Five fatalities, the most in a week this year
LANSING, Michigan––Dog Bite Prevention Week 2023 ended with the most fatal dog attacks of any week this year, capped by one in Lansing, Michigan, described by Sheyenne Tinges, 22, in an appeal to the Lansing State Journal page on Facebook for “any recommendations for biohazard remediation/crime scene clean-up sources.”
Explained Tinges on April 15, 2023, “I’m doing everything I possibly can to help my friend. While he was out, his ex-girlfriend,” a 36-year-old woman “whom he had not seen in a week or so, entered his home without notifying him. She was mauled to death.”
“My friend works a lot,” Tinges said. “His dogs are used to him leaving in the morning and not returning until later one in the evening. They are not used to anyone stepping into or stepping out of their home during the daytime.”
“Girl’s arm by the door”
“What he walked into when he got home from work,” Tinges recounted, was “The girl’s arm by the door while the rest of her body was across the room, her flesh and blood scattered everywhere.”
The attack reportedly occurred at a trailer park in the 3400 block of West Mount Hope Avenue.
Neither the victim nor the dogs’ owner has been identified yet by authorities, but the victim has been identified to ANIMALS 24-7 as Kara Winston, 36, a longtime Dollar General employee in East Lansing, originally from Arkansas.
ANIMALS 24-7 has also tentatively identified a recently divorced back yard breeder of English mastiffs, in his early forties, who has lived at several other addresses within a five-and-a-half-mile radius of the death scene, whom circumstantial information suggests may have been involved.
The Lansing Police Department on April 17, 2023 said in a media release that “There was no foul play found,” in connection with the 36-year-old victim’s death, adding that, “As of right now, this is being ruled an accidental death.” The dogs were returned to their owner.
However, even if the Lansing coroner found an immediate cause of death other than dog attack, the dismemberment and evidence of spurting blood that Tinges described suggested the victim was still alive when dismembered, as spurting blood occurs only when a heartbeat is maintaining blood pressure.
Two dead in Kentucky & Minnesota
The Lansing death followed the pit bull pack mauling deaths of Wilma Lee “Polly” Ridner, 61, on April 11, 2023 near Parker’s Lake, Kentucky, and Dezmond R. Thomas Trawick, 22, on April 13, 2023 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Trawick was found fatally injured in the back yard of a home where he was reportedly looking after the four pit bulls who killed him for one of his brothers.
But the three pit bull pack mauling deaths in the U.S. were only part of the Dog Bite Prevention Week toll worldwide.
Pack gets ribs in Christchurch, New Zealand
The first known dog attack fatality of the week was Rikiana Hirawani, 33, described by Daily Mail Australia reporter Peter Vincent as “A backyard breeder accused [by a neighbor] of treating his dogs as ‘moneymakers.’
“Armed police rushed” to Hirawani’s home, “in the Christchurch suburb of Hei Hei, ready to capture the dogs,” Vincent wrote, but too late to help.
“Neighbors reported seeing one of the dogs still mauling his lifeless, naked body and described the scene as ‘grim’,” with the victim’s ribs exposed.
Video clips showed police and animal control officers removing one white pit bull, one tan-and-white pit bull, and a pit bull mix of indeterminate color from the property and the street outside.
“A neighbor also claimed that armed police were regularly called to the same house,” Vincent finished.
Nine-year-old & baby in Ecuador
The Ecuadoran news web site Ecuavisa reported two days later that, “A nine-year-old girl died after being attacked by two pit bull dogs in Durán, Guayas province,” on April 12, 2023, “in the Los Tubos sector.
“The little girl had been left alone in her house for a few moments and wanted to play with the dogs, who were family pets,” Ecuavisa said. “Neighbors heard her screams and tried to help her. At least three men beat the pit bulls to death with sticks.
“Two months ago,” Ecuavisa recalled, “a similar case occurred in the northwest of Guayaquil. A 42-day-old baby died after being attacked by a pit bull in El Fortín.”
The combined human populations of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, and Guyana, the five South American nations from which ANIMALS 24-7 has received recent accounts of fatal dog attacks, come to 332 million, slightly fewer than the current U.S. human population of 334 million.
Those five nations have had at least 46 reported pit bull attack fatalities during the past six years, or about seven per year, but the fatal attacks reported by media reaching ANIMALS 24-7 are probably only a small percentage of the actual toll.