Death came on Pearl Harbor Day
JACKSON COUNTY, Alabama––On this day, December 7, 2017, a date which will live in infamy only until the next fatal pit bull attack, 24-year-old Emily Mae Colvin of Section, Alabama for reasons unknown stepped outside the low chain link fence keeping her dog confined alongside County Road 121, and became the record 35th person to be killed by pit bulls in the U.S. and Canada this year.
“If anything, they’d lick you to death”
A male neighbor who declined to be identified, but admitted he had helped to raise the five pit bulls who killed Colvin, testified to Sydney Martin of WAAY TV 31 News that, “They never even used to snarl, bark, or nothing. Those dogs were the most lovable of all dogs I’ve ever known,” the neighbor insisted. “If anything, they’d lick you to death.”
Emily Mae Colvin, who with her husband Eric Colvin celebrated their second anniversary on August 29, 2017, became also the 51st person killed by dogs of all breeds combined in 2017, and the 34th person to be killed by pit bulls in the U.S. alone. These were new record totals.
A female relative of Colvin was talking to Colvin by cell phone when the attack occurred and rushed to her aid, suffering multiple injuries herself.
Suspects in llama & chicken deaths
Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips acknowledged to Christina Ailsworth of WDZX television news that his department had “received a call back some time ago that maybe these dogs and the victim’s dog had killed llamas in a pasture nearby.
“That’s the only complaint we have ever had on them,” Phillips said, but Ailsworth reported that neighbor Marcell Stiefel “was recently attacked by a pack of dogs. He isn’t sure who they belong to, but says they have been terrorizing his chickens for weeks.”
Elaborated Stiefel, “I killed two dogs the other day. They tore into my chicken pen and one of them attacked me and I shot it.”
Second local pit bull-inflicted fatality in eight days
Sheriff Phillips called Colvin’s death “very, very uncommon.”
Yet only eight days earlier and just 30 miles away, in Guntersville, Alabama, four pit bulls on November 29, 2017 severely mauled Valeria Hinojosa, then killed Tracy Patterson Cornelius, 46, after Cornelius ran to her aid.
Valeria Hinojosa and Tracy Patterson Cornelius appear to have been the vegan bloggers of the same names, but confirmation has not yet appeared on either victim’s blog site, nor among postings by family and friends.
Second victim named Colvin in 2017
Emily Mae Colvin was the second pit bull fatality of 2017 named Colvin, following the June 1, 2017 fatal mauling of Margaret M. Colvin, 90, at her home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, by a pit bull named Blue with undisclosed previous attack history in both New York City and locally.
Margaret M. Colvin’s daughter had adopted Blue from Forever Home Rescue & Rehabilitation just six hours earlier.
Whether the two Colvin victims were related is presently unknown.
New record pit bull death tolls in nine years out of 12
The previous records for pit bull and dog attack fatalities had stood only since 2015.
The previous record numbers of people killed by pit bulls, and people killed by all dogs combined, have now been equaled or exceeded in all but three years since 2005, with the toll from pit bulls alone exceeding 30 in five of the most recent six years.
By comparison, only 16 Americans are known to have been killed in dog attacks in the entire 30-year time span from 1930 to 1960: nine by pit bulls, three by Dobermans, four by dogs of undocumented breed.