Susan Shawl (60) – Conifer, CO – Killed By Her Son’s 2 Family Pit Bulls (8/29/16)

Woman killed in Conifer by son’s pit bulls “barely conscious” when found; dogs to be euthanized

Authorities identify victim as 60-year-old Susan Shawl; two dogs involved in attack were terrier-pit bull mixes

When sheriff’s deputies arrived at the Conifer home of a woman who had been attacked by her son’s two pit bulls Monday night, they found the 60-year-old clinging to life.

According to dispatch archives captured on, first responders worked to keep her alive using a tourniquet as medical personnel rushed in. A deputy called over the radio that the dogs still had not been contained but weren’t being aggressive.

“She’s barely conscious!” an officer told others heading to the scene.

Ultimately, authorities say, the woman — Susan Shawl — died at the home.

Read more:

Dogs Brutally Attack Woman Despite Son’s Attempts To Pull Them Off

CBS Denver – 8/31/16

CONIFER, Colo. (CBS4)– Two dogs that brutally attacked and killed a woman they knew, were put down one day after the attack. The

Richard Shawl

owner of the dogs, the victim’s son, knew the animals could become aggressive years before the deadly attack.

was attacked in a doorway to her garage on Monday evening. The dogs mauled her face. Investigators don’t know what caused the dogs to attack.

“The son heard a commotion and called us. He didn’t initially see what happened,” said Jeffco Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dionne Waugh.

Deputies arrived after the frantic 911 call to find the dogs on a deck and a gruesome scene.

Authorities said that the two pit bulls belonged to Susan Shawl’s son, Richard Shawl, 36. He was also attacked, bitten on the arm while trying to pull the dogs off his mother.

The attack happened in the home that the mother and son shared on Black Widow Drive in Conifer.

Jefferson County Animal Control took the dogs from their home to Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden where they were quarantined under court order. Authorities said that Richard Shawl gave permission for his dogs to be euthanized there, which happened Tuesday evening.

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Son’s dogs euthanized after 60-year-old woman mauled to death

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — Two dogs have been euthanized after attacking and killing a 60-year-old woman Monday night, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said.

Susan Shawl was attacked by her son’s dogs at her home in the 31900 block of Black Widow Drive in the Conifer area, the sheriff’s office said. Two suspected terrier-pit bull mix dogs were involved in the attack.

Investigators said they received a call from Shawl’s son about 7 p.m. saying he and his mother had been attacked.

When deputies arrived, they did all they could to save the woman’s life, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The dogs also bit their owner, the victim’s son, 36-year-old Richard Shawl III, when he tried to intervene in the attack.

Read more:

Conifer woman killed by family-owned pit bulls, coroner finds

Anastasiya Bolton, KUSA 4:40 PM. MST September 20, 2016

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said Shawl’s son was warned in 2008 the dogs were being “loose and aggressive” after a complaint from a neighbor.

“We do not know what led to the dogs’ behavior that day,” said Mark Techmeyer, spokesperson for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

Techmeyer told 9NEWS the dogs lived on the property since they were puppies, so the woman was around them since that time.

One of them was the property of the victim’s husband, who passed away. The other belonged to the son, who took care of both dogs after the victim’s husband passed.

“There were more family dogs than anything else,” Techmeyer said.

The son will not be charged in this incident.

Read full story:

2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bulls Kill Woman, Injure Son in Conifer, Colorado reports

On Tuesday, Jefferson County Animal Control euthanized both dogs. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office also clarified on their Facebook page where the information about the dogs’ breed stemmed. “Additionally, the information about the dogs’ breed came from the dogs’ owner,” states the sheriff’s office. This came in response to pit bull advocate Jason Schoshke accusing the sheriff’s office of “speculating” on the breed in the aftermath of a horrific pit bull mauling death.

Neighbor Bonnie Bogart said the family pit bulls were a male and female. They had a reputation for excessive barking and were often penned outside. However, Facebook photos and posts show the dogs were “house” dogs too. The only citation on record is from 2008, when animal control issued a warning to Richard after his dogs got loose and were acting aggressively. Bogart also said Richard’s father died very recently, in July. He has now suffered the loss of both parents.

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American Pit Bull Terrier

The ‘bull and terrier’ type was originally developed in England in the early 19th century. 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 12ththrough 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.

Learn more about the American Pit Bull Terrier

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Kayden Begay (3) – Navajo Nation Reservation, AZ – Killed By The Neighbor’s 5 Pit Bulls (7/14/16)


Elizabeth Rivera (71) – Detroit, MI – Killed By Her Daughter’s 4 Pit Bulls (7/16/16)


Crisencio Aliado (52) – Honolulu, HI – Killed By 2 Loose Pit Bull-Mixes (7/29/16)


Michelle Wilcox (30) – Screven County, Georgia – Killed By Her Boyfriend’s Pit Bull While Visiting (8/1/16)


Derion Stevenson (9) – Las Vegas, NV – Killed By Pit Bull-Mix While Visiting Friend (8/17/16)


Michael Downing (83) – Jacksonville, FL – Killed By Rottweiler & 3 Mixed-Breeds While Taking Out Trash (8/19/16)


Susan Shawl (60) – Conifer, CO – Killed By Her Son’s 2 Family Pit Bulls (8/29/16)


Baby Jane Doe (6-days) – College Station, TX – Killed By Breed Unknown (9/1/16)


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Isaiah Jacob Franklin (6) – Huntington, WV – Killed By The Family Pit Bull (12/2/16)


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