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Escaped Pit Bull Attacks and Kills Chihuahua on Palm Coast’s Fortune Lane

| September 17, 2018

pit bulls

Pit bull advocates and some experts say the dogs ‘are not inherently aggressive, but in many cases suffer at the hands of irresponsible owners drawn to the dog’s macho image who encourage aggression for fighting and protection,’ according to WebMD’s site devoted to pets.’ The the ASPCA web site describes the ‘well-socialized and well-trained pit bull’ as ‘one of the most delightful, intelligent, and gentle dogs imaginable.’ (Amadeus Hellequin)

A pit bull that escaped from its owner’s property attacked, mauled and killed a chihuahua Sunday evening (Sept. 16) on Fortune Lane in Palm Coast. The attacking dog is under investigation by Palm Coast Animal Control.


Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched at 10:15 p.m. to the area of 78 Fortune Lane. According to a sheriff’s report, Joseph Gage, a 59-year-old resident on the street who owned Paco, an 11-year-old chihuahua, told deputies he let Paco on a leash at around 9 p.m. He noticed his neighbor Kevin Bingham walking down the street as well. Bingham was looking for Emma, his gray, mid-sized pit bull. Emma had escaped from the yard at 88 Fortune Lane.

“Paco was outside on his leash when Emma appeared as if ‘from out of nowhere’ and attacked Paco,” according to the report. Gage tried to pick up Paco but the pit bull grabbed the chihuahua out of Gage’s arms “with her teeth and continued to attack the chihuahua.” Gage was finally able to pry the chihuahua from the pit bull’s teeth and brought him inside. Bingham took a hold of the pit bull and brought her back to his house. Paco soon died from “puncture wounds.”

Gage told deputies it wasn;t the first time Emma had escaped from the yard, nor was it the first time Emma had attacked Paco. But Bingham was perplexed. He did not dispute accounts of the attack: he’d been outside looking for the dog when he heard someone scream, and ran over only to see the attack unfolding. He said he took hold of Emma and apologized to Gage, but that “it was out of character for Emma to behave in such a way seeing that she has been socialized with other dogs at the nearby dog park, and also lives with another dog” at Bingham’s house, according to the report.

Palm Coast Animal Control was to investigate the case today. But Emma is not at risk of being declared a dangerous dog–at least not yet: Florida law gives local governments authority to declare a dog dangerous after it’s bitten a human being for the first time, un-provoked, but when other animals are involved, it may be declared dangerous when it has “more than once severely injured or killed a domestic animal while off the owner’s property.”

Unless the pit bull has another documented case of biting another animal, it won’t likely be declared dangerous. But it will have run out of room to err.

A Fortune Lane neighbor said there was another bite. Lydia Doyle said Emma attacked the chihuahua in spring, an attack that resulted in the dog having to be hospitalized. “I called animal control first thing in the morning,” she said. “Not only have I gone after that dog being at large after that first attack, but so did other volunteers, because we volunteer for animal control and the shelter.” She described the Sunday night attack as an “ambush” by the pit bull.

“The dog has gotten loose other times and had to be returned,” Doyle said. “I’m concerned because we have so many kids that walk through the neighborhood.” Animal control, she said, “did nothing to modify the behavior, to secure him.” Animal control did document the first bite, Doyle said.

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35 Responses for “Escaped Pit Bull Attacks and Kills Chihuahua on Palm Coast’s Fortune Lane”

  1. Vinny says:

    Pitbulls are like 90% of the tribal sub-humans in the USA, VIOLENT, DISOBEY AUTHORITY , NUISANCE ON SOCIETY.

  2. Thomas Miller says:

    This is why I carry a pistol. If your dog tries to attack me or my dog I will not hesitate to put your dog down

  3. William Linington says:

    Nice try, leading with the pit propaganda there.

    Caroline Coile, Ph.D., is the author of “Pit Bulls for Dummies,” and 2015 inductee into the Dog Writers Association of America Hall of Fame. In 2015 she announced, “I am the author of Pit Bulls for Dummies. I will not have another … When they were good, they were delightful; when they were bad, they were deadly.”

    Pit Bull Rescue Central says, “Pit bulls… were bred to recognize other dogs as ‘prey.'” (Pit Bull Rescue Central. Breaking up a fight.)

    The Pit Bull Federation of South Africa (PBFSA) is a pro pit bull organization. They released this public statement in August 2017: “It is with great concern that the PBFSA is noticing an increase in the number of attacks by pit bull type dogs and pit bulls on other animals. These attacks are happening in public places, in people’s own gardens and even in the street… We cannot stress enough to the public, to breeders, to pit bull owners and to those rescuing these dogs, that no amount of socialisation or love can remove their genetics and their propensity for dog aggression and animal aggression…we can never change their genetic make up… Even the most dog friendly, relaxed pit bull often does show some kind of dog aggression sometime in its life.” (Pit Bull Federation of South Africa. Facebook post. 21 August 2017. )

  4. Agkistrodon says:

    Folks, it is wise to carry when you are walking, with or without your dog on a lease. And if someone’s loose dog comes in a menacing manner you can resolve the Problem. I would hate to have to dispatch someone’s pet, but I WILL NOT let that animal attack me or my pet, and I would NOT hesitate to defend myself against a menacing dog, Especially a larger one, such as a Pit bull Terrier. Let alone the feral hogs, bear, and bobcat, that roam Palm Coast.

  5. thomas says:

    The owner should be charged with negligence

  6. USA Lover says:

    Those loving,harmless Pit Bulls are at it again.

  7. Unbelievable says:

    Why is it this dog Emma who has attacked and killed considered not to dangerous, Council Member Nick Klufas in laws dog attacked a man walking his dog on the street 2 yrs ago and the stress caused the man to have a heart attack and die 3 days later and Klufas in laws dog wasn’t considered to be dangerous and then you have Cooper the dog who was provoked and protected his family on his property did NOT kill anyone or animal and is considered to be dangerous and to be destroyed. Now….does this all make sense to anyone?! Is the City of Palm Coast picking and choosing on what dog is considered dangerous

  8. Anonymous says:

    The owner is responsible for his dog getting loose and attacking other living things. The owner needs to prove that he has done improvements on his property that can give reasonable assurances that the neighborhood is safe and that the dog can’t get loose, If, despite that, Emma gets loose and attacks again, she needs to be sent to a place that knows how to deal with dangerous animals or, ultimately (and, sadly) be put down.

  9. Catherine says:

    Neighbors: do not let this fly. Prevent more victims! Do not stop exerting pressure on animal control u til the dog is declared dangerous according to the law. Go to town meetings with all the proof you can, demand they follow the law. Make a stink. Future victims are counting on you.

  10. Percy's mother says:

    I have the same situation at the rental property next-door to me.

    The guy opens the front door and lets his pit bull run out without a leash. Every day.

    I’ve involved City of Palm Coast Animal Control. Nothing done.

    The tenant continues to just open his front door and let the pit bull bound out and across the street. I was standing with my dog at the swale across the street when the tenant again opened the front door and let the pit bull run out. The pit bull bounded over and headed directly for my dog. Ditto for the neighbors directly across the street from this tenant.

    Shortly there will be another story similar to the one above, except it will involve the tenant at the rental property next-door to me . . . and with knowledge of City of Palm Coast Animal Control.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Jail the owner!

  12. Christine says:

    So like I have said before, will the Save Cooper people try to save this dog if it becomes listed as dangerous. Of course not. This one is a pit bull. Cooper is more of a menace!

  13. Christine says:

    And Coopers owner???

  14. Stew says:

    Although I am an animal lover, I would also have to say that I support putting another dog down who is attacking my dog, family member, or myself. The problem if that would have been the case in this situation is that the owner of the chihuahua that was being attacked would have been arrested and charged as a criminal. The community would have probably turned on him. The owners of the pit would have came out saying that their dog was the sweetest kindest pit anyone has ever met. No different then the “tstand your ground” law…

  15. Beachbum says:

    I keep hearing about how pit bulls are good dogs. Yeah, like M13 gang members were once good kids. When do we start worrying about the victims here, folks?

  16. HonkeyDude says:

    Wow the 9 posted comments I just read, are sad. Apparently those people live in constant fear. They have to carry guns or outlaw anything that can or could be dangerous. Maybe you all can find a bubble to live safe and protected in.

  17. Thinking broad says:

    No person or group that has the welfare of all dogs as a priority would want more dog killing dogs to be born.

    When you see a list of the pit/bully mongering groups that reject BSL, remember the top group that hates BSL are dog fighters. They know that breeding matters. That’s how they describe their dogs: bloodlines and fighting weights.
    YouTube game dog, bull and terrier, sporting dog yards

  18. Thinking broad says:

    Judge the morality of a nation by how the animals are treated.

    Moral compassionate nations do not support dog fighters, they do not permit dogfighters to produce their most essential piece of dog fighting paraphernalia: their game-insane fighting dogs.
    There would be no need for BSL if we were a moral, compassionate nations as no one would breed dog killing dogs.

  19. Stranger in a strange land says:

    Pitbulls were bred to fight other animals to the death. They were also bred to be obediant and view humans as their “pack”. A PB can be very gentle and kind to humans, particularly their family. However when it comes to other animals they have a propensity to attack and fight to kill. I have experiienced this. A staffordshire terrier (one of the pitbull breeds) got out on it’s own and nearly killed another neighbors leashed small dog early last year. Owner and PB dissapeared. five months later I was walking my leashed retriever at 10 pm in the same area. out of nowhere, no barking or growling, the pitbull attacked my retriever. It went right for his throat. I kicked and yelled but PB kept attacking untill it latched onto my dog’s throat. My dog was in great distress. I took a chance and grabbed the PBs collar. there was enough slack to twist it like a tournaquet and it let go. Because we both reported the attacks to the police this dog will not cause heartache to another family. My vet said if the puncture wounds had been a 1/4 inch away, it would have hit an artery and he would hve died. If a dog attacks your dog you must file a report. Once a PB has had the thrill of an attack or kill it will want to do it again. It is in its genes to do so.

  20. Richard says:

    This Pit should have been dispatched soon after this deadly attack. Stand Your Ground can apply to aggressive dogs as well as aggressive people. If this had happen in my space while walking my 13 year old Golden Retriever the Pit would have been gone in a heartbeat without ANY hesitation. A 2X4 over the back of the head and back would do the trick. I personally carry a large can of Bear Spray but if people choose not to carry any weapon than maybe you should stay inside with your dog. You have to remember that there are many inconsiderate ignorant rude and disrespectful dog owners who won’t even bend over to pick up the dogs crap so would you expect them to be responsible TOO. You’ve been warned!

  21. Mason says:

    So Vinny is basiclly calling of US In the United states VIOLENT, DISOBEY AUTHORITY , NUISANCE ON SOCIETY. So how does it feel being called this, pit bulls can be loving animals, its when you get the abusive owners that use them for fighting and to show meance thats when they can become the mean violent dogs you all see them as.

  22. Rich says:

    Pit Bulls…not if they will attack, it’s when they will attack. Nuff said.

  23. Stranger in a strange land says:

    Catherine makes a good point. Luckily, in my case, there was a witness to both attacks. Without him, that dog would have had a chance to attack again. Be sure to take pictures (I know it will be hard to think clearly if your pet has been injured but try) of the dog and owner. When you can, write down everything you remember about the attack including any statements made by the dog owner. If there are witnesses get their names.Have your notes notarized with the date. An animal control officer is as much a law enforcement officer as a police officer. They need evidence to build a case. Have evidence in case the owner denies the attack or says you or your dog provoked it.

  24. The Geode says:

    I wouldn’t be opposed if they’d enact a law that Miami-Dade imposes on “banning” these types of animals. Next time it will be a human that suffers an attack by this dog that the “owner” clearly can’t control…

  25. snowbird says:

    Soooo if a human attacks and kills another human with no probable cause he or she is not considered dangerous? Hmmmmmm sounds like something is rotten in Denmark to me. Or in this case Florida……

  26. Anonymous says:

    It’s ironic how we go to great lengths to snuff out benign species of plants yet any regular joe can own a dangerous breed of dog bred for fighting.

  27. Vinny says:

    HonkeyDude…..I don’t carry a firearm when I’m walking my dog. I carry a ” Crocodile Dundee ” knife. ( Now that’s a knife, mate }
    And for Mason…. It feels damn good !

  28. Concerned Citizen says:

    @ All animal owners

    Regardless of breed or size you are responsible for your animal 24/7. If you cannot control your animal and something happens then you can and should be held accountable for it.

    There should be more enforcement of leash laws and more criminal and civil penalties involved if an attack occurs and negligence is involved.

    Lastly to all the dog owners walking their dog on 10 foot long retractable leashes. What right do you have to let your dog come into my yard and do it’s business everywhere? And do you really think your going to control that animal when it decides to take off?

    Common Courtesy, Respect and Knowledge of animal handling goes a long way in preventing these issues. It seems to be sorely lacking though.

  29. Dave says:

    Just like with humans, some dogs murder, have mental issues etcetera. I see alot of tough people with guns in this thread, sad some people are so scared of life that they bring weapons into our society and use them like security blankets.

  30. Agkistrodon says:

    Honkeydude, if YOU want to take a dog bite that is fine, or if YOU want your pet killed by a loose animal, that is your choice. And I have mine. I am an animal owner and lover, but I will NOT let an agressive animal attack me, my family or my pets, that is my choice. I certainly hope this never happens to you, your family or your pets, but if it does, I suggest you take it and smile. In Florida, there are lease laws, if YOUR animals is loose, ANYTHING that happens because of it or to it is YOUR fault, no one else’s. It is called being responsible. And that is the law, if you don’t like it there are places where it is NOT the law.

  31. Annonymous says:

    people are always talking how pitbulls are so dangerous and vicious.The way i see it pit bulls are just like any other dog trained the right way they are great dogs. You train them horrribly it will show in the end. All problems should be traced back to the owner with any trainable animal

  32. gmath55 says:

    Agkistrodon – ” In Florida, there are lease laws”. What! Dogs are renting now? I thought it was a leash law NOT a lease law.

  33. The Geode says:

    Littering is illegal. Murder is illegal. They are both crimes. The penalty for one is infinitely worse. A chihuahua is a dog. A pit-bull is a dog. They both attack. The outcome of the attack of one is infinitely worse. I get SO TIRED of hearing the “all dogs bite” crap when comparing a “nip” to a “MAULING”…

  34. Agkistrodon says:

    Whew, it is a good thing we have someone to check spelling, that is the most important part discussed here. Maybe you should get a job as say an editor….

  35. Wayne says:

    Well, I was walking a friends dog today, and was attacked! I will never walk my, or any other dog again without my weapon! Believe me, it is a pretty helpless feeling!

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