05.01.12

Woman Bites Her Dog, Illinois Police Say, Charging Analise Garner With the Assault

A 19-year-old Illinois woman has been arrested for allegedly biting her family’s bulldog. Police acknowledge that the dog did bite the woman—but not before she bit him first.

If “man bites dog” is what makes news, “woman bites” dog is sure to make big news.

The police of Lake in the Hills, Ill., are discovering that after they arrested 19-year-old Analise Garner for biting her family bulldog, Kingston, numerous times in the back during a domestic disturbance.

Police in this Illinois village acknowledge that Kingston also bit Garner on the left hand, but say it was only after she attacked the dog early Sunday morning.

“The bulldog finally did bite her back in self-defense,” Sgt. Mike Smith told the local press.”

Smith added, “There were no charges against the dog.”

As in all cases where dog bites person—even if a man or woman first bites dog—the McHenry County animal-control office was notified. A standard bite report noted that Kingston is a three-year-old, 80-pound neutered male with no previous history of biting. It did turn out that Kingston’s rabies vaccinations were not up to date, and as a further matter of routine the dog was placed on a 10-day-quarantine in the home supervised by a local vet.

Garner, meanwhile, was ordered by the court to stay away from the apartment for 72 hours. Her bites promise to have no lasting physical effect on Kingston.

“The dog is fine,” a county animal-control supervisor is happy to report.

Garner allegedly began by striking and biting her mother before repeatedly biting Kingston, breaking the skin under the coat.

The supervisor said the county has had no recent incidents of people of either gender biting a dog. The only other “woman bites dog” report anywhere seems to be a 2009 incident where a Minneapolis woman bit a pit bull on the nose.

But in that instance, Amy Rice was acting in defense of her Labrador retriever, Elle, after the put bull attacked it. Rice first tried unsuccessfully to pull the assailant away before primal impulse took over.

“I didn’t plan it, that’s what happened,” Rice said afterward. “I broke the skin and had pit-bull blood in my mouth.”

By contrast, there had been at least four reports of man bites dog since the start of the new millennium. The most recent incident was in 2010, when a man in West Haven, Conn., was arrested for biting a police dog that had clamped onto his arm. The man reportedly did not unclamp his teeth around the dog’s leg until an officer pulled him away.

Another man, Stephen Maul of San Francisco, was arrested on two separate occasions in 2000 for biting his dog. He appeared to be living up to his surname, according to one witness who reported seeing him press the dog down to the pavement and bite its neck.

“It sounded like the dog was being killed,” the witness was quoted saying. “Nobody has the right to bite their dog.”

A prosecutor declared that even in San Francisco, “This is not normal behavior, biting a dog.” But Maul insisted through his attorney that he had only been imposing a "natural" form of discipline, no more severe than a mother dog might impose on her pup.

“A growl and a shake,” the attorney, Jasper Monti, tells The Daily Beast.

At the time, Monti told the press that Maul was only “tapping into the primal instincts of dogs."

“My client, in fact, has French-kissed his dog," Monti said. “My client is very oral.”

After an uproar that outdid any cases Monti ever had involving only humans, the case was eventually dropped. That does not promise to be the outcome for Garner of Lake in the Hills, who was arrested after the responded to a report of “screaming and pounding” at her family’s apartment.

Garner allegedly began by striking and biting her mother before repeatedly biting Kingston, breaking the skin under the coat. The responding officers reported that the resulting bite marks were plainly evident.

Garner faces charges of animal cruelty, domestic battery and underage drinking. She is scheduled to be back in court on May 23 in the latest case of what should in these more equitable times be termed “person bites dog. “