Skip to comments.Saginaw pit bull attack victim receives Carnegie Medal for heroism
Posted on 04/15/2010 8:25:57 PM PDT by Chet 99
By Gus Burns | The Saginaw News
April 15, 2010, 6:00PM
SAGINAW Bridgetta Hadley considers the neighbor who rescued her from a pack of attacking pit bulls, suffering wounds so severe he since has had several toes and fingers amputated, a hero.
Now a national organization has endorsed Hadleys view. The Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Hero Fund Commission is awarding Duane E. VanLanHam the Carnegie Medal for the civilian heroism he displayed March 5, 2009.
VanLanHam, 48, of Buena Vista Township is one of 22 award recipients so far in 2010, said Doug Chambers, the commissions spokesman.
VanLanHam rushed from his home across the street the day of the attack to aid Hadley, a Saginaw resident and childhood friend. She was screaming for help as three dogs mauled her in front of her home. VanLanHam said he was able to dislodge the attacking dogs and escort Hadley into a nearby car, and thats when the dogs turned on him.
He tried to get up on the car hood, and the dogs just pulled him right down, said Hadley, 42.
VanLanHam, whose doctor likened the wounds to his legs from the incident to those suffered in a shark attack, spent about four months in the hospital receiving skin grafts and treatment for recurring infections.
The Saginaw News could not reach VanLanHam, who was at a doctors appointment, Thursday.
We definitely think of him as a hero, said VanLanHams sister, Debbie L. Baston, 41, of Saginaw. (Hes a hero) for saving someones life, going the extra mile he went through, just going through the surgeries and stuff. And if he had to, he would do it again.
Dark scars line Hadleys arms and legs where the dogs sunk their teeth the deepest and darkest on her lower right leg.
I just knew what areas that I had to keep them away from, but if Duane had not had been there, I dont know where I would be, she said after learning VanLanHam will receive the Carnegie Medal. I might not be sitting here right now. It was just a blessing to me for him to be there.
Eighty-four people from the U.S. and Canada, representing 29 states, received the Carnegie Medal in 2009, with 9,327 winners since the groups inception in 1904.
In addition to the medal, VanLanHam will receive a $5,000 grant and national media recognition, Chambers said. The dog owners, Shamorrow S. Amos, 25, who now lives in Carrollton Township, and Anthony D. Hunt, 33, of Saginaw, are charged with six counts of possessing dangerous animals causing serious injury.
The trial is scheduled for Tuesday.
The American Red Cross of Saginaw County also is recognizing VanLanHams act of valor at the 13th Annual Everyday Heroes Celebration. The banquet is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Horizons Conference Center, 6200 State in Saginaw Township.
We honor really truly everyday people who sometimes put themselves at risk, said Saginaw County Red Cross Executive Director Jody E. Botwright. She called the 500-attendee event the most inspirational charity dinner around.
Botwright said those interested in attending should call 754-8181 for ticket information.
VanLanHam has changed some since the incident, Hadley said. She remembers a more rambunctious VanLanHam especially growing up, she said, back when he played neighborhood basketball with her brothers.
But now, to me, I think hes a little more humble, Hadley said. Hes a little more quiet and soft-spoken, but hes still Duane.
Animal control officer feeling that pitbull lovin.
Pitbull turns police car into big chew toy!
Womans arm almost severed in dog attack
LA reporter rushed to hospital after bite from pitbull (while doing story to show pitbulls are safe)
Great-grandma mauled by Lynn family pit bull
Boy attacked by pit bull; Child remains in hospital
Hardin County Teen In A Coma After Pitbull Attack
and many, many, many more!
All of these stories are just a hoax. Yes! Really! Its those vicious, ankle-biting packs of feral chihuahuas that are the true cause of these attacks. Weiner dogs rank second in attacks and deaths nationally right behind the chihuahuas.
A Manatee bit my sister
The most dangerous game? Hippos kill more people than all of the Big Five combined.
| January 01, 2005 | Prothero, Walt | COPYRIGHT 1999 Hearst Communications, reprinted with permission of Hearst.
It is a sticky, suffocating October evening along Kenya’s Sabaki River. In less than an hour, the equatorial night will drop like a lid on a box. The twenty-year-old woman stirs the mealie and squints against cook-fire smoke as she watches her eight-month-old daughter play in the dust. Fifty-five yards from the thatch-and-wattle hut, the greasy Sabaki slips toward the Indian Ocean.
Midway between the river and the hut, a bull hippo stands in tangled riverine bush. Blood oozes from two long gashes along its spine, a twenty-pound flap of muscle and hide dangles from its flank, and its jaw is dislocated. The bull no longer owns breeding rights on the Sabaki.
The woman half-straightens to ease the crick in her back, and seven thousand pounds of fury splinters through dreadlock brush. The bull turns it jaws, large enough to crush a dugout, sideways to put the foot-long, obsidian-sharp canines to use. Instead of cutting the woman in two, the dislocated jaw flattens her, and the bull’s momentum carries it past. It whirls like a Miura fighting bull to finish the job, steps on the woman’s chest, then tramples the toddler. The bull pivots and tramples them again.
The husband returns just before dark to the blood-blackened sand, to the bottle flies swarming the dusty, blue-gray coils of intestine, and to what is left of the crushed corpses. The next day, the bull kills two men crossing a makeshift bridge upriver. A witness sees the gashes on the bull’s back.
Variations of this scene occur scores of times each year in Africa: “On Saturday, November 24, five women and one man drowned in Zimbabwe after a hippo capsized their boat” (Associated Press, 11/26/01); “... a hippo in Lake Malawi flipped a canoe, causing eleven people to drown” (Washington Post, 05/25/02); “A South African woman ... suffered injuries to her side, arms, legs, and head but died as a result of a bite to the stomach ...” (Reuters,