By Rachel Wulff


MODESTO (CBS13) — Modesto police are investigating whether a man was mauled to death by pit bulls.

Investigators are calling it a suspicious death. Police want to know if it’s a terrible tragedy or something else.

“I am curious what happened more than anything else…too close to home,” said Ron Coin.

People who live in the La Loma neighborhood in Modesto were shaken after hearing a man was attacked by pit bulls inside a Village Road home.

“Our grandkids live across the street. It could easily have been them for that matter,” said Coin.

Modesto police say they received a 911 call around 7 a.m. Tuesday after a 21-year-old was found unresponsive and bleeding inside a home.

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Lt. Souza with Modesto Police said, “From what I understand one of the dogs was a little aggressive. How so? I do not know, but I do understand that one of the dogs was a little agressive toward the officers and the animal control on the scene.”

Police have not released the name of the victim but say he is a family member. The Modesto Bee is reporting he may have had a seizure, which startled the dogs and prompted their attack.

Tamra Helton with the humane society of Stanislaus County says pit bulls get a bad rap.

“These dogs were actually made to be nannies. When people would go away to war they would actually stay with the family to protect the family,” said Helton.

Her family owns a rescue pit and says he fits in well with their children.

“He is trained, he knows commands its all in how you raise them,” she said.

The pit bulls seized from the home are being held at the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency while the coroner performs an autopsy to determine a cause of death in this case.

Comments (3)
  1. Myranya Werlemann says:

    Pits were NEVER nanny dogs. Even BadRap, a pro-pit organisation, has tried to debunk this harmful myth, because it can lead to parents and other adults being careless with their children around these dogs.

    And indeed, in at least one fatal mauling the adult responsible for the child believed this myth. When 9-year old Tyler Trammell-Huston was killed by his half-sister Alexandria Griffin-Heady’s 3 pit bulls, after being left alone with them, she had posted on Facebook how pits were nanny dogs not too long before.

    While leaving the boy with three dogs was an irresponsible thing to do, part of the blame lays with those who spread this vicious, harmful myth -people like Helton. How many more children have to die because parents think it is okay to step out of the room, after all their sweet pibble is raised right and they’re ‘nanny dogs’? Stop the madness, stop denying genetics, and stop teling this dangerous lie most of all.

  2. Joseph M. says:

    Rachel, the “nanny dog” quote is extremely irresponsible. If researched more thoroughly, one finds no credible historical evidence that this is true.

    Perhaps next time a pit bull attacks (unfortunately, there will likely be a “next time” in your career), interview doctors and nurses in an emergency room, or some insurance actuaries, and see what they think about these dogs compared to others.

  3. Jen says:

    Would those who keep repeating the “nanny dog” myth please stop ?- it is incredibly irresponsible. As is the false claim that a dog’s behavior depends solely on how the owner raises it. Unfortunately the pro-pit bull lobby has incredible influence and perpetuates false information about the pit bull dog (propaganda) that continues to put people and animals at risk.

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