Mother mauled trying to save son from four Rottweilers & Rott mixes
FORT HALL, Idaho––The second fatal dog attack in the U.S. of 2023 occurred in almost exactly the same manner as the first and the first near-fatality: a small child, alone outdoors after dark, was fatally mauled by unfamiliar big dogs, in this case two Rottweilers and apparently two Rottweiler mixes, whom neighbors who were not home had allowed to roam at large.
The first fatality, Sadie Davila, 7, and the near fatality, Justin Stevens Gilstrap, 11, respectively of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Appling, Georgia, were attacked by pit bulls within minutes of each other, 45 minutes after dusk, meaning complete darkness, on January 6, 2023.
(See Pit bulls allowed to run loose bring 1st fatality & 1st near-fatality of 2023.)
The victim this time was Kellan Islas, age 7, son of Emily Carroll Islas, 30.
Kellan was killed approximately 20 minutes after sunset, but about eight minutes before dusk, at Fort Hall, Idaho, on the Shoshone-Bannock Reservation.
Living in a recreational vehicle parked behind the home of family friends Benjamin and Juliana Wolfchild, Kellan and Emily Carroll Islas, not Shoshone-Bannock tribe members, had reportedly been staying there for less than a month.
Kellan Islas’ little sister Aurora, Rory for short, “mentioned that the dogs were kind of scary,” babysitter Melissa Karren of Blackfoot, Idaho, told DailyMail.com correspondent Alyssa Guzman three days after the fatal attack.
“Just be nice to them”
“’I just assumed it was because they were large dogs. She made little comments [about] how they had to be careful around them,” Karren continued.
“I responded by saying ‘Just be nice to them.’ I never knew there were four. I thought maybe two,” Karren said.
Karren looked after Rory and Kellan at her home, ten miles north of Fort Hall. She had no direct acquaintance with the dogs.
Just two days before his death, Kellan read books to the other children at Karren’s daycare facility, Karren remembered.
Kellan slipped out
On January 21, a Saturday, Kellan lagged behind his mother and Rory as they returned to the cramped recreational vehicle at approximately 5:50 p.m., after a visit to a video arcade at which Kellan won a ninja set.
When Kellan did not follow her inside, Emily Carroll Islas ran outside to look for him, instructing Rory to remain there.
She found Kellan “face down, lying on the ground right outside their home after only a few minutes of taking her eyes off of him,” Karren posted to Facebook on January 24, 2022.
“Emily found four dogs sitting by Kellan,” Karren continued.
“She sacrificed herself”
“Emily did the only thing she could,” Karren wrote, throwing her body over Kellan’s, “sacrificing herself trying to protect and save him.
“Unfortunately, because of the injuries Kellan already received by the dog attacks, this sweet seven-year-old took his last breath in his mama’s arms. Emily survived, but has sustained major injuries that include nerve damage and a ruptured artery in her right arm as well as damage to the back of her head, left arm and her back. She is currently still in intensive care.”
Another friend of Emily Carroll Islas offered a similar account in a GoFundMe posting seeking donations toward her recovery.
Benny & Juliana Wolfchild charged
““I know Emily, and I know she did everything in her power to protect (her son) from that attack. She is an amazing woman and mother and (she) sacrificed herself to try and save her little boy,” Samantha Lenay said.
Reported ShoBan News, “All four dogs were shot and killed by Fort Hall police and the Fort Hall game warden.
“Benny Wolfchild and Juliana Wolfchild were issued citations for 15 violations of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Animal Ordinance,” ShoBan News continued, “including vicious animal attack, rabies vaccination, and over the limit of canine or feline pets.
“This case is still under investigation,” ShoBan News stipulated, “and will be submitted to the United States Attorney for review.”
Benny Wolfchild works at the Shoshone-Bannock casino with Lyle Wettenbone, identified by Melissa Karren as Kellan Islas’ father.
In addition to echoing the deaths of Sadie Davila and Justin Stevens Gilstrap earlier in January 2023, the death of Kellan Islas echoed many previous incidents in Fort Hall.
Indeed, Fort Hall, population 2,700, about half the total population of the Shoshone-Bannock reservation, has since 2015 averaged approximately one fatal or disfiguring dog attack per 550 residents.
At that rate, the U.S. as a whole would have about 86,000 fatal or disfiguring dog attacks per year, about 4.5 times the number reported in insurance claims.
“Illegal drop-off for unwanted animals”
The most recent Fort Hall dog attack victim to gain media notice was, according to the East Idaho News edition of October 13, 2020, “a 60-year-old non-native woman” found along a roadside and airlifted to the Portneuf Medical Center.
After receiving an emergency blood transfusion, the victim was relayed by air to the University of Idaho hospital in Moscow, Idaho.
“Fort Hall Fish & Game collected and euthanized seven of dogs involved in the attack,” the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes announced.
Lamented Fort Hall chairperson Devon Boyer, “Our reservation has been an illegal drop-off for unwanted animals for years, including horses, cats, emus and others.”
Then two-year-old Gunner Quagigant of Fort Hall “was nearly killed when a pack of 11 dogs attacked him outside his family’s home at Fort Hall on March 26, 2017,” the Idaho State Journal reported. “He was bitten 35 times, including a bite to his neck that nearly struck a major artery and another bite that ripped off half his ear.”
Eight of the 11 dogs who attacked Quagigant were captured and euthanized, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes public affairs manager Randy’L Teton told media.
Despite the severity of his injuries, Quagigant less than a month later, “While attending a yard sale with his family on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, reached down to pet a pug” and was badly bitten again, the Idaho State Journal said.
“The owner warned him not to pet the dog, but he petted it anyways,” said Teton. There were no consequences of the attack for the pug and the pug’s owner.
2015 pit bull attacks
Two pit bulls mauled Fort Hall reservation women Kelly Davis and Rebecca Beasley in separate incidents on the same day in October 2015, about a week after another resident, Marion Wheatley, reported that two pit bulls had attacked a family pet about two miles east.
“Davis fended off the dogs by stabbing at them with a steak knife and holding the gate closed to keep the dogs at bay; Beasley managed to run to the safety of her car to escape the dogs,” reported Debbie Bryce for the Idaho State Journal.
“Davis’ friend Stan Miller believes he shot one of the dogs after it charged him,” Bryce added.
Fatal dog attacks continue to occur on tribal lands at more than 35 times the rate of elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada, accounting for at least four fatalities in 2022.
They should have euthanized the dog owners.
Merritt Clifton says
The fatal Rottweiler attack on Kellan Islas was a relative rarity among fatal & disfiguring dog attacks occurring on tribal lands, in that all four dogs had owners who were identified. Most often, as in the previous attacks around Fort Hall, the dogs are roving packs, including some dogs who may nominally be owned, some strays of local origin, and increasingly often dogs dumped on reservations by outsiders who, finding local shelters unwilling to accept owner-surrendered dangerous dogs, release them on tribal land in hopes that Native Americans will take care of them. This is a rapidly growing issue on reservations around the U.S. and Canada, and reflects both the ill-advised proliferation of pit bulls, especially, and the increasing tendency of shelters to refuse admission to pit bulls, in particular, to maintain “no kill” status.
The dog & child collage is very inappropriate for this story. It’s not a happy story about a kid and his dog. Please try to show a little compassion for his mother. =(
Merritt Clifton says
How do you interpret a none-too-happy-looking Rottweiler sneaking up behind a child who shows no awareness of the dog’s presence as illustrating “a happy story about a kid and his dog”?
I agree. A very bright colorful pic of a cute smiling boy, gorgeous shiny rotti & in a glowing meadow… it’s tacky & thoughtless.
Ulve Truewolf says
This is murder, plain and simple. Someone needs to reach out to help the victim, whom obviously is in dire need to have had to live in the backyard of these monsters. Someone needs to educate her or hook her up with an attorney to sue the woman who owned the dogs, including the man she lives with. If she is not charged and sentenced to prison, she and everything she owns should belong to the grieving mother.