Landscaper savaged by pit bull in Nipomo

August 24, 2010

A landscaper who was mauled by a pit bull in Nipomo on Monday morning is recovering from massive wounds to his face. [KCOY]

Craig Groth, 48, was trying to save two Jack Russell terriers from a large gray pit bull that had pounced on them when the dog savagely bit Groth in the face.

The terriers had wandered out of the their yard on Waypoint Drive.

The pit bull, with blood dripping from its face, ran across the street to a home on Waypoint Drive. However, the homeowner later claimed the dog did not live there anymore.

If a dog is off-leash and injures someone, the animal’s owners are subject to criminal penalties, heavy fines and or jail time. In addition, San Luis Obispo County Animal Services could quarantine and possibly put down the dog.

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It is not the breed but the individual dog and it’s owner. Period.

That being said, carrying some dog/bear spray is a good idea for ALL types of poorly trained dogs who you and your dog may encounter.

BSL is a bad idea getting worse.

Rather than carrying around dog/bear spray to ward off the poorly trained and unsupervised vicious dogs of irresponsible people, I prefer to carry a .357 so that I can destroy the little bastards. And when the owner runs up acting like a committed murder on a helpless beast, I can draw down on them and tell them it’s actually a very nice fire arm, and not to be afraid, it”s not loaded.

As a insurance inspector, we document any dog observed on a insured property.

Age, sex, breed, observed demeanor, bite history.

I have encountered many aggressive dogs during inspections. Most dogs I encounter are friendly, including the ones on the watch list. I have been bitten once, by a large poodle.

Most of my aggressive pit bull encounters have been at apartment complexes and rental homes.

FWIW…I’m an insurance agent. None of my carriers will insure Pit Bulls or a Pit Bull mix. Some will allow the owner to exclude all dog liability at a reduced premium.

It was recently announced nationally that about 25% of all homeowner liability claims are dog bite related. The average claim is just under $25,000 and the annual total for all insured dog bite claims is over $400 million. The most common victim is a child under 10.

German Shepherd and Dobermans are not on the prohibited list of my carriers…Rottweilers, Presa Canarios, Akitas, Bull Terriers, Chows and Jindos or mixes of those or wild dogs/animals, i.e., wolves, etc. are often on unacceptable lists. Pit Bulls are apparently called Staffordshire Terriers, too.

My worst claim was on a St. Bernard the first day out of the pound that bit a neighbor’s 2-year old thru the face…I’ll never forget it.

One of the most docile animals I’ve ever been around is a clients’ female Rottweiler…but I can’t say I was that relaxed around her.

About ten years ago I was walking downtown in San Luis just having gone by “Tails” pet store when I heard a very loud yelping coming from the store. I walked in and there was a pit bull clamped down on the neck of a medium sized mixed breed dog. I set down my frozen yogurt that I just bought and slid down next to the pit bull and placed my hands on the top and bottom jars of the pit bull and yanked open the dog’s mouth so the other dog could escape. I held the jaws open for another moment or so to let the dog know who was in charge then I closed the dog’s mouth, slid one of my hands to the back of the dog’s neck and pushed in down so that it was against the floor. I then asked who owned the dog and a twenty something girl spoke up and I asked her if the dog was going to be dangerous if I let it back up and she said she didn’t think so, so I very quickly let go and stepped back. The dog came up and looked around, started wagging it’s tail like nothing had happened at all. The girl apologized again and again and I picked up my yogurt and left the shop. I don’t know that pit bulls are more dangerous than rottweilers or dobermans or german sheperds, but I will never own one. Anyone who owns a pit bull needs to be more vigilant than any other dog breed owner, especially around other dogs, cats, and most importantly around small children. The owner of the dog in this attack needs to be held accountable for any and all damages to this man, both financially and legally.

Bob, Who are you, Cesar Milan or somebody? I don’t doubt your story but I know that when a pit bull locks it’s jaws nobody (including it’s owner) is initially going to open those jaws with nothing but their hands. Even the owners of fighting dogs have to utilize tools to unlock the jaws of a pit bull. You got lucky, the dog obviously didn’t lock on, that’s the best that I can surmise. I have known good owners of well loved pit bulls that have told me horror stories about their dogs getting into a fight and what it took to make the dog let go. On one account, “even an electric shock to the testicles didn’t work”! To quote that owner “he seemed to like the pain but I have never hit him and only used positive reinforcement”.

Cindy: I don’t “know” if the pit bull I stopped was a full grown adult; the owner was yelling at the dog, the two young girls working at the store were trying to hit the dog with broom sticks, all to no avail. I don’t doubt that I was “lucky”; as I slid into place on the floor next to the dog, I was thinking of how I would defend myself if the dog suddenly turned on me as I was getting into position. I am not an overly large muscular man (6’1″, 215 lbs.) and my few years of martial arts training only gave me the confidence to attempt to do what I did, not any training in working with dogs, but I’m sure that my adrenaline was in high gear, so yes, I was able to do what I said. Dave Garth had been standing at the window of Audio Ecstasy looking at a large screen t.v. when I said something to him, we turned and walked together talking for just a few moments when I went into the pet store, and Dave watched me do this. My point here isn’t to make myself out as some sort of super hero; I was attempting to point out how the behavior of the dog was so very unpredictable. In the space of less than a minute, the dog had been clamped down on the neck of another dog, in the next moment he was up wagging his tail with his tongue hanging out like he was ready to play or something.

Yes, I understand what you’re saying. They are unpredictable. Sorry, I didn’t mean to put you on the defensive as I didn’t doubt you, I was just curious.

I should think that the neighbors know who owned a gray pit bull particularly since it was seen running to a particular home. I have known many pit bulls that were poodles in a pit bull body but most are aggressive towards other animals. They can also become aggressive when they are excited and outside of their owners control. I agree with the fact that it’s more about how these dogs are raised but they are “by nature” fighting dogs. I would never go so far as to agree that they should be banned but owners must be required to take extra precaution’s with them. When they attack, they are deadly. I had a loveable pit bull mix in my home for over a year. He was half American bull dog but apart from his large size he looked like a pit bull and his jaws did lock. I wasn’t worried about him harming a human but I could never trust him around other animals. There were a few that he would have killed if he could have including my neighbors show dogs. He eventually killed my neighbors cat (who was on my back deck). The dog had to go to a different home.