Do you live near dogs that you feel are dangerous? Can they attack you? Diane Whipple was 33 years old when she was killed by two dogs who attacked her as she tried to enter her apartment in San Francisco, CA. The autopsy photos revealed massive injuries to her neck and throat, and bite marks throughout her body. She died of blood loss and asphyxiation. The dog crushed her trachea so she couldn’t breathe.
The District Attorney at the time said that the owners of the dogs had 30 warnings – from neighbors, a dog trainer, a vet, and the dogs’ previous caretakers – that 125-pound “Bane” and 115-pound “Hera” were “bloodthirsty time bombs”.
Many people own dogs and feel they are safe. But their neighbors may feel that the dogs are unsafe and fear for their lives. Do you have to be seriously injured or die before a dog is deemed “unsafe?”
“Bane” and “Hera” were owned by the neighbors of Diane Whipple: a married couple, 60-year old Robert Noel and 46-year old Majorie Knoller. Noel and Knoller were both practicing attorneys. They had been keeping Bane and Hera in their sixth floor, 800 sq. ft. apartment in San Francisco for about 4 months prior to the incident. The dogs that mauled Diane Whipple were with Marjorie Knoller but “escaped her control” while Diane was returning to her apartment with groceries.
There was a trial and ultimately Marjorie Knoller was convicted of second-degree murder. Robert Noel, her husband, wasn’t home at the time of the attack but was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
If you are afraid of being attacked by a dog near your work, home, or anywhere, find out about your state’s laws. Keep a record of the owner(s), aggressive behavior, type of dog, and the circumstances of the dog’s ownership. Are they under tight control of the owner, are other neighbors in fear, have they been reported?
Laws vary in each state. To find out about laws in your state, visit: