Mother of two killed by her dog in Perquimans County
PERQUIMANS COUNTY, N.C. (WVEC) — A mother of two in Snug Harbor died Wednesday after her dog mauled her inside her home.
Perquimans County Sheriff Eric Tilley said the attack happened around 1 p.m. in the 1200 block of Snug Harbor Road.
Suzanne Story, 36, died just as a medical crew from Norfolk landed to take her to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.
Story’s family told 13News Now she got the Pit Bull from Virginia about a week ago after she saw an advertisement in a newspaper. The ad said the dog was good with small children.
“I think they had a problem with the dog and didn’t know how to handle it, and they were just trying to get rid of it, and they did,” said Story’s stepfather, Randy Brown. “Found somebody that would take it, and ended up with a death.”
Brown added that the people who had the dog gave the dog to Story at no charge. 13News Now has learned the former owner of the dog is Cheryl Davino of Norfolk.
“Brought the dog down here, and said that the dog was gentle, it was good with people, good with children, it had never attacked any person,” Brown stated. “Why a dog would attack her, I mean, is beyond me, but it had to have been the dog, not her.”
The woman’s mother said her daughter got the dog about a week ago after seeing an ad in a newspaper that she was good around small children.
The woman's mother said her daughter got the dog about a week ago after seeing an ad in a newspaper that she was good around small children.
Mother of two killed by her dog in Perquimans County
Story’s mother, Debbie Brown, said Story was cleaning the dog’s crate at the time of the attack.
Story’s sister was there and tried to stop it but could not. She called 9-1-1. The sister was hurt in the attack, but she was at the house Wednesday night.
Jonathan Nash, who lives across the street from the home, caught a glimpse of Story with the Pit Bull a few days ago.
“Seen her walking the dog, and the dog was really pulling her, and she was struggling to maintain control from her driveway to her front door,” recalled Nash. “Like I said, started to worry about my little one, if the dog gets out, what is he going to do?”
Story leaves behind 15-year-old and 17-year-old daughters.
“She’s just a great person, and it shouldn’t have happened,” said Brown, who planned to find the previous owners with the help of an attorney. “I just think that the people that pawned the dog off on these people need to be held responsible.”
Tilley said animal control officers took the dog into custody and that she would be put down Thursday.
N.C. woman killed by dog she had adopted from Norfolk couple
Feb 11, 2016
Buddy was a sweetheart, a 100-pound lapdog that plopped on his former owner, angling for scratches and treats.
Buddy was a boxer/pit bull mix that tore open his new owner’s throat and killed her.
The dog’s former owner, Cheryl Davino, tried to reconcile the two Buddys Thursday night when she heard the news from a Virginian-Pilot reporter: A day earlier, the 1½-year-old dog mauled his new owner at her home in Hertford, N.C.
“I’m in shock,” said Davino, of Norfolk.
Suzanne Story, the mother of 17- and 15-year-old girls, had been cleaning Buddy’s crate in her home on Snug Harbor Road when the dog attacked. Her sister and roommate, Robin Ross, was lying down when she heard screams for help.
Ross pulled Buddy off Story and shut him in the bathroom. But just as Story was getting up and about to run away, Buddy broke a hole through the bathroom door and attacked her again. This time, Ross couldn’t get him off.
“The dog was holding her down,” Ross said. “She couldn’t get out, and she couldn’t get up to run out the door.
“It was horrible.”
Ross called 911 and, fearing the dog might attack Story’s 17-year-old daughter, escaped from the house. She also called their mother, who lives down the street.
Debbie Brown said she burst into her daughter’s house after hearing the news.
“There was blood everywhere,” Brown said. “Her hair was just soaked – solid blood – just covered in blood.”
Story died about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday on the way to the hospital, Perquimans County Sheriff Eric Tilley said. The dog had no history of attacks, Tilley added, and was set to be euthanized Thursday.
A day later, Cheryl and Carl Davino learned from a Pilot reporter what their former dog had done.
“I don’t know what the heck happened,” Cheryl Davino said.
Buddy got along with the Davinos’ two little dogs, she said. Over the summer, he played with their 11- and 10-year-old grandsons. No signs of aggression or violence.
“He was a big baby,” Cheryl Davino said.
She didn’t want to give Buddy up. But the couple is moving to a different house, one where her husband said they just couldn’t have three dogs. So she put an advertisement in The Virginian-Pilot and, after she got off the phone, cried at the prospect of giving up her dog. Seeing she was upset, her husband bought her roses.
Davino said she called The Pilot intending to give Buddy away for free, but a sales rep told her to put down a dollar amount to make sure people were serious and the dog would be taken care of.
So she bought this ad: “Pitbull & Boxer Mix-Very good w/kids, people. Male. 1 yr. old on Sept. 13. $100.”
Story answered it, and the Davinos delivered the dog to her Hertford home a couple of weeks ago. When Story offered to pay, they gave her the dog for free.
Carl Davino said Story agreed to pay an extra $50 if they delivered the dog. But when they arrived in Hertford and saw her scrambling to come up with the original purchase price, they gave her Buddy. In fact, the Davinos said, it was their intent all along.
They also said they stayed with Story for about an hour to talk about Buddy’s care, and got her OK to come down and visit him every couple of weeks. The Davinos said they arranged to see him last weekend, but Story called at the last minute and canceled, saying she had the flu.
Earlier Thursday, Brown, the mother of the dead woman, said she wants to confront the Davinos so she can get them to pay for her daughter’s funeral expenses.
“They need to do something, because they lied to us,” she said. “They told them it was good-natured.”
Cheryl Davino said she didn’t lie: Buddy was good-natured around everybody. She said she doesn’t know why he attacked Story. But, she added, she feels awful, and hopes people don’t think she and her husband foisted a vicious beast on some unsuspecting family before zooming off.
“I don’t want people to think we’re bad guys. Nobody’s a bad guy here,” she said. “I feel bad for them. I feel bad for Buddy.
“All of this is just so awful.”
2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Pet Pit Bull in Perquimans County, NC
The Age of Sexual Maturity
We pause now to remind readers of the 1.5 to 2-year old rule about these dogs best expressed by former Lucas County, Ohio Dog Warden Tom Skeldon in 2008. This is the age that pit bulls reach sexual maturity. “[The owners] all think that these pit bulls are nice sweet animals and some of them are, but by the time they get to be a year and half or two years old,” Skeldon said, “they’re pretty intent on what they’re bred to do and that’s grab ahold of things and shake it until it’s dead.”
This is well known amongst many animal control officers and humane groups, but a fact rarely shared with the public. It is hardly surprising that the most common age of unwanted pit bulls in open admission shelters is 1.5 to 2-years old.1 The aggression has shown up exactly as Skeldon described. The “lucky” owners have had close calls with their animals or children in the household. Then it is “off to the pound” for that pit bull — or in this case offloaded to an uninformed innocent.
American Pit Bull Terrier
The ‘bull and terrier’ type was originally developed in England in the early 19thcentury. The lineage goes back to the mastiff / molosser types, including what we now call the Olde English Bulldogge, that were used for bear-, bull- and horse-baiting from the 12th through the 18th century. This isn’t the bear-baiting we think of today, when hunters feed bears in order to bring them out in the open to shoot them. Rather, the bear, bull or horse was confined in a public arena where the mastiff ‘bulldogs’ would slowly tear them apart alive for the public’s amusement1,2,3,4,5.
The popularity of this ‘sport’ declined as education became more emphasized in urban society of the Industrial Revolution and literacy among the population grew (from about 30% in the 17th century to 62% by 1800)6. The ‘sport’ was banned altogether by Act of Parliament in 1835.
The lovers of blood ‘sports’ turned to dogfighting to satisfy their fancy, breeding the large, mastiff-type bulldogs to smaller working terriers to get dogs both smaller and more agile, easier to keep and to hide, but just as willing to attack and fight to the death. With the rise of the kennel clubs and the desire to distinguish dogs by looks and pedigree as well as by performance, this ‘bull and terrier’ type eventually divided into many official breeds. They all share the same ancestry and function, distinguishing themselves mostly by slight differences in appearance.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is, like all the ‘bully’ breeds, one of this group of descendants of the British ‘bull and terrier’ type fighting bulldogs. Once imported into the United States, it was bred up to be bigger again, and again used in baiting animals and in dogfighting. The American Kennel Club (founded 1884) was unwilling to register these fighting dogs, so in 1898 the United Kennel Club was founded specifically to register working pit-fighting dogs and to promote dogfighting. In order to be registered, a dog had to first win three pit fights7,8,9. The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) became a ‘breed’. As dogfighting declined in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, Colby (the most famous and prolific breeder of these dogs) began to search for a new market and began promoting the APBT as family pets10,11. This despite the fact that his breeding lines included child killers12.
Boxers originated from Germany and are a cross between the original German and English varieties of bull- and bear-baiting ‘bulldogs’. Early Boxers were very similar to the present day pit bull. The Boxer comes from the same ancestors as the pit bull, though it was developed along the same lines in a different country.
Originally used as gripping dogs during hog hunts, in which they would rip at an animal until the hunter arrived to finish it off, Boxers were also used in dogfighting. After their introduction to the USA around the 20th century, they became popular among the kennel clubs that were showing dogs. The show breed standard eventually led to development of less functional jaw structure and skull profile, lessening their effectiveness as grippers and fighters1.
Boxers are athletic dogs, requiring a lot of exercise, both physically and mentally. They are playful and curious. They must be properly stimulated and exercised to prevent them from becoming bored or frustrated resulting in the development of destructive behaviors.
Boxers tend to be suspicious with strangers and extra caution should be taken when introducing them to house guests. If socialized properly, Boxers can get along well with other pets in the home but may not always interact well with other unfamiliar animals. Boxers can be too rambunctious with small children and have sometimes been aggressive to them. Due to their breed history, they cannot be trusted with small pets such as rabbits, hamsters, or birds. Boxers often do not do well at dog parks or places with strangers.
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