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Richard H. Polsky, Ph.D.

Website author

Expert Witness for the defense

Animal Behavior Counseling Services, Inc.

Los Angeles, CA.

Defense arguments and supporting evidence

Argument Supporting Evidence
Defendants did not know of Bane and Hera’s dangerous disposition Knoller’s testimony at trial which indicated that prosecution witnesses who described aggressive incidents of Bane or Hera were either mistaken or exaggerating, or that incidents never occurred.
Photographs showing defendants posing with dogs in various public places in the San Francisco area.
Witnesses who described favorable encounters with dogs or who testified that dogs were always well-behaved and non-aggressive in public establishments.
Dogs were never subjected to any formal training designed to instill aggressive behavior (e.g. attack training or guard dog training).
There were thousands of encounters between the dogs and people in the apartment building (particularly the lobby) that were uneventful and non-aggressive; only in a very small percentage of encounters did the dogs become aggressive.
Knoller acted heroically in trying to protect Whipple from Bane Knoller’s testimony saying that she tried to shield Whipple by placing her body of top of Whipple’s.
Photographs of Knoller’s battered and bruised face, and several bite marks on other parts of her body.
Blood-soaked or stained clothing belonging to Knoller.
 Defendants did not know that dogs presented mortal danger Bane went berserk for unexplained reasons.
Knoller’s testimony that she did not believe that her dogs were capable of killing.
Dogs never trained to attack.
Dogs had never displayed vicious behavior.
 Defendants were responsible dog owners
Defendants made the attempt to train Bane and Hera themselves through positive reinforcement
Knoller never lied Inconsistencies in statements were due to lapses in memory or due to emotional stress of situation
Mauling was an unforeseeable accident Knoller had previously taken Bane out for walk without incident hours before mauling of Whipple; Knoller was forced to take Bane out for walk around 4:00 p.m. (i.e. just before incident with Whipple) because of Bane’s unexpectedly developed diarrhea; Knoller was forced to deal with Bane’s diarrhea because Noel was unexpectedly delayed due to car problems; Whipple presence in hallway was unforeseen; Since Bane had never previously displayed vicious, the mauling of Whipple cannot be explained.
Noel could not be guilty of criminal negligence (e.g. manslaughter) Noel was out of town when incident occurred.