|Bethany Ann Stevens, Facebook, with one of her dogs.|
Bethany Ann Stephens was a twenty-two year old Central Virginia woman who loved horses and dogs. She had worked in animal rescue and was the proud owner of two pitbulls. This week, Bethany took her dogs for a walk in an area where her grandparents once owned a sprawling farm, and then she didn't return. Her father went walking the route that she normally used. The sheriff's office was called and they spent the next night trying to piece together what had happened to Brittany. The county's animal control tranquilized both dogs who were guarding Brittany's body. A preliminary review by the sheriff's office and the medical examiner are of the opinion that Brittany was attacked and mauled to death by her dogs. Both dogs will be euthanized, if they haven't been already.
Most vets believe that dogs, even those bred and taught to fight, won't become aggressive and attack their masters unless they are attacked and truly frightened. They cite that if Bwthany and her dogs were atacked by coyotes, other dogs, or a human being that the dogs would begin to fight, and they might not stop, and under such circumstances, they could kill their owner. This is known as an area with coyotes. Bethany was 5'1" and likely less than 125 lbs, whereas both of her dogs were about 125 lbs. each.
If you walk your dogs in a secluded rural area as I do, you might consider being armed while doing so. I know many people with pitbulls who own gentle, kind animals. This is certainly a tragedy for the dogs, for Bethany and for her family and friends.
We send heartfelt condolences to her family and friends during this very difficult time.