Beau Rutledge 21

Written by Angela and Jeremiah Rutledge

My Story

1975238_10203500420730675_246530104_nOur 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. This was two years prior to having our first child, Bella. When Bella came into the picture, it was so much fun to have the dog around, because she acted as a companion and protector. She was never aggressive with Bella and was playful with other children. Observing the dog’s friendly nature, we felt confident in our family’s safety when it came to our family pet.

Four years later, Beau Isaac was born on April 4, 2011. Over the next two years, Beau and Kissy Face loved on each other passionately. 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.Our story is not about hating or loving the pit bull breed. Our truth is simple. Any dog can bite and any dog can love like a human being. It is true that all dogs have the ability to display some strong emotions that resemble those of a human. However, the downside to a dog’s cognitive and emotional process is simple. A canine cannot process the chain reaction that is dictated by their genetic makeup. With sincere regret, we now understand that there is something inherently false to what we had once believed. The truth is this, there is not just this story, but 229 reported stories like ours since 1998 and 22 occurrences reported this year alone (as of November 7, 2013). There are countless child and adult fatalities and numerous attacks leaving a person maimed and traumatized because we have not been educated about the genetic predisposition of pit bulls and fighting dog breeds.In conclusion, we are not saying not to love the dog that you have now. We are simply maintaining that despite tons of love and attention that our dog still snapped and killed our son in a matter of moments. We can’t take that back. You still have a choice if you own a dog of this breed. Consider this, we as dog lovers, should ponder this one thing. If there was a one and a million chance that your dog could turn on you or your child, would you get rid of it and grieve for a moment or lose a child and grieve for a lifetime?Love,
Angela and Jeremiah Baby Beau Foundation

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21 thoughts on “Beau Rutledge

  • Tina

    Thank you so much for having the courage to tell us about your terrible loss. So many people mislead others about the nature of dogs whose breed was originally developed for dog fighting.

  • Devin

    I am so sorry for your loss. It’s stories like these that have me fighting daily to sunset pit type dogs. They are just not worth it. There are hundreds of other dog breeds who don’t do this on a regular occasion! No one knows what pits will snap, until it’s too late. A dog breed this dangerous should not be America’s “go to” pet. I feel like everyone has lost their minds about these dogs. What are they fighting so hard for? Get a black lab, and call it a day. I hope to see a future without bully breed dogs.

  • Georgina

    Thank you so much for the bravery and humility to share your story. Though I am so sorry that you have found yourself in this position as I cannot imagine the pain that comes with the loss you have suffered.

  • Tammy Fayne

    Hi, I am so sorry! You WILL see your son again…..until then thank you for telling your story because you will make others think twice about getting a dog like this.

  • Wendy

    I can’t imagine the permanent emotional torment and pain you will endure a lifetime but I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story. I bought a bully but after seeing tons of stories like yours on you tube I quickly knew I couldn’t have this dog breed around my kids and grandbabies. I rehomed her to an adult couple who had no other pets and are truck drivers. You will save lives and thank you. Yes I got her on a whim and only seeing the good side not the truth but once I seen the awful attacks on YouTube I got rid of her. I would sign a ban.

  • Cheryl Copelin

    You only need to see one face of one child after
    the family’s “perfect pit bull” rips open the face and head of one child.

    • Serenity

      Doesn’t matter how many times I read your story, it still brings tears to my eyes. That poor baby, you poor people, I am so sorry for your loss. A mother should never have to bury her child(ren). Peace to you, I hope you are healing with therapy, remember the good times, I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you.

  • Balmy Jones

    Too many of the same story… family pit bull… loved by all… inexplicably kills the infant / toddler. Liana Valino (8 months old in her bouncy seat) RIP.

    • Julie Coda

      That case never leaves me. The parents bring the offending Pitbulls back home like nothing happened. What the Mariah Carey is that about? Sick minded. That poor infant

  • Amy Grant

    I always refer to your story when arguing with people who swear pit attacks only happen when the owners are bad. Before I knew your story,I was always on the look out for a new pit. I always looked toward shelters,bc I wanted to save a life. After I had my 3rd child,a son,in 2012,I read about your handsome angel 2 years later. It changed my life. I’ve read previous stories about pit attacks,even deaths at the hands of pits,but it never swayed my opinion of getting one,even with children in the house. After reading Beaus story,I soon became firmly against owning a pit while my children were in the house. I still love pits and don’t discourage anyone from getting one,but not in my house..on a fb page about pit victims,I always remembered what you said. If there was a one in one million chance your dog could turn on your kid, would you get one? That sentence is what brought it home to me and why I’ll never let people forget Beaus story,especially to those who blame owners for aggressive dogs.

  • Shannon

    I am sorry to read such a sad story. I’m glad you do not have hate in your heart. I have never lost or had to deal with anything similar to you story. I wish people would read ur story and see what is hate going to do?
    God bless ur family…

  • Aimee

    Thank you so much for sharing your heartbreaking story, it breaks my heart to imagine what you went through in losing your son. I am grateful to you and others’ sharing your stories, so that I can better understand the danger of these dogs and to educate my 4 young children about them, as well as inform my decision as a parents (such as, never allowing my kids to be in same room as pit bull at friend’s house, even if they are friendly dogs). Just the other day, a well-meaning neighbor was explaining to my kids that pit bulls aren’t all bad, which is true, but that doesn’t change the fact that I want them to be super on-guard about this and other large, aggressive breeds. So re-reading these testimonies helps me stand my ground. Again, so sorry for your loss. 🙁

  • Cardinal

    I used to give pit bulls the benefit of the doubt. After all, they’re not the only breed of dog prone to aggression, and the way an animal is raised plays a part in its temperament. Added on to that were all the stories and photos showing pit bulls as friendly, safe dogs. There was a time where I wondered if they should be banned, but at the last minute I chickened out and decided fewer people should get to own them.

    This changed in late May 2013. I found out about Beau Rutledge and at that moment, all the delusions surrounding the breed shattered in front of me. I was taken by a photo of Beau on a toy car and the details of the attack itself. This was a case study against the claim “It’s all in how you raise them.”

    After that I started reading more about anti-pit advocacy and listening to what its members had to say. I’ve ultimately concluded pit bulls absolutely are dangerous, and people cover this up for various reasons. It is unsettling that you have to go online to find the truth about the breed. All those media stories quickly became propaganda to me. Pit bulls are literally marketed throughout America to improve their reputation. They’re depicted as innocent, loving, and vulnerable to convince people they’re unfairly discriminated against and BSL shouldn’t be enforced. At some point you have to ask yourself: Why do people spend so much time and effort on these dogs? Could they be hiding something? This is a dark, gritty reality I slid into, but I’m grateful I learned the truth about pit bulls. It is just a shame that it took a death for me to finally change my mind.

    Since learning about Beau I have wanted to send a message to Angela about how her story affected me. Maybe she’ll see this, who knows. Hope you and your family are doing okay.

    • Anti-pitbull breeding

      Thanks for that inlightend answer. Yes, we are falsy informed about the breed. The pitbull is in no way equal to the normal dog. It looks the same, but is has the key elements of nature breed out!!

      Where nature in no way creates hatred from one animal to the other by engaging in a lot of “warningsigns” viewable by outstanders and other creatures, the pitbull has none. This was the way they were breed, so to enter a ring and fight instantly.

      Nature provides a normal dog breed with warning signs so nobody get’s hurt accidently; The showing of teeth/Growling/Bite movements in the air/launching with paws and more. These are not available to the pitbull by breeding due to humans. So you can NEVER say the pitbull is like any other dog!
      Do not keep them as pet’s when you have so many other options! The pitbull is a status dog, it is a dog known for not being nuetered to fit the macho image of the dog and owner, it is a reference to security and “badass” owner in most cases. very little owners give these dog’s a full 2/3 hour work out a day to keep them calm. Because they represent status. Not love.

      • Jenna

        Very sad story, but with the millions of breeds like this I just cannot correlate the statistics with such an ugly lynch mob mentality towards them. I have owned large breed dogs my entire adult life, raised my children with them, and I have worked in animal medicine and dog behavior for the past 15 years. Dogs are not the same as humans, so loving them and cuddling them doesn’t equate stable behavior in their mind. It makes me cringe when people tell me that their dog is so spoiled, they get hugs and kisses, they lay on the couch all day, eat snacks, ect. This is not good for any dog, dogs need a balance of physical and mental stimulation. This is ANY dog, not just pits! And yes, I realize that your retort would be that pits kill and other breeds don’t, but this is false information. With my time in animal medicine I’ve seen small breed dogs kill other dogs or cats in the household and had even seen an almost fatal attack on a small breed dog by 2 of the household cats–yes, the cats attacked the little dog so viciously that the dog had extensive surgery and recovery and almost died, and I’ve seen all sorts of dogs of various breeds and mixes that were extremely aggressive–and there is also different types of aggression (dominant, fear, predatory). I did not know this particular dog that killed this toddler, but I will tell you that I see people defend their aggressive dogs all the time, ALL the time! So I realize that these people swear up and down for the last 8 years that their dog has been nothing by sweetness and love and had never shown any aggressive tendencies, but I have a hard time believing that. For the mother to claim that pits are not like other dogs and don’t show any of the normal signs of aggression is BS. No dog goes from being calm and loving into kill mode without even subtle signs. Anyone who states otherwise is unfamiliar with canine behavior. Again this is a sad circumstance, but groups like yours who are “anti pit” are very alarming to me. It’s sickening and ignorant.

        • Toni P.


          I have also worked professionally with animals for 15 years. During my professional experience, I have heard your arguments a million times. I have never understood why the pit bull activists defend their dogs by throwing other breeds or “little” dogs under the bus. I spent about 1/2 of my career working at animal control and yes, sometimes a small dog kills a cat, but I had far more big dogs, the majority pit bulls, kill cats and other dogs. You are just trying to convince people that other dogs are doing the same amount of killing, but it simply not true. Pit bulls are the only breed that I could count on having a bite report from daily. The majority of the work done at animal control revolved around pit bulls.

          A trained professional can sometimes pick up aggression signals on fighting breed dogs, but for the most part, the average dog owner cannot. Even with all my knowledge and experience, I have been caught off guard by pit bulls. These dogs do not display typical aggression signs. For example, a typical owner may understand that growling is aggressive, but might not pick up on a hard stare. Most folks think all tail wagging is good, but those who know pit bulls know that tight tail wagging is bad. I don’t blame the average owners. They are being spoon fed bad information and are being given a false sense of security. I blame pit bull activists, much like yourself, for unrealistically promoting these dogs. That is how you end up with dead children, like Beau.

          I find people who promote pit bulls under the biography of a child that was killed by one to be “alarming”, “sickening”, and “ignorant”.

        • Roy S.


          You seem to have forgotten the subject here. It’s not about pitbulls killing other dogs or that small dogs killing other dogs and cats. That’s just a side story in itself. It’s about the amount of damage a pitbull can do to a human that no small dog or cat is capable of doing. i.e. mauling, disfiguring, maiming, degloving, dismembering, and KILLING.