Dog bite expert & animal behavior specialist

Richard H. Polsky, PhD, CDBC
Los Angeles, California

“Bringing the science of animal behavior to attorneys”

Dr. Richard Polsky - The Dog Expert

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Suicide by fatal dog attack in Michigan

 People contemplating suicide have several options Fatal dog attackto choose from, the most common being hanging, drowning, slashing one’s wrist or killing oneself by gunshot.   Rarely, however, do people commit suicide by throwing themselves “to the dogs”.  However, apparently this was the case for 22-year-old Rebecca Hardy when she was mauled to death by two dogs, a pit bull and pit bull-husky mix, in Port Huron, Michigan on December 3, 2015.

This fatal dog attack in Michigan was officially declared “suicide by pit bull attack.” According to the medical examiner overseeing the case, Hardy was aware of the danger of the dogs in question. They lived nearby contained by a fence in the owner’s backyard.  Reports indicate that Hardy went to great lengths to avoid the dogs in the past, and that she probably knew the dogs were dangerous.

The medical examiner compared the circumstances of her death to someone jumping into a cage with tigers or lions. Hardy was killed because of severe dog bite injuries inflicted to her neck and face.  Her ears were ripped off, her esophagus was torn from her throat, and she lost portions of her nose and eyes.  It appears that Hardy ended her life by giving herself up to the dogs.

Further, the Detroit Free Press reported that Hardy had a history of suicide, and that she was high on alcohol and marijuana and had traces of cocaine in her system, according to toxicology analysis.  Further details indicate that on the day of the incident Hardy had a heated argument with her fiancé, and then stormed out of the house.  She then ran to the site of attack, about two blocks from her house. Thereafter, according to a witness, she started to climb the fence and the barking dogs pulled her into the yard and then started to maul her.

Some doubt that the incident represented suicide, however. Hardy was the mother of a 18-month-old child and her fiancé described her as being “full of life”.  Moreover, in the United States there have been hundreds of fatal dog attacks and in none has suicide ever been implicated.  And Hardy had a pit bull of her own and had defended the breed on her Facebook page just two days prior to the incident. black dog

 

Related info:

For more info on fatal dog attack visit: Fatal dog attacks in the USA

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Animal behavior expert, Richard Polsky, PhD, provides expert witness services to attorneys in Michigan litigating dog bite lawsuits.  Contact Dr. Polsky or download his curriculum vitae.