AVOCA Awareness Week- Death of Betty Todd

Content note- graphic descriptions of injuries caused by pit bull mauling

Betty Anne Chapman Todd was a wonderful women, full of life and love. A beautiful, elder, women, brutally killed by her son’s family pit bull. She was torn to pieces, her spinal cord shredded, while defending her granddaughters, the oldest of which (12), had tried to pull the dogs off and failed. I cannot imagine the horror that poor child was faced with, and the terror she lives with. I still have visions of my attack, so I know how long term it can be.

All of this horror could have been avoided. This pit had already killed a husky, and the “humane” society the family went to for advice, had told them to have the dog neutered (they did), instead of having it euthanized. This is commonplace- to tell families that dog aggression is no big deal, and can be easily handled. This lie kills.

But you know what I think about anytime In read one of these stories? I think of those womyn that don’t have their stories lovingly told, like Christina Burleson, a homeless women that was mauled to death in Houston early this year. She was a sweet spirit, that loved ALL animals and was always feeding them. She died out in the streets, her story barely made the news. All of these tragedies should be shared far and wide.

From the link:
“Half my mother’s head was draped with a sheet. There was no mistaking the damage underneath, but when I looked, it struck me that she had actually been mauled, literally ripped apart and eaten by a savage animal. Her arms and hands had bite marks all over them, like puncture wounds from the vicious dog’s teeth sinking into her and there were hundreds of them! My mother’s hands did not look like hers. Most of her face was missing on the right side, her ear, her scalp looked detached or loose, and it looked like her spine protruding from the back of her neck when I looked closely. She appeared to have not a drop of blood in her body.

It was in that room that I was cruelly slapped with overwhelming reality of what my teeny tiny, gentle mother had felt: the actual attack itself, how she must have hurt, the excruciating pain of it all, the confusion, her fear, her battle to stop the dog, to protect my nephew and nieces, her realization that she was going to die and the children were going to be left unguarded and alone, her cries, her prayer to God, and it unnerved me. This wasn’t a lion that had killed my mother. It was a domesticated pet, a dog that had been loved, treated kindly, yet she looked like she’d been used as a chew toy and eaten by a wild beast. I couldn’t breathe. I had to get out of there and I left.”

To read the rest, and learn more about AVOCA, please head to:


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