left
right

Richard H. Polsky, Ph.D.

Website author

Expert Witness for the defense

Animal Behavior Counseling Services, Inc.

Los Angeles, CA.

Q. Was it possible for Knoller to stop Bane once he started attacking Whipple?

A. Regardless of the physical position of Knoller relative to Whipple, one must assume that the moment that Bane started to bite Whipple, he quickly entered into a heightened aggressive motivational state. Given the size and strength of this dog, and given the likelihood that Hera was nearby also acting aggressively, it is inconceivable that anyone would have had the physical strength to stop the attack. Attacks of this nature, such as those by pit bulls, often can only be stopped through gunshot or clubbing with some instrument.

In short, dogs can become so worked up and in such a frenzy aggressive state that they become oblivious to most interventions. This question has significance because of the prosecution’s claim that Knoller did not act appropriately at the time of the attack. Specifically, there was the allegation that she made no attempt to stop the attack. The reality of the matter is, that given the nature of this dog’s physical size and its motivation for aggression, the attack would have been extremely difficult to stop by anyone. The attack eventually stopped only after Whipple was laying motionless, nearly dead, on the hallway floor. Bane had no further need to attack because his victim had become vanquished.