Last Thursday, an elderly woman in Virginia died after being mauled by a dog that her daughter had just adopted. The tragic incident played out inside of a Virginia Beach home on Bunker Hill Lane on Wednesday evening.
The victim, 90-year-old Margaret M. Colvin, died after being attacked by a young dog named “Blue,” who had just been adopted by the victim’s daughter, “Linda.” Linda got Blue from the Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation Center hours before the fatal mauling.
Linda has stated she was outside with the dog when she heard her mother yell for help from inside the home after falling – it was after Linda went inside that Blue launched into his attack. Linda is quoted in Fox 8 News describing the attack, “I’ve never seen anything like it. It was like something out of a movie. I tried to pull him off, tried to say no, tried to be nice…I just thought if I could get him off of her for one minute.”
Multiple outlets have reported that Blue was sent to his new owner with a shock collar – the woman was allegedly advised by the rescue agency to take the collar off of the dog at night. Blue was not wearing his shock collar when he mauled Margaret Colvin.
Dog trainer Jen Lewis, owner of K9 Confidence Positive Dog Training, has spoken out about what happened, and the likely link between Blue’s behavior and the shock collar which was reported to have been provided to his new owner by the rescue group. Lewis stated:
People failed this dog at every level. He was at a shelter with a bite history, pulled by a rescue group that should have never gotten him, sent to a “rehabilitation” facility that used a shock to supress his behavior and turn him into a ticking time bomb instead of conditioning him to his triggers and helping him to react appropriately.
Training and rehabilitating a dog like this is a lifelong process for the dog. Shock collars suppress unwanted behavior through fear and pain and the fallout from using them can often be worse than the original behavior that they are trying to suppress, especially with aggressive or fearful dogs.
According to WTKR News, a woman had previously adopted Blue and then returned him to the Forever Home Rehabilitation Center after just two days. Blue’s former owner, Tia Walke, expressed surprise that Blue was adopted out again because she claims that he displayed signs of aggression towards her nephew during the short time that she owned him.
The rescue agency has released a statement about the tragic fatal mauling:
We send out our deepest condolences to the Patterson family who adopted Blue. Blue went through our 3 month board and train program, and was a favorite amongst all of the staff members and volunteers. Blue loved other dogs, and didn’t know a stranger. He never showed any aggression while at our training facility, and passed his final evaluation with flying colors before being adopted out to the Patterson family. Trainers spent yesterday morning checking over Blue’s new home and going over training with Blue’s new owner. There were 2 other dogs in Blue’s new home that Blue immediately bonded with. We do not know what events transpired in the moments before this tragedy occurred with Blue’s owner’s mother, and none of us could have ever predicted this horrible event. We are devastated for the Patterson family and our thoughts and prayers go out to them.
Blue was seized after the attack and taken to animal control – his owner hopes to see him put down.
Please SUBSCRIBE to receive more current animal-related news and rescue stories.
Find more animal-related stories, and follow-ups to dogs at risk posts, at this link to the National Animal News Facebook page.
Stranger makes an incredible donation to help save homeless animals – read the heartwarming story here.
Police bust out car window to save a young puppy from dying inside of parked vehicle – read more here.