Each dog attack death on average represents 90 disfigurements, 900 other severe injuries, & 100,000 bites
FRESNO, Texas; LUCKNOW, Uttar Pradesh, India––Just 24 hours after ANIMALS 24-7 headlined “Pit bull fatality streak reaches seven in eight days,” the global streak reached nine in nine days with the pit bull mauling deaths of Freddy Garcia, 71, in Fresno, Texas, a Houston suburb, and Sushila Tripathi, 82, of Lucknow, India, in the Himalayan foothills.
Six of the pit bull attack deaths have come in the U.S., with one each in Britain, Canada, and now India.
For each dog attack fatality, 40 years of ANIMALS 24-7 record keeping indicates, there are approximately 10 permanently disfiguring maulings, around 100 injuries severe enough to bring insurance payouts, according to insurance industry data, and according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention data, about 100,000 bites of lesser severity.
Deaths differed from usual pattern
The pit bull attack deaths of Garcia and Tripathi reversed the usual patterns of dog attack deaths in the U.S.
About two-thirds of U.S. dog attack fatalities involve owners or members of the owners’ household. The U.S. has not had a rabid dog attack fatality since 1979, and last had one before that in 1968.
In India, most dog attack fatalities are still by rabid free-roaming strays.
Seven free-roaming pit bulls
Fort Bend, Texas county sheriff Eric Fagan said Garcia was walking to a store when he was viciously attacked by seven free-roaming pit bulls, KPRC Click2Houston reported.
“He was flown to a hospital via Life Flight, where he was pronounced dead,” KPRC continued. “The sheriff also noted that there was another dog-attack incident in the Fresno area that was reported on July 15, 2022 that may be linked to the dogs in this case,” KPRC said.
“Fagan said deputies and animal control weren’t able to find the dogs at that time,” added Michelle Homer, Melissa Correa, and Matt Dougherty of KHOU 11 in Houston.
Killed poultry earlier
Fresno resident Adolf Flores told the KHOU news team that he called animal control five times about the dogs entering his property, about a mile from where Garcia was mauled to death.
“After the dogs killed his nephew’s roosters, he said he told officers he was going to shoot the next dogs he caught,” the KHOU team narrated.
Flores the next morning “shot and killed three of the dogs when he caught them killing his chickens,” the KHOU team continued.
“Investigators said they do believe the same pack of dogs is responsible for both attacks. Investigators said they think the dogs belong to one person,” KHOU offered.
“People just dump them”
Contributed Rosie Nguyen of KRTK, “ABC13 was there when Fort Bend County Animal Services showed up at the house across the street [from where Garcia was attacked] and captured the remaining three pit bulls who were still on the loose,” after capturing four earlier.
“The man living there, Joey Cartwright, claimed the dogs do not belong to him,” Nguyen reported, “and that he called animal control as soon as he spotted them on his property, two of which he said still had blood on them.”
Alleged Cartwright, “There’s 20 dogs around here right now. If you drive down this back street, there will be 20 loose dogs running around. People just dump them around here. The dogs go wherever they can find food.”
But Cartwright, 47, whose full name is Samuel Joseph Cartwright, was on July 22, 2022 arrested and charged with attack by dog resulting in death, a second degree felony in Texas. Cartwright was held at the Fort Bend County Jail, pending posting bond set at $100,000.
Man charged with Nicolas Vasquez death
Garcia, a Guatemalan immigrant, died three weeks after Matthew Leroy Satchell, 32, of Huffman, Texas, was charged with felony dog attack for the June 9, 2022 fatal pit bull mauling of Nicolas Vasquez, 51.
Huffman, like Fresno, is an unincorporated outlying suburb of Houston, but is nearly 50 miles from Fresno, on the far side of Houston and Harris County.
“Vasquez was so severely injured that his legs were amputated below the knee. He suffered other injuries. Days later, he died in the hospital,” reported Jessica Willey of KRTK.
“Residents tell ABC13, that the dogs, pit bull mixes, had long terrorized their Huffman neighborhood,” Willey continued.
Vasquez’s sister-in-law, Maria Castillo, told Willey earlier that the same pit bulls had attacked Vasquez previously, less than a month before they killed him.
But Harris County Animal Control did not impound the pit bulls until after the fatal attack.
Rebecca Hatcher survived
Eleven days later, the Montgomery County Police Reporter noted that, “Rebecca Hatcher, 48, of Magnolia, Texas, remains in ICU at Memorial Hermann Woodlands after more than seven surgeries. This after she was walking near her home in the Hazy Hollow Subdivision,” at about 10:30 p.m. on June 20, 2022, “when she was attacked on the road by three pit bulls and dragged into the ditch.”
Magnolia, an outlying suburb just north of Houston, is a little over 50 miles from Huffman and 60 miles from Fresno.
Matt Masden, Montgomery County Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace, gave the pit bulls’ owner, Mitchell Weems, 48 hours to say goodbye to them before they were euthanized.
Mauled for an hour
Garcia, Vasquez, and Hatcher all were mauled by free-roaming pit bulls belonging to others.
Sushila Tripathi, of Lucknow, India, was said to have been killed by her own pit bull, though her son Amit Tripathi, owner of a physical fitness center, appears to have been the primary owner.
The Tripathis, mother and son, reportedly shared a 5,000-square-foot home, with separate air conditioned rooms for both the pit bull and a Labrador retriever.
“The pit bull kept attacking the retired teacher for over an hour before she could be taken to the hospital, where she died of her injuries,” summarized The Print. “She was attacked by the pit bull while walking the dogs on the house terrace.”
“Triggered by the doorbell”
Sushila Tripathi “received 12 fatal wounds on her stomach, neck, arms and legs,” said The Print.
“Although they had a license, her owners had not gotten [the female pit bull] sterilized,” reported Shika Salaria of The Print.
“Amit said that [the pit bull] had never hurt anyone in the house except for one incident a few weeks ago. He also mentioned that [the pit bull] would be triggered by the sound of the doorbell.”
A normal dog barks at a doorbell.
Added Pranay Dutta Roy of The Quint, “In a video that emerged two days later, Amit was seen carrying [the pit bull] toward a van, which took the dog to an animal shelter. He told reporters that his decision to single-handedly carry his pet to the van was to show everyone that his pet “is not aggressive.”
Second known Indian pit bull fatality of 2022
Roy listed half a dozen other recent fatal dog attacks, including that “Two pet pit bulls mauled their 40-year-old owner Narendra Singh to death in Yamunanagar, Haryana state, in February 2022.”
On April 7, 2022 an eight-year-old boy was killed and his sister was severely injured after they were attacked by more than 20 stray dogs while playing outside their house in the Musahibganj area of Thakurganj, Lucknow.
On April 26 2022, a two-and-a-half-year-old boy was killed by alleged stray dogs in Golconda, near Hyderabad, in an attack captured on security video. The victim wandered near a stoop where the two large mongrels appeared to be awaiting food.
Syed Sufiyan, 12, was fatally mauled by stray dogs on June 19 2022 in the Kulsumpura area of Hyderabad.
Baby dragged out of hospital & killed
On June 26, 2022, in another attack caught on security video, a stray dog entered the Heart & Mother Care Hospital in Panipat, Haryana, then dragged outside and killed the two-day-old son of Shabnam and Asas Mohammed, of Furgan village, Kairana, Shamli district, Uttar Pradesh. Both parents and the victim’s grandmother were asleep nearby.
Three days later, on June 29, 2022, a pack of stray dogs killed a 10-year-old boy named Aman in fields near Chanarthal village, Haryana.
None of the dogs involved in the fatal attacks Roy mentioned were rabid. Free-roaming street dogs killed five of the victims, but the other two victims were killed by owned pit bulls.
Rabies deaths in India down to 55 in 2020
The 2021 Indian national rabies death survey by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, the Indian equivalent of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, showed for the 19th consecutive year that the Indian rabies case load is magnitudes of order less than is often asserted by the World Organization for Animal Health, the World Health Organization, and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, none of which have hard data to support their claims.
Actual annual rabies death totals reported by the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence were 125 human rabies deaths for all of India in 2014, up from an initial report of 98 due to late-arriving case reports; 113 in 2015; 86 in 2016; 97 in 2017; 116 in 2018; 105 in 2019; and just 55 in 2020.
India had 132 human rabies deaths in 2013, after averaging 249 since 2005, according to Central Bureau of Health Intelligence data.
International agencies still using 1911 data
Much of the input data for the extrapolated numbers favored by the OIE, World Health Organization, and Global Alliance for Rabies Control appears to originate with a national survey of government hospitals published in 1911 by David Semple and William F. Harvey, done just before they introduced post-rabies exposure vaccination to India.
The same 1911 survey furnished the baseline data still used for projections of rabies deaths in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka, all of which were also then under British administration as part of colonial British India.
The Central Bureau of Health Intelligence uses essentially the same hospital survey method that Semple & Harvey used, but expedited by the use of electronic communications.
Studies funded by the World Health Organization have supported both the high and the low numbers––the high number coming from literature reviews tending to recycle the older estimates, the low number from an actual hospital study done in 2003 by M.K. Sudarshan, director of the Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences in Bangalore.
Sudarshan found 235 human rabies deaths for the whole of India, consistent with the Central Bureau of Health Intelligence findings.