Dog Attack Highlights Sheriff’s Office ‘Stretched Thin’ in Outlying Areas

CaptureIt took multiple hours before a deputy was able to make contact with two men attacked by a dog in Shelter Cove last night. A deputy had to drive down from Eureka through Redway headed towards the seaside community and then, when the patients were transported to Fortuna, turn around and go back to Redwood Memorial Hospital to speak with them. Now, the victims are uncooperative, says the Sheriff’s Office, and, according to worried residents, the dog is still loose.

A little before 11 p.m. Saturday night, two men bleeding from multiple lacerations pleaded for help on the porch of a woman in the Nob Hill area of Shelter Cove. Cheryl Anthony from Shelter Cove Fire reported to the scene to tend the injured men.

“At 10:58 p.m., we got a call–one unconscious person and multiple dog bites,” she told us.

The medical team was originally concerned about showing up at the incident. “We were a little bit leery because we didn’t know if the dog was still there,” Anthony said. Fortunately, the men were not on the scene of the attack but at a neighbor’s porch.

When the team arrived, they found not one but two injured men. “There was blood everywhere,” Anthony said. “One of them in particular had wounds on his head, his hand, and his ear from trying to ward off the dog.”

She said the men told the medical team that “they were walking along in some kind of field [when] they were attacked by a pit bull….They said they ran about a block and a half with wounds to the porch.”

The Shelter Cove team worked to keep the patients from going into shock. “The one guy was so shivery,” Anthony said. “He had the most injuries on his face and hands and arms. We wrapped him in big blankets… . One of them had a head injury and didn’t say much at first.”

An air ambulance was called for but, said Anthony, “We couldn’t do it because it was so foggy.” The Garberville ambulance crew arrived on scene about 45 minutes to an hour following the initial call.

After examining the patients, Anthony said, the ambulance driver indicated he thought the one man would need a plastic surgeon.

Sgt. Jesse Taylor of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said that the deputy who spoke to the dog attack victims last night believed that there might have been more than a dog attack. “The people who were attacked had injuries consistent with an assault as well as a dog attack,” Taylor said. “It looked as if they had been struck with something.”

Interviewing neighbors and witnesses would have required the deputy who had already put many hours into this one case to drive back out to Shelter Cove and then back to Eureka again so as of this afternoon, the dog had not been located by law enforcement.

The victims, he said, had “significant injuries” and were transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital where the deputy interviewed them. The two victims were “uncooperative,” he said. “They wouldn’t say anything.”

When asked about the length of time it took for a deputy to get there. Taylor pointed out that recently the Sheriff’s Department had been “stretched really thin.”

“We lost four deputies to work related injuries in one week,” he said. The deputy sent to Shelter Cove had to come all the way from Eureka which is takes an hour and 45 minutes if the traffic is light and the weather is good. (See Google map below.)

Redheaded Blackbelt is currently working on a story about the Sheriff’s Department staffing levels in Southern Humboldt. Sheriff Mike Downey spoke to us for the article and named several reasons for the current low numbers of deputies in the area. These include what Downey termed the “closing” of the Hoopa Tribal Police program which necessitated more deputies be assigned to that area, the length of time it takes to get the deputies hired with money from Measure Z trained and the number of calls for service coming from different areas. He said, staffing decisions are “based on calls for service and population–I have to make sure I make sure I have staff where there are more calls for service.”

Downey said that he has hopes eventually to hire a resident deputy for Shelter Cove. He said that he wants to be sure that he gets “the right person living there and working there.” He pointed out that he needs to find someone “willing to live in the area and invest themselves in the area.”

Meanwhile, the problems with not having a deputy stationed in the rural community continue. Anthony and another resident say that the dog who attacked the two men is “still loose.” Because it takes hours to drive out there and back, it is difficult for animal control officers to commit the time to get there in the hopes of arriving on scene when the dog is available.

One resident worries that there could be another tragedy. “This dog is in a neighborhood surrounded by families with kids,” she points out.

Already this year there have several dog attacks in Shelter Cove. One of the worst, Anthony said, was when “we had that little girl who was badly mauled by a dog.” The child had to be flown to an out of the area hospital. Residents worry that with a sheriff’s deputy so far away when needed another tragedy could occur.

Earlier Chapter: Men Attacked by Dog, Air Ambulance Requested



  • The victims weren’t cooperative? Maybe it was a failed home invasion robbery.

    • I was thinking the same thing! What were they doing that caused them to “supposedly” receive injuries not consistent with a dog attack?

      No speak to law officers, no assistance – oh, I am sure they will take advantage of the Medi-Cal and other forms of assistance for their possible actions, yes?

      Guilty or not, they should talk to the law enforcement.

    • “’The people who were attacked had injuries consistent with an assault as well as a dog attack,’ Taylor said. ‘It looked as if they had been struck with something.’”

      The plot, to no one’s surprise, thickens.

      • I can tell you how that kind of injury WILL happen. I had a punk TRY to break into my house through the dog door. My dogs did a damn good job of getting this punk out of the dog door by biting his hands & head. They bit him a new ass as he went back over the fence and I heard him face plant on the other side. Never had a problem again. My dogs each got a pat on the head and a treat got being good and fatihful watchdogs. Good dogs!

        By the way, that dope smokin’ punk is back in jail to stay. He got caught a day later elsewhere breaking in and got his parole revoked. Turns out he was let on parole for burglary and robbery the day before. Gee, imagine that.

    • It was neither a home invasion nor robbery. If you knew the victims it would be obvious.

    • Yeah, I’m sure stabbing themselves all over was part of the plan. DOH

    • Take out the trash

      It was not!

  • If they were going into shock, perhaps they couldn’t think clearly.

    Or it was their own dog.

    Pits are the cause of helicopter rides to trauma centers from coast to coast.

    A “good game insane” leave home to attack for no reason* pit can inflict injuries comparable to shark attack or war wounds.

    *leaving home territory and then attacking for no reason and ghen not stopping are essential dog fighting traits.

    • Pit bulls are great dogs, I hate the cliche, but it’s how you raise them. I guess a tiny percentage just have problems and want to kill. But I gaurentee the owner of the dogs are horrible pet owners that don’t keep an eye on them.

      • Pit bulls account for more than 60% of fatal maulings, most catastrophic non fatal maulings, and most pets and livestock mauled and killed by dogs. They are unpredictable, and if they attack they will do great damage. Anyone reading, there is so much information out there about this. Be informed if you can.

        • Simply nit true.Urban legend.research your facts, most maulings in the US are from German Shepards or Shepard mixes…

        • Simply nottrue.Urban legend.research your facts, most maulings in the US are from German Shepards or Shepard mixes…

        • Simply not true. Urban legend.research your facts, most maulings in the US are from German Shepards or Shepard mixes…

          • From………Together, pit bulls (27) and rottweilers (4), the second most lethal dog breed, accounted for 74% of the total recorded deaths in 2014. This same combination also accounted for 74% of all fatal attacks during the 10-year period of 2005 to 2014.

          • CDC 20-year study also documented that pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for more than 60% of fatal attacks on humans.

        • Em, [edit] I can tell you from personnel experience pit bulls can be, loyal, outgoing, and loving dogs that will protect your family. [edit] Do you know how many hearding dogs attack or kill farms animals. Oh but there not associated with dog fighting. Oh wait every dog breed has been associated with dog fighting one way or the other throughout time.[edit]

          • I agree with you RT… But it’s not so much the Pit bull’s fault, it’s the lowlifes who make them so mean. I had a pit and she was a sweetheart who loved everyone. But pit bulls are cheap cheap dog to get, so any loser can get one and make it mean. Sadly for that reason they really should be banned as a breed from the whole U.S.

  • “Stretched thin.” I would be interested to know how many deputies are assigned to special assignment positions such as the DTF, Detectives, Community Service and so forth. Sounds like their services would be more appropriate in a patrol car than behind a desk or on a non-essential special assignment. Just saying.

    • The people who headed up the Measure originally targeted the revenue for only the Sheriff and Fire Agencies. Then, when all the other County Departments got a whiff of more padding for all THEIR fiefdoms, the Measure was changed to include ALL the other departments.
      What the public was told was that a tax levied exclusively for Fire and Sheriff would not pass. (The old back-room crystal ball made that determination.)
      The results were predictable; so many departments were included that the result has produced nothing, really, that the voters wanted and thought they were approving.
      County Governments are as prone to pork as every other level. af


      • They researched the law enforcement ballot and found out it would not pass on it’s own ,So they made it a safety thing

    • No one in the sheriffs dept is thin .In fact I think most are over weight

    • Also, the job title “corrections officer” for the jail employees has been changed to “correctional deputy”. The first few “deputies” hired were placed in jail positions, not on the street. This way the sheriff’s department can say they have hired more deputies from measure Z funds, yet the streets go unprotected. Is anyone monitoring measure z funds, or is it just one big spending spree?!

  • Downy is spewing miss information the cove decided not to pay for a resident officer .A small group tried to fund the officer on their own against the will of the majority of residents . The prosecutors office took the majority of the money .They are now preparing another money grab for the roads .They won’t fix the roads so the public will vote in more taxes ……Hundreds of thousands went to the DA and the Sheriffs office .Why bother calling the police when they won’t even respond same bull they have been giving us for 30 years ….Thankfully most are heavily armed in sohum

  • Downey should get [edit] in a car and patrol . That’s what I have to do when employees are out sick . I step up and fill in .Get caught with a pound of weed and the drug task force will bring multiple officers from multiple agencies with search warrants and all . Remember in 20 years the Local Judges have never turned down a warrant request …Humboldt state university freedom of information discovery

  • I am surprised that we do not know more
    from the Shelter Cove neighbors.

  • Did not seem real foggy to me last night.

    Our medical crew let them sit hear that long? They should have began transport towards Garberville.

    One was unconscious. They were on the verge of shock. Plus upon arriving at the hospital I assume some great meds were given to them. They are expected to be clear.

    Not a home invasion.

    Rumor has it the dog is no longer an issue.

    • If animal control does not have the time or concern to prevent danger to the public from stray dogs, and ESPECIALLY pit bulls, you have every right to defend yourself by whatever means is legal in your area…preferably KA BOOM. Good pit = dead pit.

      • Pictures from the late 1800’s/early 1900’s show a pit and a baby or toddler together as they were left alone outside with kids as they were great protectors of the children. Please stop with the pit hate. Some are bred for violence out of that protection trait but just like with any dog its how you raise them.
        Maybe you have little yippy dogs- I have seen them bite people more than any other dogs so should we shoot them all?
        I have been way more afraid German shepherds and great Danes.

        • Shut up. Name one person mauled to death by a chihuahua or a pug.

        • Pit Bulls were bred to kill. This community has a right to be protected like anywhere else in the USA. So the area is spread thin with authority so the people in this remote area should start arming themselves. If there is an abundance of stray Pit Bulls then you best have a hunt and make your area safe again. Pit Bulls have no place in this society. 40 people in the US have been killed so far and mostly innocent children. Stop the madness!

        • Alls that picture proves is that there were stupid people in the past as well!Pitbull

      • yikes. really?
        “Good pit = dead pit.”there are good pits and bad pits, too.
        you think all pits need to be blown away?

        • Your Pit may never attack but the ones that do are unpredictable and very damaging. I hope you don’t become a victim and learn the hard way.

      • Good pit = dead pit.? Are you serious? Your clearly just a cold hearted ignorant old hag to think that. I hope you get what you deserve!
        And that’s getting bit in the face by a chihuahua.
        Ps I hate you! Your prolly racist too!

  • Remember when the sheriffs showed up in shelter cove in late summer this year to bust a small pot grow ? They sat in the coldesac for hours doing nothing , there were at least six to eight officers sitting there all day long , yet when an actual violent crime happens they can’t get a single sherif out here ? Also , it wasn’t that foggy that night , most of the fog was over the ocean and not the airstrip.

  • Sounds like they got what they deserved!

    • Why do you say that? Based on what?

      Assumptions based on very vague information is not a solid way to make decisions.

  • The person attacked who suffered the most injury is like a guardian angel for the cove. Troubled yes, but with the dearest of hearts. I guarantee he was not trespassing. Just a helpful hand in the wrong place at the wrong time. When the cops won’t come, he’s the one to call. I hope he’s ok.

  • what a shit show

  • it really is not fair to blame an animal, the guy who was bit deserved every bite. He is a scumbag, sells dope, invades houses for food half the time. Anybody who claims otherwise buys meth from him. The cops don’t care when it comes to meth.

    • Nope. He does not sell meth or dope. Invades homes for food? He might snatch too many beers from his friends,but offers them out every time he has them.

      I do not do meth.

      I feel sorry for the dog. He was trained to attack visiously. Sadly. I would never trust this dog though knowing it went for the face.

    • I think you’re thinking of the wrong person

      • Kill that dog im a pit bull lover but if you have one that is attacking people eventually he will get a child and then what will you all say bottom line in less that dog was put on them by the owner he needs to be shot because he is out of control and a real pit bull man should know that

  • The guy with the pit bull, who beats the lady, didn’t he get attacked at the beach a couple a weeks ago at gunpoint??? The guy who was eaten by the pit bull who was defending its home, doesn’t he sell meth, Wait, Don’t they both sell meth? didn’t they both get their faces ripped off, Maybe it’s some kind of meth war? Both these scumbags need to leave the Cove.

    • No, they guy who was eaten yet the pit bull does not sell meth . He is a hard worker who is trusted by many people in the cove . Don’t spread bullshit . The guy with the pit bull is the meth freak , who nobody trusts or likes who trashed both the house he lives in and a property up on warden court that has a burned up utility vehicle on it that has been there for awhile.

  • .If a pot farm in the cove were called on, every cop in the entire county would be here. 2 meth dealers at war, no police to be heard from.

    • You may be right about the pot farm part , but this wasn’t a war over meth . Maybe you should get out more and talk to your neighbors instead of making wild assumptions and sounding like an idiot .

  • I’m sorry but this is bullshit! They say they’re short staffed and it would appear so. But have you ever tried to call the garberville substation!!! No one picks up ever and guess what there’s usually almost always 1 car there. The other day I called to inform them someone may have been hurt in an accident and I called 3 times thinking maybe they were screenin the calls. And when I didn’t get anybody I decided to drive by the sub station right after I had called. And guess what 2 chp cars parked right out front!! No return call no pickup of the phone no service. But I did however see a girl getting shook down and having her car searched by 2 chp vehicles in front of blue star and shortly after just past dean creek on the freeway another person having their car searched on the freeway by 2 more black and whites. I’m sorry there’s a problem alright and it ain’t bein short staffed.

    • I’m a little confused. The Garberville substation is the Sheriff’s Department not the CHP. The CHP shouldn’t be answering the Sheriff’s Office phone. Am I misunderstanding something?

      • My meaning is that I’ve seen chp assisting sheriff’s before why in a situation like that could the chp not be of service to them, or even better, be of service to a person in need of urgent medical care.
        Last I checked redwood drive is not the highway nor are nearby local roads so why is it ok for them to abandon their jurisdiction to persue a search of a vehicle.

      • And as far as the confusion I’m right there with u? Why are black and whites always there but seldom ever a sherrif? In garberville that is.

      • Seems like if they can share a building they can share in the efforts.

        • They do not share a building. CHP is in Redway. The sheriff’s substation is in Garberville, behind the best western. They close for the night.

          • Aren’t they sworn to protect and serve no matter what the situation but all that aside if that dog isn’t afraid to attack with out permission it will eventually get a child or elderly person and life is something that can’t be replaced so kill that dog

  • Take out the trash

    The sheriff has not been out here to investigate because it’s so far and takes too long? Really? I often see them having lunch at the deli here. I guess they have priorities. Meanwhile two violent and dangerous men, with past criminal records, one just released from prison, remain comfortably in their home while another man lies in the hospital, savagely beaten and mauled by a viscous dog for walking by their house! No big deal! These men have been a problem in our community for sometime yet the authorities fail to respond and people are afraid to talk in fear of retaliation. The person in the hospital is a well liked member of our community undeserving of this brutal attack! Do something sheriff for gods sake!

  • they pick and choose

    They intervene when they want. They were here Saturday afternoon and were made aware, with reports and evidence, that the dog owner was an abuser, threatening individual, and liar. They did not arrest him.

    • Take out the trash

      Yes they were here Saturday afternoon after Tattoo face beat his girlfriend once again! Yet she goes back time after time. Anyone who attempts to help her is retaliated upon by him. This has been an ongoing situation of which everyone in the cove is aware of! This is not a pot war, this is not a meth war…this is a DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WAR! Perpetrators of domestic abuse will go to any length to sabotage the abused persons means of support. The brother just released from prison returned to the cove with the intent to kill his ex-girlfriend! She was wise enough to leave. This is not hearsay or speculation, its first hand knowledge! I’ve lived in the cove for ten years and know every single person involved in this situation. The white trash, women beating, thief, lowlife brothers who live in the junkyard, broken down, eyesore of a house on Knob Hill are a nuisance to our community! Nobody wants them here and that’s a fact! If the authorities don’t handle the matter, it’s going to become an all out war and this community will stand behind the victim, exacting vigilante justice need be! We know exactly what’s going on and what the truth is. All of these stupid comments by people who have absolutely no clue as to the scope of our community are a joke. Rent those pieces of sh*t a house in your neighborhood if you want to justify their acts. At least you won’t have to worry about the dog…it’s dead!

      • If I’m correct those boys are from a family that has been in sohum over a hundred years ? I think a local area is named after their family . Some one says they have been in the cove ten years and is a local ? I don’t condone any of it .Just curious

        • Lol , who gives a shit , dude .

        • You are thinking of the owner of the house and not the two shitheads that are renting it . So to answer your question , no , their family hasn’t lived here for a hundred years and nobody gives a shit if they did anyways . Never leaving humboldt doesn’t automatically get you respect.

      • The woman in this situation is also a complete moron . She asks people for help and then goes back to meth losers house to get her ass beat on a weekly basis . She puts herself in these situations . She has good people take pity on her and all she does is suck those people into her drama . HEY CHICK !!!! STAY AWAY FROM TATTOO FACE GUY !!!!!! And stop dragging people into your self induced drama , none of this would have ever happened.

  • Last year a woman beater was shot and killed by a women protecting herself, family and home here in the cove! None of us batted an eye and stood behind her to the full extent. We care about the good people. The victim of this heinous crime is a good person who goes out of his way to help the elderly and others around here whenever he can, just out of the kindness of his goofy heart and in our small tight knit community we look out for each other, we will be there for him as well! There has been a pouring of outrage due to the lack of support by the authorities in this case. The complacency with which this matter has been handled is disturbing at least. What’s it going to take…?

    Get well J.E.S.! We love you!

  • The cops show up out here on sunny days to have lunch but they don’t come when they are called and truly needed! Pathetic!

  • Hey Kym, if u are doing a story about the understaffed sheriffs dept, maybe you could ask them why the hell they just made yet another administrative promotion. How does such a short staffed dept keep on making promotions to an already top heavy office? Do the people really need a Captain? In the end it takes yet one more cop off the streets. Measure z was sold as boots on the ground. It’s been anything but! Captain salery probably equals to 3 rookie deputies. Shameful

  • I love dogs.

  • That right there is proof that more government spending is the cure for all our problems.

    $18,532,854,382,822 – National Debt as of November 2015‎

  • The Police were here, I watched several of my Neighbors make reports for almost 2 hours on Saturday. I don’t know what these people are talking about. People who start crap at the beach, then call the police for help when things don’t work out for them, Shouldn’t be such bullies in the first place.

  • I’m pretty sure some of the commentaries here complaining about the lack of police, are also the same ones who filed police reports. Shame on you if that is the case. I agree, the Cove migrants from the last 10 years think they own the place and completely disrespect both the real LOCALS, and the police. I get why the lack of respect from peace officers.

    • Who exactly are ” real locals ” ? I’ve lived here almost 15 years , does that make me a real local ?? I love how people use the word local as if it commands a large amount of respect . Respect is earned by actions , not how long you’ve lived in an area.

  • Hey Kym, if u are doing a story about the understaffed sheriffs dept, maybe you could ask them why the hell they just made yet another administrative promotion. How does such a short staffed dept keep on making promotions to an already top heavy office? Do the people really need a Captain? In the end it takes yet one more cop off the streets. Measure z was sold as boots on the ground. It’s been anything but! Captain salery probably equals to 3 rookie deputies. Shameful

  • This is what you get for helping a bunch of comments from people who know nothing . If you want to say something get the facts before you open your mouth . If you had people creeping around your house at nite slashing your tires treating your families life and the police do nothing what would you do. Sit back and wait till more people get hurt . You can’t let people use fear to control other people . If you don’t stand for what’s right what do you stand for.I have no regrets for what has happened . Because sooner or later it would have been one of you this isn’t the first person that was put in the hospital by these people for no reason a d nothing was done not this time . I like leaving my door unlocked ,keys in my car and will put my life on the line to keep my community this way . If you don’t feel this way maybe you should move . To a gated community.

    • You people need to stop talking nonsense expecially if you don’t know the story the owner of the dog is bad news and all a person was doing was confronting [edit] who was violently abusing his women and that [edit] sicked his dog on him we don’t need scum like that around here we want a nice community were we can have our families feel comfortable and safe

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