent to folks that use these shady tactics to try to fraudulently pass off their pit bull as a boxer, lab mix, staffie etcetera. He now knows about the Americans with Disabilities Association rules and the difference between a real “service dog” and an “ESA” emotional support dog. He understands how breed identification is actually done by observing distinctive physical traits. In other words, phenotype indicates breeding and heritage. That’s why there are breed registries and the AKC, UKC, etc. In layman’s terms:
“If it looks like a pit bull, it’s a pit bull.”
He’s the landlord and has the right to choose. He can “discriminate” against a dog by the way it looks all he wants. Why? Because he owns the property. Because he assesses risk as well as his insurance company who would also be liable in the case of an incident. He doesn’t want to be sued if a breed of dog that has been selectively bred for hundreds of years to fight to death in a pit suddenly snaps and attacks someone. In my case, it was their owner who fought them for fifteen minutes while they tried and succeeded in killing and mauling the baby she carried in her arms.
“Who is to blame?” – Stage 2 of the Kubler-Ross 5 stages of grief – Anger:
You see, I have learned a lot about myself, dog breeds, and especially the people and organizations that protect the image of fighting and gripping breeds in the nearly two years since our son was taken from us. I get it now. It really wasn’t the dog’s fault. They were just acting out of hundreds of years of selective breeding. Every pit bull type dog alive today is a descendant of the original, bull baiting, pit fighting dogs. It is not Susan’s fault, not for the attack itself. No. The only mistake she made was in not knowing about the “zero margin of error” rule when it comes to fighting and gripping breeds. How could I blame her for something I didn’t know about either, particularly the part about human aggression? How easy is it for two 45 to 50 pound dogs that were bred to take down a two thousand pound bull, working together to take down a woman all by herself and a baby in four inches of snow?
Yes, I told her to never have Dax around the dogs. But that didn’t mean it was because I thought they were vicious human killers. I was more afraid that he would be knocked down or whacked in the face with their tails. The worse case scenario would have been a warning nip. Did I say hurtful things about Susan in the few days or weeks after Dax was killed? Yes, but I never acted out what I was thinking. The only thing Susan is guilty of is being a good babysitter. And I say that because she wasn’t willing to leave him alone for even 2 minutes while she let the dogs out. She later told me how he would cry so hard when she even left him alone on the other side of the door when she went to the bathroom. If I had known that Susan was letting her dogs out while carrying Dax, I wouldn’t have been greatly concerned, but I would’ve just asked her to change her routine. I honestly believed that Dax would’ve been fine by himself for 2 minutes. I used to run out to the garage, mailbox or take out the garbage and leave Dax alone in a pinch. I would like to think that my weakest moments have been in this anger stage.
“Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.” – Stage 2 of Kubler-Ross 5 stages of grief.
Oh how I can relate. A few weeks after Dax was killed, Kim and I had to get out of the house for the first time. Again. We were never alone. We were bonded and always with each other especially during this time of grief. Soon after the funeral, we decided to go to Walmart for a few necessities. This was difficult because everyone seemed to be going on with their lives as if nothing had happened. But in the days after his death you could almost feel something like tension in the air. There was a certain look on people’s faces, even the ones that didn’t know us. We felt like we could tell they were thinking about what happened to Dax. But a few weeks later, it felt different. And this is where the misplaced feelings of rage and most importantly, envy intruded into our process of healing.
“How can these people be just going on with their lives? How can they be happy?”
I absolutely resented these people. Walking around Walmart I thought I noticed a couple who seemed to be annoyed with their baby while shopping. I momentarily thought about going up to these despicable people that don’t even seem like they want their child, and start screaming in their face. But they wouldn’t get it. Sad.
“You don’t even know how damned lucky you are! You don’t even care about your child!”
The cycle began again. Anger, resentment, jealousy, then I was back to anger. This was followed by absolutely haunting thoughts of our loss. Neither one of us paid attention to events going on around us. Here we were in Walmart to grab just a few things, and we ended up in the store for almost two hours. We had to keep snapping out of it because we continually found ourselves in the corner of the store just staring at the shelves. We ended up in all four corners of the store without even knowing how we got there. Finally Kim turned to me and said,
“We need to focus Jeff. Let’s get what we need and get out of here.”
Yes, I prayed for a comet to slam into the Earth. Resentment.
“Damn these people if we can’t be happy. The world should suffer the way we have. Maybe then they’ll have to think about God, heaven and hell.”
Resentment and anger can be real. Very scary stuff.
It is also very difficult to get over the anger phase when the general public seems to not really care about your son’s death or somehow blames you for it. Do you have any idea how challenging it is to get past the anger stage to a parent that has lost a child to a dangerous dog attack when someone tells you,
“It’s all how you raise them?”
How could anyone ever think I would ever leave my child with someone who “raised a dog to kill a child?” Can you imagine trying to get past this stage when people are telling you, “Well, more people are killed by guns, parents, humans, blacks, whites, cows, wasps, and even coconuts?” Do you even realize how you are minimizing the suffering of a parent trying to move past the anger stage? Do you have any idea what it’s like for someone trying to resolve the anger stage when someone goes on and on and on proclaiming?
“I have children and I couldn’t imagine. I am so sorry for your loss, BUT, or HOWEVER?” After reading that I think,
“Oh gee, I was just about to roll out the red carpet for your “pit bull”, BUT.”
Do you know how many times I have wished our son was killed any other way than to be eaten alive by two pit bulls?
Yes. It’s really damn hard to move past the anger stage when you have daily messages sent to you like this;
And this, and this, and this, and this…..
There were quite a few incidents that led up to me finally deciding to address THE SCREENSHOT in the almost two years since my son was killed. Besides the pit bull fanatics using it against me in almost every comments section in almost every news article I’m mentioned in, the first thing was a message sent to my “Mix Master Bogart” Facebook page by a man named Ian Haas.
To better explain why Ian’s message was the first thing to make me finally address THE SCREENSHOT, I have to give you a crash course in what it’s like to speak out and say anything negative about pit bulls on social media. When you are a victim, victim’s advocate, or just a plain supporter of BSL, you better watch what you say, when you say, and where on Facebook. I have to admit this is new to me. I’ve been using Facebook for years to promote my shows and book DJs. I had almost 2000 likes when Dax was killed. I was using “Mix Master Bogart” for my profile name for years with zero issues. After Dax was killed and I started getting involved in this advocacy, I started getting these things that we call,
“Facebook timeouts” and “Facebook jail.”
When someone reports you for something that offends them you get put on hold. Enough of these and eventually you go to “Facebook jail” for 30 days. Again. I accept it. It is a small price to pay for being outspoken and saving lives in the process. But what I didn’t know, and I was one of the first to learn the hard way, is that the pit bull fanatics will report you for not using your real name. So one day I opened up Facebook, and with a few clicks of the button from these people, every single comment, every single picture, (yes, some of Dax that were only on Facebook) were gone. Gone forever like our son. “Mix Master Bogart” is now a Facebook page with limited capabilities for our advocacy movement. I would receive messages for months. People were angry at me for removing them from Facebook. Some thought I was mad at them.
“I didn’t say anything about pit bulls Jeff! Why did you delete me?”
I would explain what happened and we’d be fine again. This wasn’t a complete loss. At least now I could separate my DJ stuff with my advocacy. Hey, and not a bad thing to have 1800 likes either!
So here we have this Ian Haas guy sending me a message to my “Mix Master Bogart” Facebook page. The first thing I think about is “Who the heck is this guy? Why is he sending a message to my “Mix Master Bogart” DJ page?” I only had more questions after I read it:
Nov 10th, 2:42pm
I would like to preface this by saying that in no way am I trying to pick a fight, diminish your beliefs or the memory of your son. I am contacting you simply to see if you would share with me your views on pit bulls and other dog breeds in a constructive way. I am a member of the Board of Directors of Friends of MADACC and would like to discuss this with you to get the “other side of the story.” I am not looking to change your mind or argue. I really just want to pick your brain as it would appear that you are well educated on the topic by the looks of your son’s non-profit. I hope you are up to it, if not I apologize or taking your time. I am sorry for your loss and the horrible situation it has put you in. I wish you the best.
Right away red flags are going off in my head. You see, I already knew that the CBS 58 story was being aired with the interview they did with me a month prior that Monday night. And I knew that the story was going to be about the MADACC bite numbers being released that showed pit bulls jumping off the page. So when this man identified himself as a board member of “Friends of MADACC,” I thought it was fishy. But then there’s also the question of “Why is he sending this to my DJ page?” I responded as “Mix Master Bogart”:
Mix Master Bogart – Nov 10th, 2:48pm
Yes. Please email [email protected] to arrange a phone call.
My interest was sparked to say the least. I had already done the interview on WPR’s Joy Cardin Show that morning. I knew the CBS 58 story was coming that night, “so maybe he heard me on the air? But again, why the message to my DJ page? Why not to my profile, Jeff Borchardt?”
Now we are e-mailing each other:
I am e-mailing in order to schedule a conversation regarding your views on pit bulls. As I have stated in a private message on Facebook, I am not looking to change mind or argue. I would simply like to converse regarding your positions and what has ultimately brought you to them. I am a Board Member for the Friends of MADACC and have had ample opportunity to experience and be educated to the breed’s positives, but I consider myself somewhat of a student and as such like to hear both “sides of a story”. I would also like to hear your view on other breeds as well. Hopefully everything works out. I don’t think I would need to take up too much of your time. Thank you for your response.
I should have time after Canine Victims Awareness Week. Are there any questions I can answer via e-mail?
Here we go. I’m going to point out the answer to my question of “why did this guy send a message to my DJ page?” I want you to keep in mind what name of THE SCREENSHOT pit bull fanatics have been using against me for nearly two years was made under, “Mix Master Bogart.” I will highlight the only REAL question I believe Ian was curious about. Then we will go back and examine the rest of his questions:
Thanks for your reply Jeff. I hope you are well. The first few of the top of my head may be difficult, answer-don’t answer it’s up to you:
1) what was the situation with the dogs who were responsible for your son’s death?
2) were there any special or extenuating circumstances?
3) have you or your family had issues with dogs before?
4) what do you believe (drawing on your research) to be the main reasons to separate pit bulls from all other breeds as the most dangerous?
5) do you believe it is possible that there are “just a few bad apples”? Or do you believe issues to be breed-wide? I know that pit bulls have this stereotype and I just wonder if it is a natural disposition. The rates on attacks of dogs who have not been exposed to fighting are low when the total population is taken into account. Not trying to state that it’s correct or incorrect, but I have equated it in my mind to the human population of the United States. There are roughly 5.2 homicides per every 100,000 people, 16,208 last year for a total of .00005%. There are 70-80 million dogs (anyone’s guess how many pit bulls) in the U.S. and only 20-30 homicides by dogs. All numbers were gotten through the CDC.
6) I have never had a pit bull myself…many dogs, just not a pit. Why do you believe pit bulls have so many advocates? Do you believe that pit bull advocates are misguided?
7) Being a well spoken man (and affable from our conversation) are you serious when you stated some of the things I have read that you posted regarding killing animals for no reason other than your past experiences or is that just shock/posturing? (I mean no disrespect)-It just appears to me to be too drastic for a person who has an agenda and organization such as yours.
8) I saw mention of other dog breeds on your organization’s site. Are there other breeds you warn people about?
9) I’m sure you have read the studies, but I wanted to know what you thought regarding the general rankings and system for ranking regarding dog breeds and aggressive/dangerous behavior?
This is it for now. I know you have alot of people contact you that are, for lack of a better word, extremists, but I truly do wish to continue open discussion. Thanks for your time and I look forward to your reply.
There you have it folks, the answer to my question. The pit bull fanatics have been following me around on any news story that I’m mentioned in and using THE SCREENSHOT. That is what led Ian to my DJ page. THE SCREENSHOT! “Oh my God! In this man’s 2nd stage of grief (anger), he said something he regrets. This man wants to kill every pit bull in the world!” Give me a break people. What do you care anyways? How is it the VICTIMS and VICTIMS ADVOCATES fault when you fanatics fight BSL tooth and nail? You know BSL? That little thing that would PUT AN END to 3000 pit bulls being put to sleep in American shelters and replaced by backyard breeders every day, all day, for ten years? You know BSL? In other words, it is that thing that would PREVENT THE DEED instead of waiting for a tragedy? Yes, I know you think I’m a “hater” and “want to kill every pit bull”, but that is not me. As I clearly stated in the CBS interview, “No birth = no kill. I don’t know what’s so hard to understand about that.” You would think mandatory spay/neuter would be something both sides of this debate could agree on. But that would mean we live in a logical world where we’re not told that “pit bulls used to be nanny dogs” or “coconuts kill more people.”
I appreciate your interest in my “side of the story”, but am very busy with other engagements at this time. I receive a great deal of mail from many individuals and organizations requesting similar information or with the intent of “educating” me. Please feel free to view the Daxton’s Friends website at daxtonsfriends.com. It will most likely answer all your questions.
I wish you and The Friends of MADACC the best.
I realized that Ian did not have the best intentions and viewed me as one of his “enemies”. All of his questions except the one he really wanted to know are answered on DaxtonsFriends.com. His perception of niceness was really a facade. All he wanted was to try to penetrate into my thoughts to destroy me for his cause. He is not the first one to try to do this and certainly won’t be the last. I realized a few months ago when Daxton’s Friends really started to pick up steam that I could not spend time arguing, even passive aggressive arguing, with people like Ian. I wasn’t going to change his mind and he sure wasn’t going to change mine. I’d rather focus on honest questions from folks who really wanted information to help make the best decision for their family.
The only other part of his e-mail questions that really bothered me was…
“There are roughly 5.2 homicides per every 100,000 people, 16,208 last year for a total of .00005%. There are 70-80 million dogs (anyone’s guess how many pit bulls) in the U.S. and only 20-30 homicides by dogs. All numbers gotten through the CDC.”
You know what Ian? I’m going to be respectful towards you because you were respectful towards me. (In a deceptive kind of way) My first question back to you was going to be, “Do you have any kids Ian?” I only would ask you this because of your words “ONLY 20-30 homicides by dogs.” I did go to your Facebook page Ian. And it looked to me like you have a wonderful family. I saw that you and your wife have a very beautiful daughter. And let me tell you something right now Ian. I would NEVER, EVER, throw those statistics in your face if your daughter was suddenly and brutally mauled to death by one of those fighting/gripping breeds that you think you’re doing the world a favor by saving. Not even in my stage 2 of grief. It is a mistake to think that just because I am raising awareness about canine related fatalities that I don’t care about homicides or any of the other million causes of death that pit bull activists throw in my face. I wouldn’t tell the parent of a deceased child due to a drunk driver that “guns kill more people.” I personally don’t want anyone killed by anything at all! I would never, ever wish the pain of losing a child onto any parent. I would never, ever minimize anyone’s death from any cause. Your heart is in the right place Ian, but you are totally misguided.
Hug your child tonight Ian. Because I envy you and your family, sir.
The second and final straw to me finally deciding to address THE SCREENSHOT, came from a phone call I received the Tuesday morning after the CBS 58 interview. The call was from another friend of mine and fellow advocate, Jennifer Scott. Jen’s Golden Retriever, Ruby, was attacked unprovoked and viciously by two pit bulls while on her morning walk. Jennifer and I connected right away since we live so close to each other. She’s another one of those friends that will talk to me during those nightmarish “alone minutes.” She called me up to tell me that one of her friends that is “on the fence” regarding this issue, said that she really sympathizes with us but she saw THE SCREENSHOT and was a little turned off. Yep. The pit bull fanatics had once again followed me around to show people that I want to kill all pit bulls because of something I said in my frustration and second part of my grieving process, anger again.
I’m going to wrap this up now. But before I do, I just wanted to say that life has dealt me these cards. I didn’t choose this path, this path chose me. I blame myself every day for not listening to my instincts when it came to fighting and gripping breeds. The result of the bully breed’s deadly heritage targeted my son’s fragile body on March 6th, 2013. This tragedy has forced me to take steps and dedicate myself to further my understanding of this crisis, which we are now faced with. Our tragedy has given me this task and I have embraced the cause although reluctantly. I don’t know if it’s because there is a higher power that has given me this most difficult task, or whether it is helping me through the grieving process. A friend explained to me that the grief stages are not lockstep. Each phase must be resolved or you will return to it again when faced with a new crisis or in my case, a new death. My life, at times, seems like a roller coaster through these stages as I face the surge in the number of new fatalities. I cannot fail as future victims are at stake.
Lord knows I have made some horrible choices in my past. My life didn’t change even when Dax was born. He changed me when I made him smile for the first time. His happy life changed me, transformed me. My love for him has made me want to be a better person. Honestly after he died, a part of me died with him. Now, I am transformed and have found purpose in life that I could never have imagined. Given this heavy burden, gift, calling or whatever you want to call it to saving so many more like our son. Did Dax just save my life twice by showing me God? Life is doing the right thing and recognizing the signs when it slaps you in the face. I could have a total meltdown tomorrow. You just never know. But I’ll be dammed if I’m going to let THE SCREENSHOT derail me from my new mission.
“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn. – C.S. Lewis”
Jeffrey D. Borchardt
Daxton’s Friends For Canine Education & Awareness
Words cannot express the horror of these attacks and I cannot imagine the emptiness that you must feel every single day after your precious son was killed by those dogs. Several years ago, when friends on Facebook were posting pro-pit bull messages, I looked into the statistics on dog attacks and fatalities. The over-representation of the pit bull type in fatalities was obvious and that they are killing mostly children was a sad reality. I would never opt for a rottweiler either, but they are far safer than the pit bulls. The cognitive dissonance that it takes to deny the reality is on par with that required to believe that the Earth is flat. Yes, any dog is capable of causing death. An infection from a nip can take a life, someone can trip over their dog and break their neck and so on and so forth. My sister-in-law has plates and screws holding her leg bones together and could not walk for six months because her leg got caught in the chain when her large-breed dog ran at a moose as it lumbered out of the woods at their acreage. However, these sorts of things are not comparable,0 not by a long shot, to a dog attack where the animal rips flesh from bone and mutilates or kills a child. For some stupid reason, it does not seem to matter to those who love the breed that this keeps happening. Always an excuse, always a way to blame the owner, the victim, the situation, but not the dog. How many people say “he/she was just the sweetest dog” until the moment that it wasn’t? It just keeps happening, again and again. The fix is simple. It is called neutering or spaying. There is absolutely no reason to continue breeding a type of dog that makes up less than 10% of the dog population, yet is responsible for around 2/3rds of the fatalities. These maulings are preventable and it is simply not worth the death of any more children. The AKC lists close to 200 breeds of dogs, so it is not like there are not plenty of safer breeds to choose from. Humans generated all of these breeds by artificial selection and they all belong to one species, so the loss of a dangerous breed through a discontinuation of breeding would not be detrimental. In fact, it would be beneficial, both to humans and to others dogs that are so often the victims of pit bull attacks. I am so sorry for your loss. So sorry that some humans are so irrational and cruel. Keep fighting the good fight. Your anger and pain are justified.
God bless you. I read every nasty thing those horrible excuses for human beings wrote and I was sickened. I have 2 grown children and 2 small grandchildren and one on the way. I love them with everything that is in me and I would die or kill to protect any one of them. I can’t imagine what you have been through. I saw my mother suffer when my sister died and it broke my heart even more than the loss of my sister. I don’t think she could have lived if it had been as bad as what happened to your precious baby boy. I encourage you to never feel the least big of guilt or remorse for the things you said in anger. I second them all. You said nothing the least bit wrong and to impugn you for what you said and then accept that people breed these monster dogs and sell them calling it “adoption” and “rescue” is choking on a flea and swallowing the camel whole. I have met sweet pit bulls but so what? It doesn’t make it okay to own a dog that lets other live by his own goodwill. It is insane to give that kind of power to a dog and sing the dog’s praises for not killing today. Pit bull owners have proven that they don’t care about children, people, animals including wild life, livestock and pets, or even dogs. All they care about is an aesthetic that buys them an animal that puts other in a position where they have to be grateful and gracious that the pit bull doesn’t try to kill them. That is literally what they ask of us. They don’t want us to cross the street to avoid their pit, but to walk by and smile and be grateful not to be attacked. Yes, my dog could kill you but he is in a good mood, or my favorite, ” I am a badazz trainer who can handle him.” Either way be grateful and gracious that my pit bull allows you another day of life. Of course if you or a loved one is mauled, everything changes and they start blaming you and pointing fingers in an attempt to keep you from complaining about the dog that did kill your child, because of many pits that for the most part let others live. It never occurs to them that it is galling, to be asked to stake your life on a dog’s will and even worse to submit your child’s life and well being to the will of a dog. There is no reasoning with pit lovers. They wallow in sentimentality to cover their brutality against other dogs, cats, wildlife, livestock, children, adults and even newborn infants. God bless you and keep you sane and at peace. Keep fighting the good fight.
I don’t think that anything you said was wrong. Many of us support you and your cause. The bullies will not win. Keep spreading the word and doing what you are doing. We stand behind you.
I’ve all but turned my back on “rescue” including my own that I founded. When I realized the absolute deadly and horrifying lies being spewed by the rescue community I was done. Daxton’s story caught my interest and attention, and after over 40 some years as a canine professional … Daxton’s Friends is the only cause I find worthy of my time or support. I cried reading this blog as I cried when I watched Jeff on the Fifth Estate video. I am a dog lover but by God what the pit cult has done to our shelters and society is egregious. God Bless you Jeff… and may the angels be ever singing sweetly over precious little Dax. May all pit bulls and anything mixed with them soon be extinct.
I cried when I saw you all in the Fifth Estate’s documentary. To me, THE SCREENSHOT is no different than someone stating “I will kill any drunk driver that drives their car into my living room”. It’s truly bizarre how some have taken your words so personal. As if… they were all about to try to rent the house next door to you but then stumbled upon your post and were then told by the landlord to take a hike.
Last summer I rescued a female, 9 month old, 40lb “shep/dobie” after moving to my house to keep my 3 year old, 20lb, maltipoo type (I had since 8 weeks old) company when I was working. She bit him twice in the first month I had her over toy aggression (she’s just a puppy after all) and would stare at him when he walked around the living room. A fixed and very creepy stare. I had her DNA tested – cuz, she didn’t look anything like a German Shepard or Dobie. 75% Staffie with Boxer and Chow. At that time, I was a 100% believer in the “its all in how you raise them!” and was honestly and secretly a little bit happy about it. Heck, I loved Cesar Milan and Junior! Gosh, was he not just the best dog ever in the history of the world? We all cried when he passed… And when you read about those ‘dogs’ on-line they have all the boxes checked for a perfect pet. Don’t bark too much… good watch dogs… super lovable… GREAT with kids and other dogs… But, man, the way she STARED at my dog really started freaking me out. So much so that I started carrying at home.
So, I started researching. I thought perhaps they have a prolonged adolescence. I researched more. I found you, Dogsbite.org, Fifth Estate’s documentary, and results from searching “dog attacks”. Then, I started panicking I’d come home to a dead dog. 5 months after I rescued her I wrote a letter to The Local Rescue stating I had her DNA tested and she needed to be gone ASAP per my city’s BSL (thank GOD for BSL). They tried to make me keep her till they found a foster “in a few weeks”. I told them if she wasn’t gone in 48 hours I was taking her to the city’s shelter. And *magically* they found someone. I don’t know where she is now and I do not care – at least I know she’s spayed.
I have done a complete 180 in my beliefs on these “dogs” in the last 9 months and I thank you, Susan and all the other victims for your courage to speak out. What was once a breed I thought was “cool” I now see as mammalian crocodiles.
Did you ever try to get a dog trainer? Dogs stare at other dogs because they are asserting dominance when the leader (supposed to be you) doesn’t step up. Please don’t “adopt” dogs in the future. It does not sound like you are equipped to handle dogs reasonably. If you walk your dog outside and un unruly dog is present, it doesn’t sound like you have the leadership skills to protect him and take control. Shame on you for turning your back on a rescue. You could have found a better way to do that.
Did you even read the story? What the hell are you talking about?
I agree Gabriela. Emily should have had the dog put down, rather than passing the buck. That dog could be staring at someone’s newborn right now. He should have been euthanized humanely.
“This tragedy has forced me to take steps and dedicate myself to further my understanding of this crisis, which we are now faced with. Our tragedy has given me this task and I have embraced the cause although reluctantly. I don’t know if it’s because there is a higher power that has given me this most difficult task, or whether it is helping me through the grieving process.”. Those words are so similar to my words after I was attacked. I have loads of experience with every breed. I am a dog behavior trainer and educate and train people. Before the attack I wasn’t aware of the crisis. It was presented to me when it was me personally laying in a hospital bed hooked to the strongest antibiotics. I thought okay I am now a victim to a breed that I deal with almost daily. People love this breed. I thought that was all I had to deal with until I shared what happened to me and god forbid I said pit bull. Then not only was I attacked by the dog people who ‘love’ this breed started attacking me. Even questioning my knowledge as a trainer. I was flabbergasted!!! This forced me into a world I didn’t see before. Now I too know I have a mission. It’s not because I want to prove them wrong it’s because I don’t want anyone else to go through what I did!! I think to myself all the dang time, “WHY should I even care??”. But I do and it sucks sometimes. But I know someone is listening, somewhere!!
And guess what Jeff, I am most definitely listening to you!! Thank you!
Hi Lisa, I’m doing research on the topic. I have a question. Were you attacked by a dog you were training?
Jeff, first of all, your writing skills are amazing. Thank you so much for writing this article — I can’t imagine the strength it takes to re-live your loss by putting it down in words to share with those you hope to spare the same pain you and your wife have endured. God bless you — you are the strongest person I have never met — pun intended! 🙂 As i have told you before in private messages, you are the one I can thank for educating me about the facts about pit bulls and quite possibly saved my grandchildren from harm when one moved into the hose across the street from my bakery and then across the street from my house. Both of them huge, and never on leashes when let out. Because of finding you and reading your story and warnings, I took many precautions due to the fact I provided child care for my grand children many hours per week. Thanks to you they both now know what a pit bull looks like and are “aware.” I was completely ignorant before I read your story. Which is a bad thing to be when you have a pit bull across from your place of business AND across from your home! (Not to mention the occasional visit from the pit bull-toting brother-in-law — I dodged that bullet, too,t hanks to you!)The second point I want to make is — I would have said MUCH WORSE things than what you said in your “screen shot” if I had been in your shoes. People have killed for much less than what you went through — I think they call it “temporary insanity” in the courtroom. It was very noble of you to explain your state of mind at the time you made those statements but I think any “normal” person would understand. The screenshots of comments by the pit bull lovers are unbelievably hideous and cruel.Thank you for educating me, and many others, about “them,” too. You are an extraordinary human being. I will be sharing your blog far and wide.
Very well written. And I am glad you are not allowing the haters, the ignorant, and the cruel slow you down. Sadly there are more victims and survivors every day. Your cuase is Just, correct, and Right. So many are with you.
Here’s my two cents. What is so wrong with what you refer to as THE SCREENSHOT. I see absolutely NOTHING wrong with that, and I am not a victim nor do I (yet) have any acquaintances or family members who were pittacked (I say this sadly knowing that statistically, with the way our planet is heading, the Nutters and their spawn will be taking over, and those of us who have any sanity and won’t own or condone Devildogs will still eventually become victimized by one.)
Why do you need to apologize for saying something that in a moment of well-deserved rage, you had EVERY right to say, and believe, let alone carry out?
You still have to cave to nutters as if you had said that all the Jews deserved the Holocaust, all blacks deserved slavery, or something equally as heinous.
This makes me sick, because I DO think they should all have a bullet put in their head, and would be happy to do it! Guess what? This is the only topic where I am pro-human, anti-animal!! I think I am a good case study to prove that Pit ‘Nutters’ are not animal lovers at all, nor (clearly) are they humanitarian. They are their own freak breed, just like that which they worship. It’s a very, very polarized topic. I can think of NONE other.
For example…I generally dislike hunters but if it’s a trophy or carnivore that’s being killed then I REALLY hate them (think Cecil the Lion). I get most upset about animal issues (poaching elephants, torturing farm animals, foothold trapping, the dogs being burned alive and beaten in Asian countries for their meat, horses going to slaughter by the thousands…ranchers paying the government to poison, trap and aerial shoot packs of wolves) etc etc. THESE are the stories that get my blood boiling.I would consider myself an animal-rights activist, however I am not doing anything active and would jump if I could find my niche. I am also pro-abortion as I think the no.1 problem with the planet is OVERPOPULATION (as it clearly is also with Pit Bulls). Of course, contraception, family planning and screening would be preferred over abortion, but then again I think that most women facing an abortion would tend to agree with that too.
What keeps me awake at night are images and stories of tortured kittens and doggies, horses, in my personal ‘feeds’ and all other horrific news of our evil rape of the planet and it’s creatures.
So, that being said, I would martyr myself out in the woods running with a pack of wolves until I got shot..I’d do it for the publicity and hopefully there would be an outcry ‘innocent woman dies defending wolves’
You wouldn’t find me all mushy gushy into babies and the cliche expected normal views of wanting to breed and have a family and all that..and no I don’t really want to sit anywhere near the brats at restaurants as I like to quietly enjoy my dinner with my husband.
What got me involved against Pits, and it’s a different viewpoint, is the mass maulings and disfigurement put on other animals at levels way surpassing humans. These cases are left out of the media. All the poor innocent puppies, kitties, horses and ponies (yes! Hard to imagine, sickening to read about). No critter is safe. The story of three-legged Molly, a beautiful and perfect-looking pony who survived Hurricane Katrina, only to be found mauled by another ‘rescue’ a Pit.
She struggled and fought for hours against the dog but lost her leg and badly injured another. She is now paraded all over the US as a hero survivor, wearing prosthetic leg, and helps give morale to needy children. However, they don’t advertise what exactly happened to Molly. They cover it with ‘s victim of Hurricane Katrina disaster.’ She should be the poster child for what happens as hardly ANYONE knows what these dogs do to other animals, at much higher rates than humans. I would say 1000X more. It’s left out of media, it’s only animals. And, the sickening thing, they are returned to owner, slap on wrist. Your prize horse’s legs ripped off, missing ears and eyes, (this happens with horses mercilessly and brutally ravaged in their stalls, which the pits can jump up to 8 ft to get over!
They rarely are euthanized ,(the victims almost always have to be)’the dogs are back with their owners. It happens ALL THE TIME.
HOW is this ALLOWED?? When will something be done? What can be done? I have a neighbor whose sister and nephew are living with her temporarily (I hope). There is a large Pit/Lab mix of the nephew’s who appears more Pit in looks and mannerisms for sure. He came running through my yard and terrorized my three cats..two shot up trees (he was on the tail of the kitten before she scrambled up). The big, old Manx cat was thankfully inside but trying to defend through the front door, the dog was viciously barking through the glass, hackles up, the cat spitting, swatting, ears pinned. Old Bob would have died to defend us and it breaks my heart to think that. I had a broom and tried to get him away from the door, to no avail. Swung full force. That’s not normal, any dog, even a wild wolf, would run. Kept coming back. I ended up tying him to the tree (he was very aggressive toward the cats but not to me YET) and I had already left several messages for his owner (an I.D. tag) whom I did not know and I didn’t know where the dog belonged) at this point I called the police and they came out and made a report, at which point the owner called and said she was on her way, the nephew must have let him out without knowing it. I told the police the dog was behaving vicious toward my cats and would kill . The owner said he is a big baby and would never. The owner knows how I feel, I said I’m sure the cats would have been killed and that I knew it was a Pit. She knew I made a report. I hope I struck the fear of God into her. Next time the dog will experience rubber bullets from a shotgun or pepper spray to know that he is not welcome here. She got the point that he is not to be loose, harassing people and their pets. I can honestly say NO other breed does this. Period. Might they (insert other breed) roam through? Tails wagged? Beg for a treat or a pet on the head? Sure. Even bark at your cat and engage in cat and mouse, perhaps treeing the cat who seems to enjoy the game. These roaving dogs do make their acquaintances known here and there…the greyhound who came up on my porch and got some love (cats standoffish but not terribly alarmed)..the two goofy labs come running over the first day they moved in they got in through our patio door and were in the kitchen before we knew it. Bolting down the cat food while my mother angrily said ‘well where did YOU come from??!! ..Totally ignoring the puffed-cat parade all around! Tails knocking things off shelves. I didn’t even care it was so funny. Gently reminded to mind their owners who were frantically calling for them and no doubt worried of first impressions!
Just no poo in the yard, please!
But this pit -lab mix…different. I could tell it and the cats secured their hiding spots 30’ up within 5 seconds of its arrival. They knew.
Animals are smarter than people in many ways, they deserve the right to a happy, adequately provided for, painless existence…the Pit Bull is the one deviation for myself and hopefully others.in that, it’s the farthest removed creature, in fact, it’s an abomination of canis familiaris. A downright mutant, alien-life form.
So as an animal lover, and a not often people lover, I’m happy to say that the world could be greatly aided, and worth being apart of again, a very simple thing would have to happen. The exturpation of the Pit and ALL Bully Breeds (and not allow any future bullies to be created in the Frankensteinian lab where they must have come from) and..that we enforce sterilisation on the ones that are owned, or who wish to adopt those that remain. Strict laws such as leash and muzzle when out, and 8 ft electric wire wall dug 2 foot into ground around yard. Shoot on spot no questions asked if on your property or it’s coming at you. The breeds will phase out in one generation.
It would all take care of itself! I would never have dreamed such evil people existed. I think the Pit Nutters are right up there with the likes of Mengele, Eichmann. Hitler himself was not this heinous of a person as these trolls are.
I know words can never take away the pain you and Kim feel in your loss of Dax, but I just wanted to say that you are a great, brave man. You are saving the lives of children with all of the work you do. I pray for you and Kim every night.
I also wanted you to know that your story has had a huge impact on me. I’ve never liked those demon dogs, but at some point in my high school life, I was slightly buying into the belief that training could make them trustworthy to be around. I was almost to the point where I would have started parroting the myths the nutters say. Then I discovered DogsBite and started reading about all of the incidents and victims. Then I found 2 accounts that changed my perception of those animals forever, Daxton’s and Kara Hartrich’s. I was shocked that these ‘pets’ that were raised from puppy hood ended two precious lives. From that moment on I’ve never looked at those beasts the same way again. I became 100% anti-dangerous dog and will continue to spread the word of these vicious beasts for the rest of my life.
Thank you for showing your courage in standing up to bullies and influencing the lives of people. Together we WILL make a difference.
Just wanted to send a note to let you know I am thinking about your son today. He was born around the time our boy was and I remember hearing your story and literarily getting dizzy. Any time I see a pit I keep my children as far away as possible. I’ve also made a point to ask parents of friends my children are visiting if there are dogs in the house. When I do these things I think of your son Dax. I know your pain will never go away. But I hope you know that sharing his memory and story helped me as a parent be more aware. Lots of peace sent your way.
Thank you so much, Meg. I decided to use this day to update this website.
Your story has lead my husband and I to have a strict (and quite unpopular) zero tolerance rule of having our 4 small children near or around any pitbulls or related breeds. We are so deeply sorry for your profound and unfathomable pain and loss but are thankful that you have the guts to share your story, regardless of the absurd and cruel backlash you received in return. Thank you.
Really hard to write anything after this read. My mind and fingers feel “speechless”. Thank you. No, I really can’t imagine……Your forever ally
Jeff, you’ve got the guts to tell the world about your most personal thoughts and agonies. I admire you for doing this and I will always be proud to stand with you on this issue. The cretins lurking online (and usually anonymously) haven’t a clue what it means to be strong enough to live through what you and Kim have.
This line really struck me:
I wouldn’t tell the parent of a deceased child due to a drunk driver that “guns kill more people.”
Exactly. Yet, I just saw two uber-trolls, Mike Stein and Clay Hunden-whatever, scoff at the number of people being mauled every year, as if there aren’t enough of them to matter. As if their horrifically-terminated lives don’t count. These two spewers (who probably aren’t even man enough to use their real names) pop up all over the internet to inject their sociopathic views regarding pit bull mauling victims. The only consolation is that the average reader who chimes in always slams the lid on these pit-worshiping nuts.
Maybe one day, like other pit-fanatics before them, these two will get a lesson in reality when their own “pets” turn on them. We”ll be shaking our heads saying “we tried to warn you, but you wouldn’t listen.”
These dogs need to go extinct through spaying and neutering and through shelter policies changing right now. They were never intended to be pets, and they’re certainly showing it every single day with every mauling, every death..
I have been trying to spread the truth about this breed for years. I have been lucky enough to have came to my position through research and observation rather than having had experienced a tragedy myself. It wasn’t until I read the pure evilness that was directed toward you and your wife that I was transformed from a somewhat passionate anti-pit advocate to a militant truther about this breed(s). Every callous comment/message/voicemail directed at you has made me more determined to do what I can to stop these stupid and selfish people from tricking one more family into putting their child’s life in danger. The one screenshot they have from a heartbroken father does not come close to comparing on a sick scale to the thousands of horrible messages they have directed at your family. They are their own worst enemy.
I cried my way through this. I am so very sorry that any of this happened. Thank you for sharing your story…Daxton’s story.
Jeff, I am so sorry for your profound loss. The loss of a child is awful like nothing else in this world. Words cannot begin to describe the pain you have and continue to go through. Pit bulls have scarred and killed quite enough children now. One would have been too many, really. One child is worth all the pit bulls in the world.
Many people out there are working to stop it with you. Together we might be able to save someone. I hope that we can.
I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for all you are doing to raise awareness about not only the deadly potential of these animals but the state of denial their *advocates* persist in inhabiting. Every day I read another story about a human being — child, young person, old person — or their animals being attacked and seriously mauled or killed by pit bull type dogs. I am a dog owner (Sporting breeds), and a small animal groomer. One of my neighbors is collecting pit bulls. I am terrified that someday they will break through the fence and attack and kill my dogs. The owner lets them run loose on unfenced property when people are at home, and one of those dogs has come at me on occasion when I am opening or closing our gate (6′ heavy duty cyclone , the fencing all around in 6 foot solid wood reinforced with wire). As a groomer I refuse to accept PBTs as clients. I will never take my dogs to any parks locally or walk them through town because there are ALWAYS off-leash pit bulls around. ALLLL of the transient-type people have pitbulls.I will never trust these animals and I never want to be around them. The shelters in our region are FILLED with them and the advocacy groups continue to pass them off as “nanny dogs”. A municipal animal control facility in the general region is having a FREE “adoption event” this weekend — I went to their website and 95% of their available dogs are pitbull types. I have been skeptical of BSL because there is always a trickle-down effect such that invariably other breeds are eventually “banned”; however I do not know what else can be done to stem the ever-increasing tide of tragedy that comes in the wake of ownership of these animals. Thank you again for your work.
Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story Jeff. I had believed the myth that ‘it’s all about the owner’, until I read your story. I will share this info with my children and my friends. God bless you.
Thank you Jeff. Thank you for writing all of this. There are so many of us out there that support you.
Pit bulls are dogs that can’t be trusted! Period!
Pit bulls and their ilk are one of the reasons I carry a Glock .40 with me at all times. I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot one threatening much less attacking me or someone else or even another person’s dog.
Lol- you poor, poor broken miserable fucking LOOSERS! when will you fucking clowns admit IT’S THE OWNER!!!! not the dog! I’m willing to bet all you propaganda media faggots are probably all not even paying attention to the breeder or the person who owned the dog- not once have i read any comments relating to the actual OWNER of the dog- you are UNINTELLIGENT and BREED RACIST! Lol I honestly laugh at your unintelligent haha- sorry to all you who have lost children but if you allowed your child to interact with a dog in which wasn’t your own or well known, we, it’s your fault…..ever think of that? Instead of blaming others or a breed for what happened? That perhaps your sloppy parenting may have versed this story? It’s a hard reality but its much easier to blame others for our own short comming. Life is short, make of it what you will, but we all know HUMANS are the problem- the hate you preach towards the breed is the same hate that makes any animal into a monster – you’re all floundering monsters yourself and need to get yourselves educated on what’s ACTUALLY going on and the REAL statistics AND NUMBERS of the dogs that ACTUALLY cause the most harm- if any of you fuckin clowns know how to use Google, you’ll find majority of these claims arnt even true- and pit bull attacks are always over reported by the fools who have been hurt trying to ban the breed because of their own short comming or inability to blame the real problem..- have a good one you single minded goofs
PB4Ever – I can only speak for myself. I don’t hate pitbulls, at all. But after reading accounts of attacks – those which are in the national and local news media, I definitely have formed an opinion that they are not a breed I want my children or myself around, no matter how wonderful, kind, or in control an owner is or seems to be. Unfortunately, I can’t remove my children or myself from being exposed to them, unless we hide out in our house all the time (and even then there have been a couple of cases of pitbulls breaching a homeowner’s entry). We can’t live that way. We need to be able to walk through our neighborhood and our town without fear of attack. Even great dog owners have to open their door or pen gates, or whatever… sometimes. Any slight lapse could lead to a tragedy. I actually feel bad for the dogs that they were bred for the purpose of ripping, tearing, clamping down and not letting go. It’s not fair to them that we have created this specialized breed with these physical and mental properties. This makes me very sad. But unfortunately, we have no easy way to rectify this huge, historic mistake, which is really a crime against them. All we have now is the power to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the human stupidity of the past. And that is why I’ll continue to educate my children, and if there is ever a law up for a vote, I will vote for pitbulls not to be allowed in my community. Many communities ban large predators (lions, tigers, etc.) as pets to preserve community safety. I see this as a similar danger because of the capacity for death and maiming.
Wow Laurel. So humble and kind your response. Powerful.
With you Jeff. You are never alone in this battle. RIP Daxton.
Mr. or Mrs PITBULLSFOREVER, thank you for showing future comment readers more lack of empathy for parents who have lost their child. In case you don’t have children, this is one of the worst event to ever happen to someone. Many of us are working to make this breed extinct, and we will succeed. We won’t get any particular joy out of it, we only want to make people safe. And other animals too, although for me this is secondary to the safety of people.
Please, if you love dogs, choose another breed of dog, for your sake, for your neighbor’s sake, and for the sake of your family. These dogs are dangerous and unpredictable. There is ample evidence that they are not suitable pets for our society.
What did you just say? You disrespect a father after what he went through? How dare you! You should be ashamed of yourself! What if it was your child? Pit bulls are not nanny dogs! Never have, never were! How many times has he documented that pit bulls attack without warning? American Staffordshire Terriers are the same as a pit bull! Then you have the audacity to call him a loser! I’m done with you! What is wrong with you? Are you serious? Call me what you will! I don’t give a damn!
Why should anyone own an animal that you yourself said should not interact with a child it is not familiar with? Did you read what you just wrote, you are proving they are dangerous. You are equating them to leaving a loaded gun in the table. Yes, a gun should not be accessible to a child, and like a gun you are telling me a pit bull is so dangerous that children not familiar with it should not interact with it. From what you said, seems like no one should have a pit bull without a permit, background check, and requirement to have it inaccessible to a child, just like a gun.
Now that aside, why would it ever be anyone’s responsibility to follow safety procedures except the owner. Why should everyone else be expected to know and follow certain safeguards for the sake of your dog? You should be solely responsible, but holding a baby out of reach of a dog to let it go to the bathroom imo sounds like decent dog safety. I don’t see the babysitters actions in her own home careless. Yet they still attacked. She kept the dogs under lock and key, didn’t allow the baby to “interact” as you yourself said, yet they still attacked. You see, once again, you are confirming just how dangerous they are. She took precautions and they weren’t enough, like a gun, the only way to be safe is to have kept them fully locked up in a safe and not allowed near anyone else and surely not allowed out in public.
And what about when a child or adult is killed by their own pet pit bull in their own home. The one that was owned since puppyhood, well trained and socialized, never aggressive. Here is the problem, time and time again the owners say how great the dog was, how it would snuggle with babies, give kisses to everyone, yet it still mauled someone. The pit bull owners themselves say how shocked they are, how it’s so out of character for the dog. The days of pit bull attacks solely being committed by dog fighting, abused pit bulls are gone. We now see unprovoked attacks on owners byvthier own dog. You see how your whole argument falls apart.
And please don’t tell me the guy having a seizure because he has epilepsy is provoking his own dog into killing him. Or a kid crying. Or a baby having formula on its face. Provoking is walking up to a dog and hitting it. I have read many news reports where they suddenly charge at someone who is minding their own business or they rip a child away from an adult.
You really want to say these things are just as likely to happen with a Yorkies? And that beagles are just as likely to cause death or severe injury? And is it really fair to the public that a certain type of Breed have so many rules to follow or else death could occur…and according to pit bull owners is somehow excusable since all the “rules” weren’t followed.
Well said. There couldn’t be a clearer example to me of what drives these dogs to unprovoked attacks. Behaving like a prey animal, this grandmother squeals like an animal in pain. Watch the Pitbulls response. Sometimes words cannot explain what drives a living thing to act, but an image speaks volumes: http://youtu.be/Wqp9uFGKK-M
Excuse me? What did you just say? How dare you blame these bereaved parents! This was his first child! And for you to even come here and say that the media is spinning these stories to sensationalize it! This is his reality! What gives you the right to bully this warrier and tell him to shut up? He can’t! What part of genetics do you not understand? You should be ashamed of yourself! Put yourself in the victims’ shoes! How would you feel if your family and friends were attacked by pit bulls? Do you have sympathy for them? You don’t!
“It is both the owner and the breed”. From owners who are naive, to those that literally refuse to accept they own an Apex predator, both are very dangerous, because they harbor them unwittingly. Education will help those with a higher intellect and can understand genetics. Unfortunately as statistics indicate- the breed does not care what reasoning its owner uses when that dog matures into its prey driven genetic abilities.
I don’t think I have ever met or read about a person who trained their dog to kill children- ‘process that’ if you are able.
and btw Einstein, it is spelled Loser. Looser would indicate that something has room around it, like your small brain 😉
This might explain Pitbulls4ever’s comments, and I think it’s pretty obvious to even casual observers of Pit Bull owners:
“Studies have shown that owners of pit bulls are more likely to have criminal records and more likely to display antisocial behavior than owners of more common and less-vicious breeds.
The studies, published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence and the Journal of Forensic Sciences, were titled “Ownership of High-Risk (Vicious) Dogs as a Marker for Deviant Behaviors” and “Vicious Dogs: The Antisocial Behaviors and Psychological Characteristics of Owners.”
You have my deepest condolences Sir, as does your wife and all the others who share the immense tragedy of counting the death of your precious son as a loss. It is my belief at least (whether it is a belief shared by you or not is only for you to know) that the Creator of this universe also lost a Son to tragic circumstances, and because He did, you may yet look forward to the day when your family will finally be reunited in a place where there will be no more tears, and joy will finally reign supreme. I pray that I will meet you (and your little one) there.
My wife and I are both horrified by your story. We support you. Pit Bulls and other dangerous breeds have no place in an advanced civilization.
Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. No one should have to go thru what you did. Dax seemed like a bright little man in your photos. My heart ached for you all while reading your story. You have many supporters. Thank you for doing what you do.
“Did Dax just save my life twice by showing me God?”
It took me two days to finish reading this blog entry. His sweet smile and the quote above literally brought tears (several). I don’t know you, but that little boy has touched my heart. He’ll continue to reach and touch more hearts and I believe that’s how true change will happen. You are fighting the good fight and I thank you so much.
Jeff, Prayers to you and your family. I cannot even fathom your grief and anger. I hope you find peace one day. Thank you for the tireless work on behalf of all of us who could easily be victims of pit bull attacks. Good Bless.
I lost my 15 1/2 yr old Jack Russell Terrier in 7/14 to two pit bulls. I have taken on the owner and the pit bull advocates now many times in honor of my little Rocket who died protecting his family. The Indianapolis Care and Control accepts drop offs of pit bulls on a daily basis (obviously given up for their aggression). These pit bulls are given ridiculous “Temperament” tests, (most scoring A+ of course) and they are adopted out over and over with the new owners receiving zero training in responsible pit bull ownership (if there is such a thing). In Indpls. pit bull owners face mild fines for violations (micro chipping, rabies, animal at large, etc). Owners never pay their fines, the city never enforces payment, and the negligent pet owners get new pit bulls over and over. The pit bulls who killed my dog, Rocket, had injured my other dog one year earlier and had killed an autistic boy’s little chihuahua two months before killing my dog. I threatened to blow Indianapolis Care and Control’s negligence. The 2 pit bulls were finally euthanized. I won $700 in civil court (replacement cost of dog and vet bills). The owners received an additional $1800 in fines on top of the fines they received one yr. earlier and never paid. I have taken heat from facebook “friends” when I post about the true nature of pit bulls. I have taken on pit bull zealots and been ridiculed and degraded. But everything I have been through does not compare, I know, to what you and your wife have been through. There are many people who care about your loss. The pit bull zealots are not emotionally or intellectually stable. Don’t ever forget that. Anyone who would say, “There are no bad dogs, just bad owners,” does not understand dangerous dogs. Your babysitter did not know that responsible ownership means not having a pit bull on the same property with a child or elderly person, nor did you. We have all learned the hard way, through loss. Until local and state laws are changed, there will be more losses. It will be a slow process but we have an obligation to continue speaking out don’t we? Please get happy again for your baby boy, he would want that and he would be proud of his mom and dad, helping in the face of grief. What if every time we speak, someone, somewhere, gets a pit bull away from a child? Then good has been done.
I am just sick to my stomach after reading this. How could any person that belongs in the Human race send those messages to a grieving father and mother. I am appalled and sickened by the lack of common sense, empathy, courtesy, sympathy, and love for others. Since when has a dogs rights become more important than a human. People need to get their priorities back in line. My heart goes out to Daxton and his family. What a tragedy that has happened, and the continued tragedy of the ignorance of people. Thank you for being so open about your feelings and keeping your son’s memory alive Jeff. I love all Gods creatures, but not more than I love the gift of life. Shame on those who continue to keep this nightmare alive for you.
Thank you for writing this and for sharing. It’s excellent. I wish you never had to write it. But I thank you for helping so many others.
I just spent the better part of the last hour reading your daxtonsfriends site you have created. I have already read your story several times at various points in your grief. In my case we only lost our beloved cat “Jack” who I referred to as my baby. He was horribly killed by a Siberian Husky. A beautiful dog named Smokey. I was loving on this animal inside my front door the very same day he had just killed my cat on the side of the house. After I found out this dog killed my cat everything changed. I prayed that dog would come by so I could kill him myself. I understand the anger part and the grief. I never thought I could become so attached to a cat. He was killed on September 27th 2014 and since then I have learned so much about dogs and dog characteristics and the danger that Pit Bulls pose to all living things. It is sad that so many people blindly and ignorantly go with the flow like lemmings into the sea. I have never been one to just follow the pack. I need information always. The search for the truth is always my first priority. I hope I can share this site with a family friend who thinks Pits are sweet wonderful dogs when raised right. I just shake my head. Just like the fact that Siberian Huskies are well known to be cat killers and in many cases will kill all other animals in the house if left alone with them. The only exception is when the dog is raised from a puppy where all the other animals are already there. That doesn’t save any other animals that come into it’s path outside the home. Such is the case with the dog that killed my cat. We have dogs and Jack interacted with them all the time so unfortunately for him, he did not find dogs to be dangerous. One day my wife and I were over at a rental property of hers where we were helping her do some work on the house to get it ready to rent and one of her other friends had a big Pit Bull. At that time I was not afraid of them but I wasn’t going to put my face near his. My wife has disabilities that she is unable to walk and has to ride a scooter around. Our friend and I had to go rent a tool because the one I had gotten was the wrong one. My wife followed this dog around trying to be nice to it. I am so glad we did not come back to find my wife dead by Pit. We do have dangerous dog ordinances here and since I found witnesses to the attack and killing we were able to get justice for our cat. I still feel bad for the family who gave up their dog to be put down for being dangerous but no more animals will die because this dog got them. In the previous four months there had been three cats disappear in a 300 foot radius, a grey cat of the neighbor across the street from the Husky, an orange tabby we were feeding that was a stray, and one of our other cats named Ollie. What became of them I guess we will never know. During my research is when I learned how dangerous Pits are and I want them banned as well. I will be working with local government to ban dangerous dogs from the city. Even I have gotten flak about my negative comments about Pits but I always say I don’t hate the dogs really. I just want people to open their eyes and get educated about the facts. I tell them if they were not inherently more dangerous than other dogs then why have all the courts upheld every single BSL challenge despite the so called experts. What a joke. They spew their BS but a Judge has to first look at the facts and the Pit corner has none and never has so they always lose. Unfortunately some legislator in our state is trying to overturn BSL state-wide. There are many communities here that have BSL and this would mess them up big time. Take care, Earl Upham
thank you Jeff for your words, and for sharing photos of your beautiful son Daxton.
I had a debate recently with a grandfather , a mother, and my fellow ED Nurses.
I will not concede my argument that PIT BULLS have no place in America.
I ran across something about Pits when I was doing my ‘owner killed by pit bulls’, search. The writer said that pits are liars in the dog world. They don’t give the other dog any of the commonly accepted warning signs. Growling, stiff stance, barred teeth, raised hair. Nothing. And that is what makes them so valuable in fights. They always get ‘one up’ on the other dog, by faking him out that they are not in attack mode when really they are so they always have the element of surprise. If all these people that say their dogs have never shown any aggression, could just understand this, they might not be so smug and sure of their stance. I know, wishful thinking, but if someone at least told them that non-aggression is the real warning of ‘Pit-bull aggression’, at least they could understand the Pit mind better. Pits operate on INSTINCT. Period.
I agree with the animal control officer who ran his town on the policy that if Pits came in, they were euthanized, never adopted. He did it to reduce dog attacks and it was working until the Pit advocates won the city fathers over. I forget which state it was.
For every dog that is given to a home, other animals will have to die to feed it for the rest of its life, chickens, lambs etc.. Why kill animals to feed dogs that people don’t really want anyway and are just taking home because they feel guilty if they don’t.
Your blog about losing your son is fantastic. It helps me feel not alone. I lost my son 2 years ago in an accident, (not dog related) I will never be who I was again. I
I learned from a friend who lost a son at age 18 that losing a child isn’t something you ever get OVER, maybe you get through it but never OVER it. The violent and horrible manner in which Dax died and the perverted and horrible way pit advocacy treats the victims and defends this shit breed makes this process even more difficult. From what I’ve seen you’re doing the best you can and as well as or better than could be expected. There is also a support group for people who’ve lost children if you ever feel the need to talk to someone who understands (I’m not going to pretend I do). http://www.compassionatefriends.org/home.aspx
I have told sever people at my college that pit bulls were never to be trusted around children. I was actually at my college cafeteria for lunch. I told the cooks, Joseph and Jordan that pit bulls were never nanny dogs. They told me that pit bulls were misunderstood and that they only kill when trained to or provoked. When I pointed out that pit bulls do in fact attack for no reason, which has been documented numerous times, they didn’t believe me. I told Jordan that he was putting his own daughter in danger. I even told him that I have a niece and I would never ever, ever, ever trust any dangerous breed especially pit bulls! He then had the audacity to tell me that his daughter is just fine and the media was giving pit bulls stereotypes! I couldn’t believe what I heard! I told him that he will have to learn the hard way. Jeff Borchardt is a huge inspiration to me. I am not ashamed to tell the deadly truth about pit bulls! Just because they are well raised and trained doesn’t mean they won’t kill. By the way, the above mentioned people told me that Chihuahuas kill people! Total lie! Fuck pit bulls! If somebody had a gun with a concealed carry license, and saw pit bulls attacking somebody, you better believe they will be shot!
Let’s not forget that pit bull advocates claim that pit bulls and American Staffordshire Terriers are totally different breeds. They also claim that they are nanny dogs, and they get a bad rap because they are trained to kill. They even claim that love will prevent staffies… I mean pit bulls from killing somebody. Cesar Milan claims that getting rid of pit bulls is genocide and other breeds will train other breeds to attack and kill. Are you serious? Give me a break! Pit bull advocates will never learn! Period! Media conspiracy? What are you talking about? Get it through your thick skulls, pit bull lovers!
Correction: People will train other breeds to attack.
Read more about the American Staffordshire Terrier: https://www.daxtonsfriends.com/american-staffordshire-terrier/
American Staffordshire Terrier is the same as a pit bull. I just hate it when people claim they are totally different. Clearly they’re not! If it looks like a pit bull, that’s because it is! You need to keep sharing your story every chance you get. Whether or not pit bull lovers will listen is entirely up to them. They don’t care that they’re putting their own children and other loved ones in danger.
I sent you an email about why I hate pit bulls. Your story is the reason. It has confirmed how I felt about pit bulls all along. I am so sick and tired of you being bullied into silence! I refuse to shut up about it! I just uploaded a youtube video called “I hate pit bulls!” I will upload part 2. Pit nutters tick me off! I’m gonna shove the truth in their face! Then again, they won’t accept the truth! You are a hero! We are in an army to take back our neighborhoods! I am sick and tired of these 4 legged terrorists running rampant around here! Pit bulls have suffering, terror, madness, mayhem and fear to offer! That’s it! If there’s one thing I am convinced of, it’s this: pit bulls kill! Period! I have a baby niece and I would be furious if I had to find out that she had been attacked by a pit bull! Fortunately, I have never had a pit bull in my long legged life! I do not want her to become a statistic! I will not stop until pit bulls are outlawed in the name of public safety! I understand that there are shootings, robberies, car accidents, and wars. But being killed by dogs is just the worst thing that could happen to somebody! At the rate we’re going, pit bulls kill on a daily basis! The pit bull epidemic is out of control! They are a threat to public safety! We have to look over our shoulders everywhere we go! When will the madness end?
We appreciate your support. I think you may have gotten the wrong impression though. Our group has many victims who have strong feelings against the pit bull type dog, but we do not hate the dogs. We are advocating for public safety and better education about these dogs. We understand that they did not create themselves and it is actually people who are behind this problem. People are the ones pushing this dangerous breed into family homes without giving the families the truth about the difficulty and danger in owning this breed. They are being promoted as easy, family pets, which is exactly what they are not. Most pit bulls are high energy dogs and have many special requirements, such as handling unpredictability, being able to scale 6ft fences, and limitations with contact with other animals. Owners need a complete understanding of the breed and need to keep the public safe from their choice in pets. The dog fighters and pit bull activists are fully responsible for the pit bull issue today, not the dogs. The dogs are just doing what we created them to do. The promotion of these dogs creates a situation where they are being bred as fast as they are being killed. The shelters are filled with them and there are not enough homes. The average pit bull won’t live past aged five, yet pit bulls activists are against measurements, such as mandatory spay and neuter, that will prevent the deaths of these dogs and bring the population down to more manageable number. Daxton’s Friends just wants what is the best interest of public safety and the animals. Again, thank you so much for your support.
I am sure that when you make a point that is valid, the only choice someone who does not support your view has is to attack the person. What should always be the focus of the debate is simple. 1.) What is a dog breed? Why are there different dog breeds? What is the process for how do dog breeds come about? Why do we identify our dogs as dog breeds rather than just dogs? The objective answer to all of these questions is exactly why Pit Bulls are the most dangerous domestic, Ferrell or wild canine on the planet. What exacerbates the danger is not those that use for and hide them from the public because of their illicit purpose. The biggest danger is people that know nothing of dogs and breeding and keep them for any other purpose than fighting.
It almost makes me wish dogfighting was legal. Maybe if people could see with their own eyes what these dogs DO, what they were BRED for, what they are CAPABLE of, they could finally get it through their thick heads why these are not PET animals much less ‘servus’, ‘therapy’ or ‘comfort’ dogs.
Nanny dog my ass! This is how pets and kids get killed!
I don’t trust pit bulls for anybody! Period! Pit bull advocates don’t want to hear the fatal truth!
I would like for pit bulls to be completely banned!
Fortunately, I have never been attacked by pit bulls. I have always been leary of them, however. They’re preprogrammed to kill!
Pit bull zealots claim that pit bulls are only dangerous if they’re trained to be. In reality, they really are dangerous by default, period. No amount of loving and training will take that away from them. That’s the way they are! When are pit bull advocates going to learn?
I am furious that the pit bull owner told your son and his friend to not tell anybody! That pisses me off! Being attacked by pit bulls just for playing tag? Seriously? This is an epidemic! This is out of control! Ban all pit bulls now!
A new low.
Jeff, could someone post the letters that Karen Delise is sending to victims’ families from her PAC?
Did she ever get around to getting registered as a lobbyist, or is she still trying to keep on the downlow?
Everything I have on those letters are here Who Else
Does Karen Delise have children? I only ask because who else would send a letter to the mother of a child whose head was decapitated by the family pit bull named “Kissy Face” around the first Christmas without her son? Only people that care more about dogs than children I reckon. It will be interesting to read the NCRC DBRF report for 2013/2014. She knows the victims are now talking to each other.
I do not believe that Delise, Vankavage, or Berkey have children.
If they did, they could’ve cared less.
I can’t believe why anybody would trust pit bulls as a family pet! I am sick and tired of people minding their own business being attacked by pit bulls for no fucking reason! Fuck pit bulls!
You can thank Cesar Milan, Tia Torres, and all the pit nutters for dead children and other deaths caused by these landsharks! Very deceitful! What did Dax do to deserve it? Blame the victim? Are you serious? How dare the pit nutters threaten you! This is definitely a breed problem. Pit bulls kill! It is that simple! It doesn’t matter if they were well trained and raised and loved! They still go on to attack and kill as evidence clearly shows! Pit bulls are devil dogs! They are worthless, evil, homicidal, I cannot say enough hateful things about pit bulls! This is the very reason why they are hated! They kill! They should be put to the fires! The police should’ve shot the pit bulls that killed your son Dax and attacked Susan! Pit bulls should be destroyed! And Michelle Serocki flat out lying to you? How dare she say that they weren’t cared for! And Laurie Hoffman calling you neglectful? Are you serious? How was Susan neglectful? Were they there? No! They don’t care about the deadly truth! My thoughts and prayers are for you. God bless you.
What a brave hero you are!
What I am trying to say, is that I am sick and tired of the pit bull epidemic. I am sick and tired of the nutters still blaming you and all ot the other victims for being attacked by the very dog… I mean mutant that attacked them and their families! Pit bulls kill! Period! No way am I going to put my niece or anybody I know in the company of a pit bull!
Pit bulls need to be illegal! Period! I can’t conceive how victims and their families get blamed for being attacked by so called nanny dogs! These pit bulls should’ve been shot! Save a child, kill a pit bull! I am sick and tired of how people claim that love and training will erase their killer instincts! Pit bulls are not your friends! They are your worst nightmare! If they are not yet, it’s just a matter of time! Preposterous! Pit bulls killing gentle animals and people! This is an outrage! The most shocking thing is that pit bull nutters show no remorse! They don’t care about your children or you! That’s the way they are!
Dax was incredibly beautiful, and you have communicated your love for him so completely. Thank you for all you are doing to work towards the day when this can never happen again. You have turned your loss, love, anger and learning out to the world as a force for good.
Years ago, I remember reading a book called _People of the Lie_ by Scott Peck. If you haven’t read it, you might find it helpful to put into perspective the pit bull apologists’ words and actions. I believe Dax, you and your wife, and Susan were victims of what they have wrought and continue to wreak. It will help you keep firmly in mind what you are up against.
Your screenshot was posted out of devastating loss, the most unimaginable pain in the world. You get a pass. Period.
Today I read a news story about a woman who did not tell the truth when her daughter was bitten in the face by her boyfriend’s pitbull. She told police and hospital personnel that a stray dog did it. Their story didn’t make sense to authorities, and when she and the boyfriend were told her daughter would have to have a series of painful rabies shots if the dog couldn’t be identified, they finally relented and told the truth. Talk about hovering on the cusp of good and evil…
I wonder if it might help to try to work through the American Pediatrics Association? When my children had their first checkup after birth, their doctor talked to me about gun ownership stats in our county, gun injury/death stats for children, and placed in my mind the importance of asking parents hosting play dates and sleepovers if they have guns in their homes & what precautions they take if so. This conversation was VIVID and unexpected and focused my thinking for years to come. Dax’s story has done the same for me as both a mother and a school principal. I now ask about dogs in the home when my kids visit friends and wen talking to parents in my school.
I think you are right; through several incidents over the years, your inner voice was quietly speaking. Like most of us, your mind was trying to make sense of the incidents you witnessed and no doubt latched onto the received wisdom the culture at large gives us about these dogs. I think we humans have done a reprehensible thing by breeding these dogs to clamp and kill. It is not just our assessment of the breed that is the issue; it’s our own inability to admit our own dark side and bad deeds.
That is a good book.
What an amazing read. The bare soul is the strongest Armour. Your humility and honesty inspire everyone to realize no what you have done or who you are, there is always opportunity to do it right. I love you Brother
Pit Bull advocacy people are hounding you because your blog is effective. You are starting to scare them. Look at how they hate DogsBite. Unfortunately it is going to get worse before it gets better. Stay strong.
Best of luck.
Pit bull advocates hate the truth! The truth hurts! I agree with you. They hate dogsbite.org because it exposes the fatal truth about dangerous dogs, predominantly pit bulls!
Jeff, you still don’t get it do you? Tragedy and personal loss do not excuse you for all of the, lets say, less than honorable things you have done and said since your loss. I lost twin girls, so I know the pain you feel. I watched one of my daughters die right in front of me and I will never get that out of my head. I had many days for a long time where I hated everything and wanted nothing to do with anyone. It was really hard to come to terms with the fact that everything and everybody else in the world continued on with their lives like nothing happened. That was because for them, nothing did happen. The pain and grief was, with the exception of a few close friends and family, was mine, not theirs. I couldn’t expect them to know what I was going through. I couldn’t just let out all of my anger, frustration, pain, etc. out on them and expect them to let it slide. It is not my right to cause other people harm, to lash out at innocent people just so i get some sort of relief. The cold truth is it was not their problem. I had to find a way to get past it other than projecting it on to others. It is not okay to act in the manner that you have, so many times, because of your pain and suffering. I’m not going to get into the pit bull issue with you because it is pointless. I know I would probably hate the sight of pit bulls for the rest of my life if I was you. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, I don’t have an issue with your work towards BSL. That is your right to do what you think best honors your son memory, and to try to save others from going through what you did. It is the manner in which you conducted yourself that has brought all of the hatred that has been directed at you. I guarantee this post of yours will make it worse. You have to know that nobody attacked you before you started lashing out and attacking others that had nothing to do with your loss. Clean up your side of the fence and you will see a change in the attitudes towards you from the people who share opposing views. At least from the ones who are half way decent human beings. It is up to you to start the process. It will help you heal and it will help your organization grow. Fight for what you believe in, just do it respectfully.
WHAT “less than honorable” things, Brian–trying to keep other people from being mauled to death by pit bulls? Oh my–that is terrible of Jeff. God forbid Jeff should work to protect people and innocent pets. What on earth is wrong with you?
Bryan Adamson, what a joke.
He’s a shill for pit bull breeders and he gets all patronizing. He helps dog fighters get kids and pets kiilled, but he starts preaching about respect.
How does it feel hopping onto a teenage girl fad, Bryan? What is it with these loser guys who need attention?
They are so pissed that people are finding out what they are. All liars.
Bryan Adamson, you are helping get little kids killed every day because you want attention, and you don’t even have the smarts to know how to handle your dog.
Now I see in the screen shot of some of Bryan’s ravings and harassment that he is hooked up with Josh Liddy, that creepy guy who has Lisa Camuso telling him what to do, the one who harassed Merritt Clifton.
NOW I understand.
What is it with these marginal loser guys that need attention from people like Lisa? Triple Ick.
Lisa Camuso, if you can show me legislation that would prevent a death like Daxton, Beau, Kara, Jordan, Betty, and maulings like the Foley’s (hour and a half pit bull mauling in Cary, IL) and Dominic, Sport, Chase, and on and on and on and on……., THEN I might THINK about sitting down at a table and listening to you…..You hear me Josh? You hear me Lisa?….Just the fact of WHERE you made your “enlightening” and “soft spoken” comment on a victim bashing/blaming/human hating Facebook page called “Truth Be Told” speaks volumes….Ironically, this is where this “No fence, no collar, tug-o-war with his pit bull in the front yard with a school bus full of children in the background, Brian Adamson” makes and associates with folks like Josh Liddy and Lisa Camuso.
I don’t remember making the first move. Matter a fact, I don’t remember exposing myself to the pit bull lobby until half of my son’s face was ripped off after a 15 minute pit bull attack.
Please stop this madness Jane Berkey. Please tell Amy Marder to properly identify a pit bull that is not registered like 80% of the dog owners in the US? Tell Karen Delise to stop sending letters asking questions about the PIT BULLS that killed our children AROUND CHRISTMAS….Can we please stop with the ASPCA commercials around Christmas showing poor little doggies in cages while we sing songs of Jesus, “Silent Night?”…..If you’re going to ask people to donate to your cause, can you at least show the 3000+ pit bulls euthanized and replaced by back yard breeders every day, all day, 24/7, for 10 years? If you’re going to ask for money, can you please just be honest and say that you only want to save pit bulls?
Take a look around DaxtonsFriends.com…Show me the part where we don’t say that pit bulls are just as much the victims as the victims they create.
Hopefully your friend,
First I want to say that I have never had a single conversation with Josh Liddy. I mentioned him in one comment, one time and all of the sudden we are brothers in arms. That is a glaring example of how flawed your thought process is. You draw wild conclusions based on a fractional amount of evidence and research. You then present these conclusions as though they are proven, undeniable facts. The stories of victims as far as who was harmed and what dog caused the harm are facts that are not in dispute. The problem is the who and by what are only part of the details and evidence that is needed to understand the reasons why and how, as well as how it can be avoided in the future. To not acknowledge the other pieces of the puzzle is a guarantee that these tragedies will continue to happen. Now I would like to address your comment “Ironically, this is where this “No fence, no collar, tug-o-war with his pit bull in the front yard with a school bus full of children in the background, Brian Adamson” The bus is empty. My neighbor is a school bus driver and that day she was home for lunch. That means that is was a weekday and around noon at the time of the picture. There was no one outside, no kids, no dogs and i had a family member on lookout for any change in the situation. My brother in law asked me to let him take a pic of her swinging and that is where he wanted to take the pic. No she did not have a collar on because she does not wear one in the house and besides that one or two minutes that is where we were, inside. Another example of your “drawing a conclusion” from a single picture. A conclusion that is factually wrong, supported with statements that are false. Last thing I will reply to is this fantastic statement “I don’t remember making the first move. Matter a fact, I don’t remember exposing myself to the pit bull lobby until half of my son’s face was ripped off after a 15 minute pit bull attack.” The truth is, the pro pit lobby was defending you against the pro bsl lobby. They immediately attacked every aspect of the incident, and you in particular. The pro bsl lobby saw an opportunity to use your pain as a tool to brainwash you in the teachings of Colleen. Some our closest supporters today were the first ones to say hurtful things about you. The pro pit lobby, the ones who at first stood up for you, then found themselves the target of your new mission. You were never a target of the pro pit lobby until you decided to sling shit in their direction. That is the first move that you fail to recall
Really Brian? So I just imagined the shit slinging not even 24 hours after the death of my son? I imagined the letters by Karen Delise written to victims around the first Christmas without our children? I imagined Laurie Hoffman calling us “negligent” in the Watertown Daily Times? I imagined Michelle Serocki from the Brew City Bully Club flat out lying about the conditions of Susan’s dogs? I imagined Faces Of BSL Apologists stealing our family photos, tagging us to draw us in an attempt to silence us? I imagined see our faces on the side of an Oscar Wiener mobile? I imagined there not being any charges in my son’s death because “they never shown any signs of aggression before?”
Please enlighten us all. Tell me how my thought process is flawed. Tell me WHY two dogs selectively bred for 100’s of years for violence suddenly, randomly and unprovoked attacked their owner and targeted my son. How could we avoid a pit bull of 8 years named Kissy Face decapitating a 2 year old while his mother went to the bathroom? How could we avoid the death of Betty Todd, Kara Hartrich? How can we avoid situations that led to the mauling of Adara Johnson, or Chase, or Sport?
Good day Brian. I suggest you add to your bucket list spending time with the victims of dangerous dog attacks. I’ve wasted enough time already blocking you on Facebook. I will no longer approve your comments on this website, so don’t waste anymore of your time responding.
Bryan, think long and hard about this one. Maybe ask Josh. Lisa might tell you.
Why do you think it is such a bad idea, often cautioned against by the few who do really understand these breeds, to be playing tug o war with a fighting breed like you are in your photo?
“There was no one outside, no kids, no dogs and i had a family member on lookout for any change in the situation.’
Until a cat or a squirrel runs by, and your dog in a flash ends up a half mile away killing someone’s dog on their doorstep, or ripping the face off a kid at the playground. Or road kill.
Two minutes? It only takes two seconds.
You have no clue how to handle dogs period, never mind a fighting breed.
You and your type are the ones giving the “bad rap” if Jane could figure it out. The neophytes, the wannabes.
When she got pit bulls into the hands of clueless people like you, it was a dead cert that pit bull attacks would be increasing every day.
Jeff, I think you’ll be surprised where I stand on dangerous dogs….the only difference is that I do not believe in banning breeds. I do not wish to punish good dogs and their responsible owners. I do have issues with rescues and the lack of education. I have owned American Bulldogs for over 20 years. I am and will always be a student; learning and training with some of the best people in the Country. I believe its important to stay hungry for more knowledge. It is what made me successful with legislation. I am a HUGE proponent of training for both dog and owner. Knowledge is power. I will message you my email address through Facebook. Let’s try to put our differences aside… the insults aside… let’s try to work together to find an answer and memorialize your son the way he deserves. One thing I know about you….you loved your son. One thing that will surprise you is that many of the people you are at odds with, feel terrible about what happened to your son. We are Human and we are separated by a screen and a keyboard. Before you email me, I am asking you to think long and hard about what you are willing to open yourself up to. I would like to “show” you first hand…and that may be difficult. After reading a lot of what you post, I know what I am up against…you seem as though you are on the opposite end of the spectrum from me, but I still think it’s worth the try…the question is…are you ready? Please think about what you can do…..email me when you are ready.
FYI… I see people stating that I am going this because I fear what would happen ifI didn’t….absolutely not. I have nothing to fear in this subject…an after months of fighting with most of you….after months of Libelous information being posted about me… Anti-BSL laws are catching on and succeeding. That statement is not meant to incite you…It is fact. So whether or not Jeff and I meet, It will continue without it. I just think its time he was put in a light that can create the change he wants….
How’s that “little white lie” Lisa? You claim libel? Then do you deny saying this? https://cravendesires.blogspot.com/2013/12/swagger-in-slither-out.html
Would your “successful legislation” save the next Daxton? Does your “issues with rescues and lack of education” include educating potential adopters of the proper use of “break sticks?” Or the history and purpose of pit bull type dogs? How about telling people about the nanny dog myth?
“Before you email me, I am asking you to think long and hard about what you are willing to open yourself up to. I would like to “show” you first hand” – Do you even listen to yourself talk Lisa? You pretty much just admitted that YOU would have nothing to gain from such a meeting.
Not interested Lisa. Sorry. But I don’t trust you. Even if you only tell “little white lies.”
“I looked at my son and he turned over and looked at me for a split second and then dropped his head to the ground. I ran to him and picked him up. I put my hands around his neck instantly because that’s where I seen our pit bull biting him. I felt the hot blood squirting out on to my hands. I was screaming for someone to call 911. I couldn’t let my son die in the back yard so I picked him up and ran inside, laid him on the counter and called 911. His was blue. Like a blueberry. There was blood coming out of his mouth and his tongue was between his lips. He was gone. I could feel and see his lifeless body.
We thought he was going to be a great dog. He acted like one. He was a good example of a good pit. Until he just decided to attack. He slept in our bed and everything. We never left the kids alone with him. They were never mean to him. We had 5 other dogs including another female pit and they never fought.
It’s NOT the way they are raised. Our dog was well loved and raised. He obeyed all commands and never showed any aggression. These myths almost cost my sons life. How many more people have to get hurt because of a lie?”
“My boyfriend Greg had had a pitbull named Bexar for 6 and a half years. He’d raised him from a pup and Bexar was a very well behaved dog and listened to everything Greg would tell him. Greg and I got together over 2 years ago, moved in with each other and Bexar came too. I instantly fell in love with Bexar. He was my “sweet boy”. He would give you kisses for hours, even smiled at us every time we walked in the door.
The backdoor was open and suddenly we heard people screaming from outside. Bexar, with zero warning, had lunged at Gavin, and his jaws were clamped down on Gavin’s face, right in front of everyone. Let me point out that there were 8 people within arms reach of Gavin when Bexar attacked. This is a critical point, because I have heard from many people about this, who say that they would never leave their children “alone” with “any” dog. Gavin was far from being alone when this attack happened. Even 4 grown men were unable to pry Bexar’s jaws off of Gavin’s head. Greg ran out and was finally able to get Bexar to release, saving Gavin’s life.”
“As I rounded the corner I could see the street was blocked off , full of firetrucks, police, and families standing outside–i still wondered what was going on, I was flagged and told to pull over , I then looked up and saw that it was my house they were all at, my yard was taped in crime scene ribbon, full of police officers, fire personnel, lots of noise and commotion, i was met by police officers, my husband covered in blood, and my mother, all of whom were screaming, and crying , and telling me it was bad, so very bad, i asked for my kids, Kaylee was at the the neighbors, it was my Kara, my Kara had been attacked by our family pit bulls, I was told to go to the neighbors, wasn’t allowed to go anywhere near my house, or my yard, told to wait that they were ” working ” on her. I never got to see her to hold her hand, to let her know i was there and that i loved her.. I screamed , i cried, i prayed, i was dying inside …..
The dogs she also loved and cherished……yes any dog can and will bite—- but any dog is not capable of this devastation—— please do not let your children anywhere near this breed of dog,,,something has gone horribly and inexplicably wrong with them—- it is not worth losing them, please i beg, i couldn’t stand if one more parent had to live the hell that we are living now.
My brother had raised many pit bulls and one particularly captured our hearts…He was the sweetest well mannered gentle dog I had ever seen…I was always told the aggressive ones were because they were trained to fight and it was all in how they were raised….and if u got them from puppies that was the best way to raise any dog…Both of the dogs who attacked were brought home as puppies and picked out by Kara…These dogs never displayed any people aggression. ..Always sat dutifully by her side, watched her have tea parties, sat by her side when she was sick, thought they were lap dogs and liked to snuggle…..no warnings, no snapping, no growling…….just snapped!”
“Suddenly an 80-100 lb, 8-month old, pit bull entered the yard and attacked him, unprovoked. The dog continued to bite, eat and drag little John all the way across the yard, over 20″ from the spot he first attacked. Bradley, John’s older brother, was horrified as he was riding his bike home from a friends house at that moment and saw what he thought was a dummy with red hair being dragged by a dog. He quickly realized it was his little brother and ran toward them, kicking at the dog, it raises up and growled then continued to drag john,it wouldn’t stop. Little John was still crying for help as Bradley ran inside to get their Daddy. He said he kicked the door in screaming, the kitchen stove fan was running so he had to kick the bedroom door in. He jumped from bed,Their Daddy ran out yelled and yelled which caused the dog to step back and prepare to charge him. As the dog stepped back, their Daddy was able to shoot the at the dog 16 rounds hitting him three times. One directly in the forehead grazing him cause he moved, one in the ear and one in the leg that finally caused him to drop long enough to grab John and put him in the truck. By that time he couldn’t speak but was still breathing and responding with his one eye he had left.
Children are blessings from God. Dogs are animals, I understand peoples love for animals and a lot of people choose or may not be able to have children so have these dogs and treat them as their own kids. They will always be animals, not children. For those who choose the dangerous breeds please stop and think, is it worth taking the chance on it turning and killing our children and family members?”
“Our son was brutally killed by our pet pit bull of 8 years…On April 24, 2013 we lost both our beautiful son Beau and our family dog, affectionately known as Kissy Face. Our dog had been part of our family for 8 years and lived up to her name, for she was eager to overload everyone with kisses. Oh, she was such a very loving and family oriented dog. Kissy Face had been around since her birth on November 22, 2005.
Then with no warning, matters changed dramatically and our world was irrevocably altered. Shortly after Beau’s 2nd birthday, I made a quick trip to the restroom. Just a few minutes later I returned to find my son lying in a pool of his own blood. It was the most horrific day of my life and a day that would signal the end of innocence. Our dog sat next to my son’s body looking confused as if she didn’t understand why Beau wasn’t getting up. The screams from my voice were so loud and so terrifying that our neighbors (two doors over) rushed over and joined in with my horrific screams! Rewinding back to the year 2005, I was told by some random person that pit bulls were aggressive and were bred to fight other dogs to the death. Then, I was also told by another random person at our dog’s veterinarian the very opposite. It was explained to me that if you raise pit bulls with love and care they are just as gentle, loving, and domesticated as any other household dog breed. Therefore, we truly believed that with love and the proper up bringing that the nurture factor would override the nature of this breed dog.”
“I went to see my mother. I desperately wanted to hold her soft, gentle hands again. I wanted to hug her one last time. She had huge bite marks on her right ankle, right leg, all over her hands and arms, as if she was used as a bone. Her hands were horrible. I learned later that she fought so hard, when they pried her hands open to remove the dog’s hair, the dog’s skin was attached. Her right shoulder was dislocated in a backward fashion, half her right face was missing, as well as part of her right neck, and most of her right ear. My mother had bite marks all over her face, neck, and scalp. Her vocal box was ripped, that’s why my niece only heard one yell. Her C1 & C2 were fractured; part of her spinal cord was ripped from her lifeless body. She fought and fought. She suffered from a horrific, sustained, vicious and violent attack at the jaws of a completely unpredictable breed of dog. My mother’s autopsy report shows her wounds to be consistent with defending her grandchild. The report states that my mother was defending her grandchild. My mother is a hero. She saved my nephew’s life.
The entire money trail of the pit bull protection movement is appalling. I will not stop digging until the truth is known. I will not stop demanding change from these so-called “professionals”. I will not stop demanding accountability for the advice they give out that gets dozens of people killed every year. My mother was a kind, gentle soul who simply did not deserve such a violent death. Something good has to come from her gruesome, unnecessary death.”
Check out the Craven Camuso edition for more pit bullshit: https://cravendesires.blogspot.com/2013/12/swagger-in-slither-out.html
Are you serious, Brian? Talk about contradiction…that’s what your whole response is! This blog explains exactly what the problem is, and it’s not Jeff.
I How is anything I said a contradiction? I didn’t say Jeff was a problem at all. Have I been hypocritical at times, yes. I will admit that I have let my anger and frustration get the best of me when responding to pro bsl posts or comments. I have not threatened the lives of other people or their dogs. I have not hunted people’s personal photos and information and shared it for the purposes of harassing, ridiculing and threatening their jobs. There are many thing Jeff has done and said that were far worse than the things he addressed here. He failed to mention those other things because there is not any real way to dismiss them, no excuse under any circumstances. I am not going to list them here but if you question the truthfulness of what I am saying there are several places I can point you in the direction of where you can check them out for yourself. I will end up repeating this last part of my reply in other replies because I failed to mention it in my original comment and I should have. There are a lot of awful, disgusting, evil, etc.things that have been said to Jeff that are beyond comprehension. Regardless of what side of the debate these people who made those comments are, I do not condone, support or associate with them in any manner. The only reason I speak in support of pit bulls is to fight breed bans so I can keep my dog. I am not in this to try and cause even more suffering and pain than anyone has already endured and anyone who is is not a breed advocate as far as I am concerned.
Other things like what Brian? I’ve addressed ONE of the TWO screenshots that the pit bull advocates consistently use against me. I didn’t address the OTHER because it’s ridiculous.
In case the audience is not sure what Brian or myself is talking about, let’s just say I have a folder on my desktop named “Peanut Butter” and I’ll leave it at that. I have two other folders for Susan called, “Rabbit cages” and “Cold and naked on the hardwood floor.” All three are just waiting to be blogged about to show the amount of stalking, harassing and the convoluted efforts pit bull fanatics like Brian go to putting pro BSL VICTIMS through and twisting the truth around to fit YOUR agenda.
PLEASE Brian. Enlighten us with your detective skills. PLEASE Brian. SHOW us the MANY things that I have said or done. Enlighten us Brian.
For a man that does not like to “condone, support or accociate” with people that say those awful things to me, he sure spends a lot of time “associating” WITH those people. How else would you know SOOOOOO much about me Brian? How do you know about “the many things that Jeff has done or said” otherwise?
Here is a link to Brian playing tug-o-war with appears to be his “pit bull” in his front yard and some of his threatening comments towards me. No collar, no fence, no break stick, and a school bus full of children in the background.
Wow, this dude (Brian) has just made another example of the horrible harassment Jeff and other pit bull victims endure. If anyone had any doubts, Brian has just given them proof with his ridiculous diatribe. He really exemplifies the point you make about dealing with these soulless antisocial outcasts (Who else would say the hateful things he says to VICTIMS??)
Also… it’s almost comical that Brian eludes to the fact that he just might have something else on you, Jeff. Kinda sounds like he’s trying to blackmail ya a bit? LOL. You know Jeff, most of us here know exactly which screenshot he’s talking about. We’ve seen it and it is ridiculous. We absolutely do not need an explanation, we know what happened and what led you to that day, saying what you did. It does NOT even deserve an explanation. No prob. Believe me… we get it. It’s people like Brian that drove you there and then revel in your pain when they drive you to a breaking point. You’ve come a long way. Just please remember, you are a hero to us. And the more we see people like Brian attack, the more heroic you become.
Get it now.
(Bryan, try a little harder with the lies. No one even knows who Josh Liddy is other than his little nest of pit bull industry supporters. He’s very small potatoes and there’s not a lot of room in a crowded field to be a bigger potato. Stop it with the “I just mentioned his name but I don’t know him” try. I guess Josh got pissed that he got flushed out on this one. Maybe Lisa tongue lashed him)
Anywhooo, funny coincidences aren’t they? Bryan Adamson’s wheedling post about being respectful about “their side” and the fake “let’s all just get along” trash with the “let’s talk” hook.
Then I remembered seeing the recent screenshot of Lisa Camuso on The Pit Bull Propaganda Machine Revealed with her manipulative “I just want to talk with you, educate you about responsible dog ownership (with the breeders I work with), let’s meet on middle ground” double super TRASH attempt
The Josh Liddy tie in between these two. It sounds pretty familar, same kind of posturing, same kind of manipulation.
them I realized, yes, Jeff, you are reaching more people because there are so many more victims every day and they want to hear about real victim advocacy and REAL meaningful dangerous dog legislation with, forgive the awful pun, TEETH
and the breeders and the people in the pit bull industry don’t want to be having any of that now.
They tried the attacks, they tried the smear, they tried to diminish you as a leader in victim advocacy by belittling you or trying to make you crack with the insults. (It only makes them look worse than they are, if that is possible.)
But the attacks are increasing every day, and more people want to hear what you have to say
You are a threat to the pit bull business.
It is time to try the later phase tactics of their good friend Mr Berman and it is time to change gears.
You are getting “Candy Lightnered.”
For anyone unaware of what Mr. Rick Berman does, he is a national lobbyist for the animal enterprise industry (people who make money from animals) and his job as their “hired gun” is to obliterate the exposers of their nasty industries and those industries’ strongarming of the legislative and policy making process. He teaches the lower levels how to do it, and puts them on their tracks.
First,. he advises the smear and disinformation campaign
When that doesn’t work, it’s time to pull a Candy Lightner and use sweet words and a pretense of bipartisan conciliation that means, they got her to work for them
Here’s the Playbook. Does it sound familiar to any victim advocates? They don’t make their schemes up themselves. They get them from guys like this, filtered through the breed groups
Pulling a Candy Lightner refers to this play out of his book
“”Demolish the moral authority” of powerful public interest voices: “I got George McGovern to come out and say that unions were wrong. I represent some alcohol companies, I got Candy Lightner, who started Mothers Against Drunk Driving, to come out and say that MADD was overreaching and that she endorsed our position, our client position, rather than the MADD position. That is a demolishing of moral authority.”
Lisa is a 4th stringer or so, really actually lower, but it makes the point. She brings it to the 5th stringer like Josh. Then Josh disseminates to the low level stringers like Bryan. And they get to work.
You’ll probably be hearing a lot about “responsible dog owners” who just care about “improving the breed” and don’t want “extremism” but want to have “sensible legislation” that “doesn’t punish the responsible dog owners” and “is a middle ground” so the higher stringers can KEEP BREEDING FIGHTING BREEDS AND NOT WORRY ABOUT REGULATION INTERRUPTING THEM
They’ll try to get you to say, yes BSL is “too extreme” “it’s overreaching” “there’s a need for some very smart and expert people to keep breeding fighting breeds so they can get show ribbons and make therapy dogs”
(Meanwhile, what are these people doing? Gutting dangerous dog bills or putting forward weak and empty ones that give them control, opposing strict liability for dog owners with dogs that attack, concocting dog ordinances that give dogs extra chances to maul, opposing muzzling, and much much more that is resulting in those attacks going up every day and the damage getting worse)
When interests and enterprises like these are at stake, Jon McElle spoke the truth. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.
Their handlers have had many decades of perfecting these tactics when opposing anything that impinges on their interests and their incomes.
They’ve gotten away with it with some victim advocates, and it is a sorry sight. Some of those advocates are savvy to the frontal attacks, but don’t understand the sweet manipulation tactic.
These people are really pissed that their tactics don’t work with Colleen Lynn and some others, which is why they attack them so much.
It’s bad, but it’s a good sign Jeff. It means your voice is being heard and there are a growing number of people who want to listen because they have experienced what you write and speak about, and they know the truth.
Of course you want to keep your dog, Brian. But as an adult you realize that your wish does not trump others’ rights to live.
If a toddler wants with all its heart to pilot a jumbo jet, we don’t let it just because it wants to, for the reason that it’s patently unsafe. It would put both the child and many others at dire risk of injury and death. We don’t give in to the child’s whim no matter how badly it wants it or how many tantrums it throws when the risks to itself or others outweighs any perceived benefit. That’s common sense.
If you really wanted to keep your dog, and not simply get your own way, Brian, you would demonstrate that by showing concern for those around you. You would support BSL. You would securely muzzle and leash your dog when it was outside of its secure enclosure. You would show respect for those around you by not posing a danger to them, and by not mocking a grieving parent. Shame on you.
Please talk to the other side, the pit community, they actually are in control of Jeff’s actions. First I want to say that I am indeed sorry about your daughters. I am assuming that they died as whole bodies, not unrecognizable. I am assuming you were able to hold them in one piece and say goodbye. Jeff wasn’t so lucky, and yes, you are lucky in comparison. He saw his mutilated child. People grieve differently. Whose to say how another person should grieve? Not me, and certainly not you, you should understand the grief instead.
I doubt if you experienced what Jeff has experienced that you would react any differently. I wouldn’t. He is now turning all that anger, all those statements made from anger, into action. He wants to save others from what he experienced. That’s a beautiful thing most of the time. People don’t condemn the founder of MADD like Jeff is condemned, they sympathize with the MADD group. The pit community has made themselves a monster and his name is Jeff Borchardt. They made him what he is with their condemnation, hate, threats, and lack of compassion. If they were smart, LOL, they would have reached out to him IN compassion. And we have ourselves a hero, same name. Thanks, Jeff.
Here is the thing Brian, victims have First Amendment rights.
You make this remark “The only reason I speak in support of pit bulls is to fight breed bans so I can keep my dog.” You attack and stalk victims over a DOG BREED? With very rare exceptions BSL grandfather’s existing pit bulls. Nobody is a threat to your dogs.
Why is it your right to deny the First Amendment rights of victims?
BTW, having your dog in a school zone, on a school day, with no collar or leash, “just for a minute,” so you can have your picture taken does not qualify you as a responsible pit bull owner.
Susan and Steve NEVER played tug-o-war with their pit bulls either.
I don’t see anything Jeff has done as ‘less than honorable’. Pit bull apologists are often bullies, as anyone can clearly see above. Bullies need to be exposed. This needs to stop. Pit bulls need to be banned, for the good of everyone.
Are you serious?
You are good, and admirable, and you have so much courage and strength to do all you have done, even in the face of what you have to deal with.
dart boards, footballs and blow jobs from a grieving mother. wow. i don’t why that i am surprised by this but i am. i never thought they would sink this low. jeff, take comfort in knowing that this will help speed up their undoing.
and keep up the good work, not just for society but for yourself.
Daxs story never fails to bring tears, its just so damn tragic.
I cannot believe the harassment you have gone through, its something I simply cannot understand. The wanton, random, cruelty from strangers, makes no sense. I think that they often do this because 1) they are sociopaths and get off on making others hurt, 2) they believe the myths and are putting their own families in danger, and any crack in the facade threatens their very being, and 3) They do realize how much one angry parent can do, especially if they are persistent, and make a group of people equally as zealous about the topic. MADD is a good example, as is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. MANY of the strongest advocacy groups were started by victims families, because who else would care so much? They realize that they have deadly beasts and know you WILL be successful, even if its a long battle.
But, the anger- it IS both justified, and totally, 100% understandable. You do not need to apologize, anyone that cannot understand that WORDS out of grief are not to be concerned about, is the problem, normal people, that have empathy for others, know this.
And you did NO WRONG, you did not go out IRL for vengeance, you vented on Facebook. Who doesn’t do this? Saying- in words, not deeds- mean things about *killer dogs* after your kid was killed by one? Saying- in words, not deeds- you would never tolerate one near, and would defend others by neutralizing a real threat ? TOTALLY NORMAL REACTION to a MURDER. And reasonable.
Yet, you didn’t do anything to anyone, or any animal! You did nothing but vent, and then advocate for public safety.
THINKING these thoughts or using WORDS may be something you are not proud of, but please, just know that you are a human, a normal human that isn’t sick with pit fever. (I admit that I would also understand if you had crossed that line.)
Pit worshippers truly think that people are supposed to be defenseless in the face of this ferocity, that their monsters should be free to roam and kill at will, and they are to be held harmless when it inevitably happens. THAT is what is insane. Their whole advocacy is insanity, and is pure evil. If I was a belier, i would say this is the work of the devil, but Im not so I will leave this at the door step of the EVIL in MEN.
You are doing excellent work, and are helping so many people. The only thin g about this I hate is that there are so many in need of love and healing. I hate that you have to fight this fight, cry these tears, and invite others in the same situation into our victim group. I am glad we are all together, the people are amazing, and it was great for you to facilitate this. But I would love for all the babies and family members to be back where they belong, instead. It is a wish and dream all victims and empathetic people share.
Much love to you and your family,
Refreshingly human and honest. ONLY the inhuman will not be touched by it, Jeff.
Your tormentors won’t be swayed by it – they aren’t interested, even though they appear to be very interested indeed. Their worlds begin and end with Pit Bull protectionism; nothing else matters, not the truth, not the mutilated, not the dead, not the screenshot(s), not your pain, JUST Pit Bulls. And every taunt is designed to silence you through any number of ways, but all their ways lead to that shining moment they long for, the moment when you read just ONE more vicious taunt, throw your hands in the air, and say ‘I’m done – I’ve had enough – I’m walking away from my advocacy – all this isn’t worth it – I must get on with my life now’. And if you DO that, they win.
But they’ve underestimated you, I think. They’ve underestimated the Pit Bulls too. The dogs are Grippers, but there is an extremely determined ‘hang on in there’ personal trait of your OWN going on. If Dax had been killed by a generally benign type of dog, it may well be that you would have steered clear of the subject of ‘dangerous dogs’, but these were no ordinary dogs, that was no accident, no ‘perfect storm’, and that was no ordinary random killing of a child by an unusual type of dog. Those were Pit Bulls, and every single time that yet another of their appalling attacks is reported, you are outraged, reminded, and strengthened anew. This is no longer an arena, this is a WORLD of hurt and preventable tragedy, and good men (and women) would see this subject given the lights, the fanfares, the revelations and the ACTIONS that it HAS to have. This cannot continue. The dog designed for violence that it enjoys, the dog whose ‘work’ is no longer needed and is now ILLEGAL yet who is still here with us, remodelled only in name (‘pet dog’) but completely genetically untouched, and remaining just as he ever was? A dog whose purpose is heart-rending violence of the unstoppable kind? Pet dog?
It’s not there yet, but critical mass is approaching. Social media has been a godsend. Inasmuch as it has brought you pain and self-doubt and torment via its heartless chump elements, it has also given you and Dax an utterly unavoidable, insistent, PERSISTENT voice. People are listening; people are learning; people are stirring; people are discussing; people are challenging; people are reporting their OWN negative Pit Bull stories; people are sharing; people are caring; people are wanting something BETTER. When critical mass does take place, you will be there, bullied but not bowed, beaten but not silent, hamstrung but still upright.
YOU are your son’s legacy. Change the world WITH him, proudly, that other innocent lives can stay longer in this world. Take the fight TO the dogs and their witless masters, draw them out and tell the world about them.
Keep up the Good Work.
Lesley, you have their number totally.
“our tormentors won’t be swayed by it – they aren’t interested, even though they appear to be very interested indeed. Their worlds begin and end with Pit Bull protectionism; nothing else matters, not the truth, not the mutilated, not the dead, not the screenshot(s), not your pain, JUST Pit Bulls. And every taunt is designed to silence you through any number of ways, but all their ways lead to that shining moment they long for, the moment when you read just ONE more vicious taunt, throw your hands in the air, and say ‘I’m done – I’ve had enough – I’m walking away from my advocacy – all this isn’t worth it – I must get on with my life now’. And if you DO that, they win”
Thank you for taking your valuable time to post this. I really appreciate it. Although, I am very sorry that you have been put in a position where you have to explain yourself but, after reading this story, i sure understand now why you feel the need. I personally have seen all the ugly screen shots and believe me, I’ve never once doubted you or your noble intentions, nor have i ever held any of it against you. While it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around that kind of anger, I’m quite sure i would feel the same thing if anything like that happened to a loved one of mine.
Jeff you don’t need me to tell you how brave you are and how much I think you are evolving as a leader. This is a David and Goliath fight and it will take years of dedication. I see how you have been transformed as you get closer to resolving your anger and sense of betryal by the pit bull industry that is supported by the AVMA and all the furrbaby front organizations. Im appalled by the re-victimization that I see happen when parents who lose children speak out. I am heartened however by the growth I see within the ranks of the people opposed to these fighting bred dogs. I clearly see you as a leader in the movement – it may be small right now but there are MANY people opposed to having these vicious dogs in communities. We want public safety and accountability! Im seeing a change in NORMAL people regarding these dogs. Yes they parade out their “hero” dogs, force them on the public by making them service dogs and they pay big bucks to “spin” the image. Guess what! ITS NOT WORKING. Regular folks arent buying it even though you dont hear from it. I talk to my Dentist, my neighbors, my groomer, my hairstylist….. the words getting out and they cant shut you up and they can’t suppress the truth. I know Jeff, you #WIONTBACKDOWN and you have more support than those little minds. know. We are more organized than they realize. The flashpoint is coming and when the trend changes, bye bye pit bulls.