Good Pitbull Dogs Attack Family Member

Lynchburg News
Published: March 13, 2008

BEDFORD — Spend five minutes with Prince, and you know this dog is a killer.
A killer of stereotypes.
Sure, if someone tied you down and set this dark-brown pit bull mix on you, Prince might lick you to death over a couple of hours. But he wouldn’t mean to.
“He’s just a lovable dog,” said Lois Holland, his owner. “He loves everybody.”
Actually, Prince’s amiability shouldn’t be a surprise. Most pit bulls aren’t vicious, any more than most Italians are gangsters or most inner city teenagers are drug dealers. The rogue minority gives the overwhelming majority a bad name.
Lois’ husband, William, no doubt knows that, intellectually. Yet he also has seen the line between dog and human violently crossed — putting him in the hospital for nearly two months — and he’s no longer sure where that line is. Or if it even exists anymore.
Now, that has become Prince’s problem. William Holland finally came home Wednesday to a dog he can no longer trust.
“He didn’t come right out and say that,” Lois said, “but our granddaughter was coming to visit me, and he said, ‘Whatever you do, don’t leave her alone with Prince.’ We’ve had him for four years, but we’re going to have to find another home for him. So far, we haven’t had much luck.”
The four dogs that attacked the 62-year-old Holland on the late afternoon of Jan. 15 weren’t wild dogs, or even strange dogs. They belonged to his sister-in-law and typically roamed the bucolic country neighborhood off Burks Hill Road in Bedford County.
“He walked past them all the time,” Lois Holland said. “We all did. They were never known to bother anybody.”
According to Lois Holland, the incident happened when her husband was heading up to his mother’s house, on foot, past his sister-in-law’s trailer.
“He said, ‘I’m going up the hill to have a piece of cake,’” Lois Holland recalled.
Moments later, the younger pair of the four dogs — all pit bulls — approached Holland and began jumping on him. Then, they got rougher, and the two older pits rushed in and piled on, teeth flashing. Somehow, no one knows why, the game had suddenly turned mean and terrifying.
“We’ve wracked our brains trying to figure it out,” Lois Holland said. “He’d just eaten lunch, and maybe he had a food smell on him. We don’t know, but if he hadn’t had a knife on him, they’d have probably killed him.”
Instead, Holland managed to fatally wound two of the dogs with the knife, and the other two ran away. (They eventually were captured and killed.) He was left bleeding badly from multiple injuries, including a right foot that his wife said “was just about eaten off. All the tendons were showing.”
Holland had to be airlifted to Roanoke for trauma treatment. Surgeons saved his foot, but they couldn’t do anything about the trauma to his psyche.
For the record, Prince isn’t a pure-bred pit bull, although he has the broad chest (the dog weighs 80 pounds, said Lois) and the blunt muzzle.
“We think maybe he’s part black lab,” said Bev Jordan, a local dog enthusiast who has been helping Lois Holland try to find Prince a home. “That could be why he’s a little more mellow.”
Prince had nothing to do with the attack on her husband, Lois Holland said.
“He was in here on the floor, asleep,” she said.
Nevertheless, Prince has to go, and the Hollands are hoping he can be adopted by some dog-lovers. The worst-case scenario would send him to the local animal shelter, quite possibly to be euthanized.
“That just wouldn’t be fair,” Lois Holland said.
The legal and insurance issues surrounding the attack are still being sorted out. The fact that it’s all among family makes it stickier.
Bev Jordan tried to take a photo of Prince while I was at the Hollands’ house, but he rolled over on his back and hid his face with his paws.
Who could blame him?


13 Responses to “Good Pitbull Dogs Attack Family Member”

  1. 1 Suzanne Langley
    March 17, 2008 at 6:06 am

    I have visited this site on many an occasion now but this post is the 1st one that I have ever commented on.

    Congratulations on such a fine article and site I have found it very helpful and informative – I only wish that there were more out there like this one.

    I never leave empty handed, sometimes I may even be a little disappointed that I may not agree with a post or reply that has been made. But hey! that is life and if every one agreed on the same thing what a boring old world we would live in.

    Keep up the good work and cheers.

  2. April 4, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    This was a sobering story to be sure. Even “good” pits attack family members; it happens all too frequently. The victim in this instance was seriously injured — a one month hospital stay. That’s the difference between an average dog bite and a pit bull attack. Here’s another link to that story from DogsBite.org:

  3. April 11, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    you really shouldnt call an animal a killer, see in my eyes, the dog is only as well behaved as the owner/owners, you can teach an animal not to bite, or even play ruff, people give pit bulls a bad name, they teach them to be mean, and fight. So what do you expect, my boyfriends brother has a pit, and she as sweet as can be, they also have two small children NO HARM has ever came to either of them, its all in how they where raised.

    Thank you,
    Haley Sanders.

  4. 4 tish
    June 4, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    To everyone regarding the ongoing “disputes” about pits.

    I have bred, and currently own 4 pits. I am a female, and have taken extraordinary time with loving these 4 dogs, bonding with them, sleeping with them in my bed, taking time with each individually, being fair, playing with them, teaching them right from wrong withing a framework they hopefully can understand. All the dogs are gentle with little children, etc., but do not be misled:


    I never ever ever leave my dogs unattended with children or elderly people.

    When I leave my property, they go in cages in the basement until I get home.

    They are definitely more aggressive in “groups.”

    Never overestimate their ability to “bond” with you just because you see their “good” side.

    These dogs and others like them are LETHAL WEAPONS. And they are ANIMALS. ANIMALS HAVE TEETH . . .

    Enough said.


  5. 5 gayrghts
    June 24, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    While i agree with Tish’s comment’s…

    I think this should be the case with ANY dog….

    I have a doxie/chi/rat terrier as well as a pit boxer and an am staff…

    I’d be more worried about my small dog, than for the pit’s.

  6. 6 Pondering
    July 27, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    What is going on here , First of all a “Pitbull” should never be over 65 pounds thats extremely unhealthy for them which can also explain the behavior. All I can say is wow, if your going to get a certain type of dog learn about it first and keep it healthy , this prevents problems later , including temper problems .

  7. 7 RJ
    August 10, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    4 dogs!!!!
    That’s insane! Why in the world does this idiot have 4 dogs! That’s just asking for problems. NOTE: The worst attacks occur from these dangerous dog packs! Regardless if it’s a pitbull. Hell if it was a group of rottwielers, this elderly man wouldn’t have been alive.

    Screw dog breed bans, they don’t work. There should be stronger laws on how many dogs people can have.

  8. 8 julzperry
    September 23, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Well I have owned 4 Pitbulls in my lifetime.
    All were family companions.
    All lived into old age where they died of old age.
    None of them ever bit anyone or anything, except while they were eating.
    Now can you tell me at what point and time these dogs were supposed to “turn” and kill us?
    Stop saying Pits “turn”, because in fact no dog just “turns” on people for no reason.
    Do some research and you will see that.
    Oh, and I slept with a Pitbull that has been very badly abused last night.
    He is my foster dog until he finds his new home.

    And my 2 boys slept with my Pitbull Star last night, and guess what?!?! We are all still alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. 9 julzperry
    September 23, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    And what I mean about when they were eating is they have to bite to eat, lol.

  10. September 26, 2008 at 4:09 pm

    Pitbulls are not naturally aggressive towards people.
    They are made that way by mean people.
    For every Pitbull that has attacked there are hundreds of thousands that never have and never will.
    Realize the media reports any and every Pitbull attack, singling them out. Which makes people THINK they are more dangerous. They are not.
    Actually, Pitbulls are very loving and crave affection from people.
    And a well raised family Pitbull loves children so much. They are wonderful family companions and all the stuff you hear about them turning on their family or owner… NOT TRUE!
    It is sad this dog Prince has to leave his family because of what another dog did.
    That is pure ignorance on the owners part!

  11. 11 katie
    October 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    I feel really strongly that people should stop trying to ban the pitbull breed its the owners who train or neglect them to be the way that they are i have grown up with an now own pitts an find them to be one of the most loving an loyal breeds.Its about time that we stop taking our anger out the dogs an focus our attention on the dog owners i myslef would be so upset if my 2 pitts were taken from me an distroyed jus coz of their breed

  12. 12 ED
    October 31, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Pit bull owners are among the most delusional in the world.

    Pit bulls are first on the list for killing people, they are mauling people and animals in disproportionately high numbers, but these peopler are in complete denial about the problems.

    Part of the problem is that dogfighters & breeders who make lots of money from these dogs use these sweet young thangs that get all squishy about pit bulls and feed them this idiotic propaganda that pit bulls are just like other dogs. And they help the dog fighters oppose laws so dog fighters can keep on making money.

  13. 13 Tan
    November 1, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Again, with the ‘lick you to death’.
    Please find another lubbable phrase.

    “Lick you to death’ is now a phrase used sarcastically to refer to a dog that is vicious.

    Do yourselves a favor and find another blurb.

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