Woman Mauled to Death by Her Pet Bullmastiff Is Chilling Reminder of the Truth About ALL Dogs

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dog kills womanJust one week ago, Dawn Brown -- a 44-year-old firefighter and owner of two other dogs -- brought home a Bullmastiff to add to her family. Two days ago, in a disturbing scene straight out of a horror movie, the dog killed her.

According to previous owners, the dog had no history of being aggressive. When Brown's husband came home Monday afternoon, he found his wife dead at the bottom of the stairs. But she hadn't fallen. The couple's new dog, who weighed about 140 pounds, had attacked her neck and killed her.

For dog lovers, this news is chilling. For someone considering a new dog, this news may mean not getting a dog at all. But the reality is, dogs are animals.

Friends of the couple say that they didn't have children, so they thought of their three dogs as their kids. Clearly, these people knew and loved dogs. It wasn't like they were new at the task of caring for a dog and didn't know how to handle it. Perhaps the dog was stressed in his new environment or spooked. Maybe we will never know what happened. But it's not really the dog's fault.

When people have dogs, they need to recognize that they are animals, not humans. In no way am I blaming Brown for what happened. This may have just been a fluke and something spooked the dog. But I do see this with other people.

Their dog bites a person and they think, "Oh he just didn't like that person." A dog bites a child and they think, "Oh that child was just in his face."

The fact is, an aggressive dog -- a dog that bites humans -- shouldn't be living in a home at all. Even if it's only every once in a while or only when it's spooked. It's not the dog's fault, but it IS the human's fault for not taking care of the situation at the first sign of trouble.

From all accounts, it sounds like the dog in this case had NOT shown aggressive tendencies, which makes it even more imperative that dogs that DO show such tendencies be properly dealt with. I have a dog. I love him like a family member. But if he bit someone? He would have to go.

Humans come first.

This story is a very sad one because Brown clearly loved dogs and never could have imagined being killed by one. It's downright horrifying to think a beloved pet could turn on us like this. But it's also a grim reminder that no matter how well we think we know our dogs, they are still animals capable of great hurt.

Does this make you think about your dog differently?


Image via ell brown/Flickr

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cassi... cassie_kellison

We got a one year old German Shepherd, which is still a puppy, but when she came in the door I realized how large she was and I would need to take extra precautions with her. But she is a very submissive German Shepherd and my 6yr old is able to climb all over her. She has become very loyal in the few months we have had her

shesl... shesliketx

I've always been cautious around dogs. I was bitten by my german shepherd mix when I was 2.5 years old. It was an accident, I was unsupervised by my father for a second, and I asked my dog if his food was good. We had 2 other dogs and he reacted as a dog would and bit me. He shook once and realized it was me, and let go. I had to have OVER 500 stitches in my mouth alone, and plastic surgery to fix my face. My parents kept the dog separated from my by a big fence, but they understood it wasnt the dogs fault. I'm not terrified of dogs but I am cautious and I dont like them around my face. I also NEVER leave my children unsupervised with our Brittany, not even for a second.

nicol... nicoleeolee

Big dog=big bite. If your dog EVER happens to (sadly, unfortunately) lose his mind and attack, what size of jaws do you want your dog to have? :( I do love large dogs, but I have also been bitten by a dog, as have too many people close to me. I will opt for a smaller dog for my family.

tbruc... tbrucemom

My beloved Rottweiler was killed by a bullmastiff so I don't have a very high opinion of the breed. Obviously a Rottweiler is also a large dog with big teeth and if it was able to kill it I'm not surprised it would kill it's owner.

deLaLynn deLaLynn

I love pitbulls and I have a black lab. I always hear that a black lab can bite to much as a pitbull but a black lab isnt going to do the damage a pitbull can afflict. if there are bad people, why cant there be just bad dogs?? they have personalities like us, is it possible for a dog to just be crazy or mean by nature??

lissa... lissalynn83

I've always been terrified of dogs...probably because I didn't grow up with any as pets. I always had a cat as a kid, and you don't typically hear about house cats mauling people or killing them. I know that most dogs are perfectly fine and wouldn't hurt a hair on anyone, but I just keep hearing stories on the news about people being attacked by dogs, especially dogs that they just "knew" were nice dogs with no history of violence. I would like to love dogs, but I will stick to cats just because of my paranoia. Maybe someday I will get a small breed dog, with small doggie teeth.

Stefanie Ann

A Bullmastiff is bred with an english bulldog and a mastiff. The one in the article is a mastiff ,two very different personalities. I have a bullmastiff male and he is a giant baby. what i'm thinking is that the mastiff was not treated right by the previous owner. I'm not saying it was right but dogs don't just all of a sudden get nasty unless of illness or abuse.

nonmember avatar Jennifer

I have an English Mastiff and she is sweet as can be at 160lbs. Research a breed before buying it, and research the rescue dog as much as possible before bringing it home. It is true that bigger dogs have a bigger bite, but that does not mean they are more likely to bite you than a smaller dog.

Tony Bussert

I have a bullmastiff, and this is not typical for the breed. They were bred as a "Nightwatchmen's Dog". They are bred NOT to bite. Their role was to chase down poachers at night. They would alert the nightwatchmen with a big barrel bark, chase down the poacher, knock him over and sit on him and wait for the nightwatchmen to arrive. They are pain resistant with a boxy head so they are hard to knock out. The pain resistant part makes them good with kids since a kid can pull on them and they don't seem to mind. They are a loyal family companion, but do have issues with strangers at times. Personally I don't think I would get a rescue bullmastiff as they are stubborn and smart and it takes a long while to earn their trust and loyalty. The breed is great, but you have to do your research and know what you are getting yourself into.

the4m... the4mutts

No, I still love all 4 of my dogs. 2 small, 1 medium, 1 large. I don't just bring random dogs, especially large ones, into my home. I get them from SPCA or local rescue organizations while they are under a year old. That way, I can train them, learn their mannerisms, and see any progression of agression before they get too big for me to overpower. I have gotten rid of agressive dogs before, given them away to people with no kids for example. While this family had no kids, they brought in a full grown large dog, that they honestly had no idea how it behaved in certain situations. The pevious owners aren't going to say "oh, yeah, he was super agressive" after it just KILLED someone.

I love dogs, but yes, they're animals, and need to be evaluated before being brought into any home as adults.

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