Valdosta Woman Dies After Dog Attack

By: Eyewitness News
By: Eyewitness News

[Update] Valdosta, Georgia - December 10, 2011 -

- Veterinarian Speaks Out About Pit Bull Stereotypes -
By Greg Gullberg

A study by the U.S. Government Centers For Disease Control, says pit bulls cause 32% of all dog-related killings of human beings in the United States.
Pit bulls only constitute 2% of all dogs, but they account for 70% of mauling deaths in children.

These numbers may come as no surprise to neighbors in one Lowndes County community.
40-year-old Misti Wyno was brutally attacked and killed by a pit bull Thursday.
It happened on Mount Zion Road just off Rocky Ford Road.
Investigators say the dog was chained in the next-door neighbor's backyard but broke free when Wyno went over to borrow some food.
The dog's owner is Bobbie Jo Courson.
Courson has another pit bull.
A neighbor says that dog bit his son.
Investigators say both dogs have been euthanized.

Many are afraid of pit bulls, saying they're violent dogs.
But one Lowndes County veterinarian says it's all how you raise them.

Nike is a ten-month-old female pit bull.
She might look pretty vicious ripping up her stuffed toys, but she doesn't have a mean bone in her body.

Nike lives at the Animal Care Center in Lake Park, Georgia.
She's up for adoption but Dr. Alba Sosa tells Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg that it's difficult to find good homes for pit bulls because of their bad reputation.

"They're not genetically created to be mean. You can see Nike right here is a good example of a typical pit bull. Very energetic, she's loyal, active," says Dr. Sosa.

Dr. Sosa tells Gullberg that pit bulls do have the potential for aggression towards other animals because they have a history of being bred for fighting.
That's why it's important to get them into obedience training from an early age like 3 or 4 months old.

Neighbors on Mount Zion Street say Bobbie Jo Courson had at least 4 pit bulls.
Investigators say the two oldest dogs were put down.
The male for this fatal attack on Thursday.
And a female for allegedly biting a neighbor's 5-year-old son in September.

Neighbors say the dogs were often kept on chains in the backyard.
Dr. Sosa says that kind of treatment can lead to violent behavior in dogs.

"Regardless of the breed, that is no way to raise any living being, tied up to a tree," says Dr. Sosa.

Deputies say no charges have been filed at the moment against Courson. The investigation is ongoing.

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[Update] Valdosta, Georgia - December 9, 2011 - 6:00 o'clock

- Neighbors say they knew the dogs were dangerous -
By Greg Gullberg

Misti Wyno just turned 40.
She was married and shared this home with her family.
The neighbors next door were close friends, but when she went to borrow food Thursday, the neighbors' male pit bull broke loose attacking her and killing her.

Wesley Barrentine is Wyno's Stepfather-In-Law, he tells Eyewitness News reporter Greg Gullberg that her death was just a freak accident.

"I don't know why it happened it's just a tragic accident," Barrentine said.

The pit bull owner is Bobbie Joe Courson.
Neighbors say she has four pit bulls including the one in this attack.
Mount Zion Street is usually a quiet street.
Some family members say they can't believe this happened.
The pit bulls were raised to be friendly.
But some other neighbors say it was only a matter of time.

James Sharp says his 5 year old son was bitten by one of Courson's other pit bulls, a female, in September.

"I've even told the district attorneys and everybody at the aggressive dog hearing, if these dogs get out somebody was going to get killed," Sharp tells Gullberg.

He says he filed a formal complaint and the dog was picked up by animal control, but later released back into Courson's custody.
Other neighbors have also come forth with complaints.
One waved Gullberg down at a nearby gas station.
He called the dogs a constant threat to the neighborhood children.

Investigators say both pit bulls have been euthanized.
As of Friday night, no charges have been filed against Courson, but deputies say they are still investigating.

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Valdosta, Georgia - December 9, 2011 -

Lowndes County deputies are investigating a pit bull attack that has left one woman dead.

The attack happened yesterday afternoon at 4686 Mount Zion Road.
Deputies say 40-year-old Misti Wyno had walked over to her neighbor's house, when the neighbor's male pit bull attacked her.
Lowndes County Deputy Coroner Walter Wacter says Wyno had severe bite marks all over her body.

Investigators say the male and a female pit bull have been been euthanized.

Bobbie Jo Courson is the neighbor who owned those dogs.
Deputies say right now, no charges have been filed against Courson, but they are still investigating.

We'll have more on this story tonight on Eyewitness News.


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  • by shelly Location: lehman on Mar 1, 2012 at 01:32 PM
    its not the bull dogs that are at fault. people use pit bulls because they are such a dominate breed and strong and fight them to win money. they stand alot stronger than a lab or any other dog so that is why they are chosen although that does not make them cruel animals. they are the way thedy are brought up just like children. the owners are all at fault. you can take any breed and train them to fight. i think this case should be investigated i not buying she come out of house and the dog attacked her. i knew misti very well and she seen that dog on a daily basis and slept in the bed with the dog several times. stories did not match. if anyone knows any details to this please dont just let it be. there should be justice done please dont hold any information. misti was a great person and had a big heart and she had a very bad painful death and i want to see justice done for her life being ended in away we all cant even imagine the way she had to die . also dog was running loose for 3 days and never attempted to put back on chain.
  • by Uniyum Location: Valdosta on Dec 21, 2011 at 11:00 PM
    Why haven't the owners of this dog been charged? They are responsible for Misti's murder.
  • by chili on Dec 18, 2011 at 07:16 AM
    be for real, 4487 died in 10 yrs of war, 3081 died in 1 yr from driving while texting. how many died as the result of an attack by a pitbull? your chances of coming in contact with a dangerous pitbull is very slim, but you take your chances with texting drivers every day.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 12, 2011 at 04:17 PM
    the real problem with pits is they are popular with the type of people who are too irresponsible to be owning any kind of animal.
    • reply
      by jennifer on Mar 23, 2012 at 09:00 PM in reply to
      true, very true!!
  • by John Winston on Dec 12, 2011 at 03:43 AM
    20th Pit Bull DBRF in the great dogfighting state of Georgia since 1980. http://www.fatalpitbullattacks.com/index.php *Also, it must be noted that This was a breeding operation, just makin' a little tax free cash pumping out mankillers!
  • by Uniyum Location: Valdosta on Dec 11, 2011 at 02:48 PM
    If a single doctor's word is to hold equal weight with the Centers for Disease Control, (good ownership key, yet 70% of dog mauling deaths) then does this suggest that %70 of Pit Bull owners are bad/negligent? Owners must be required to carry a lot of extra insurance and buy a special license. This might cut down on the (Dr. Sosa's implication) majority of Pit Bull owners.
  • by ConservativeHippie on Dec 11, 2011 at 02:19 AM
    "he never showed aggression before," Should never be a valid excuse for an irresponsible dog owner not controlling their animal.
  • by Uniyum Location: Valdosta on Dec 10, 2011 at 08:52 PM
    Does it seem established that Pit Bull-type dogs can be dangerous and unpredictable, to a greater extent than most other breeds? The CDC's last study on dog-on-human deaths tell one part of the story, and animal behavioral scientists tell another part. Pits were bred to conceal their intentions (acting friendly and then ripping your face off), to be "game"- fighting to the death - , to not let go, and to be resistant to pain when fighting. Sure, not every Pit Bull-type dog will turn and kill/maim, but whether it's one out of every 10,000 or 100,000 Pits that kill/maim, are you a responsible person to risk family and friends in the event your dog turns out to be that one? Maiming doesn't always even make the news.
  • by Confused Location: FL on Dec 10, 2011 at 03:33 PM
    What I dont understand is all of you people saying that this woman that was killed by this dog had to provoke the dog.That dogs only attack when provoked. Well what could she have possibly done for this dog to break off from a chain and attack and kill her? She was a 40 year old woman that appeared to have enough sense not to "provoke" the dog. They were neighbors so do you all think this dog had never seen this woman before or that this dog was not familiar with her at all? Wasn't she just walking through the yard? What could she have possibly done to "provoke" this dog?? Please let me know, please educate me and help me to understand this all of you pitt bull owners!!
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 10, 2011 at 06:54 PM in reply to Confused
      "provoked" dog attack doesn't just mean that someone teased or tried harm te dog, it also means entering someone elses property or home with knowledge of a dangerous animal living there, especially if the homeowner isn't aware of it.
      • reply
        by God Bless America on Dec 11, 2011 at 07:48 AM in reply to Anonymous
        Does that mean a delivery person has to die to deliver a package to you? Pit Bulls should be outlawed along with their owners.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Dec 11, 2011 at 07:41 PM in reply to God Bless America
          Yes actually it does. Believe or not, about a year ago , I was having trouble with my Internet service, so I called my provider and setup a date and time for the repair man to come out to my house, but I informed him to call me prior to coming out because I owned 3 pittbull dogs and they may bite . Well the repair man forgot to call and when he arrived , he got out of his van even after seeing my 3 dogs barking at him and he got bit. Animal control came out, spoke to the repair man and spoke to me and determined it to be a provoked dog attack, because he came onto my property at his own risk and got bit. If you don't believe me, look up the laws on it.
        • reply
          by Wow on Dec 14, 2011 at 08:33 PM in reply to God Bless America
          People! Any dog is dangerous and I can understand what anonymous is saying. Quit trying to over look the point. ANY dog is dangerous. Bottom line......thank you
      • reply
        by God Bless America on Dec 12, 2011 at 05:18 AM in reply to Anonymous
        if you knew the technician was coming, as a decent human being, you should have had your dogs penned up. The technician has a busy day, making his rounds, while you sit near your phone. Probably the pit bulls are taking the brunt because of stupidty, because of people like you. He should have maced the hell out of them dogs.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Dec 12, 2011 at 05:33 PM in reply to God Bless America
          I have a fenced in yard with beware of dog signs every where and a gate that remains closed at all times. Not only did the repair man forget to call but came earlier then expected aswell. Oviously animal control agreed or my dogs would have went to the pound. You oviously have been brain washed by the media. Ask any vet or animal control officer , and they will tell you all dogs are unpredictable and pittbulls aren't the only breed of dog that has seriously bitten a person.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Dec 13, 2011 at 05:30 PM in reply to God Bless America
          Anonymous...Bottom line...You knew the technician was coming. You are wrong. The animal control officer is wrong. all he does is catch dogs.
      • reply
        by shelly on Mar 23, 2012 at 04:45 PM in reply to Anonymous
        she entered this home on a daily basis and the dog hisself was very aware and protective over the same peson it killed. she went to the house daily with no one home she has even stayed in the same room with the dog sleeping at her feet protecting her so that i could not get in. the dog may have been provoked but not by the one it killed. a dog does not take to someone and then all of a sudden act like it does not know them. at the accident she was within crawling distance of the mobile home yet no one heard her cries and screams .......... yeah she had been injuried but when you are fighting for your life you have more strngth and will power than you can imagine. 5 steps out the front door is about this distance it took place. if she can handle her husband pushing her down and managing to get up everytime then why wouldnt she have the strngth to put up a fight to at least make a direction to the front door that she had just come out of.
    • reply
      by Uniyum on Dec 10, 2011 at 08:33 PM in reply to Confused
      Pit-type dogs are known for turning on family members and killing/maiming for no apparent reason. Not every Pit (most won't) is going to do this, which is why owning one is a roll of the dice. Most of these comments only mention killing, neglecting the maiming incidents.
    • reply
      by MissinAuntMisti on Apr 26, 2012 at 06:39 AM in reply to Confused
      This dog was not on a chain AT ALL!!!!! I dont know where ppl are gettin this from but he was not. He was protective over her and slept in the bed numorus times with her. To us there is more to it than what is being told. They should be investigagting the dog owner NOT Bobby Jo.
  • by anonymous Location: lowndes on Dec 10, 2011 at 01:54 PM
    i feel for this woman and her family,praying for them.but what i dont see is why so many people talk so harshly of the breed of pitbulls.alot of pittbuls are drug dogs(police dogs),search and rescue dogs and some of the smartest/famous people ever owned pitts so the ones saying these people are idiots,that just makes you look really stupid.hellen kellers dog was a pitbull even petey off of little rascalls was a pittbull.thomis edison,vin desiel,racheal ray,jennifer lopez,anthony robins,PINK,Stephany Kramer, Ashley Olsen, Linda Blair, Steve Irwin, Mo Vaughn, Amy Jo Johnson, Kelli Williams, Orlando Bloom,Usher, Veronica Mars, Jessica Alba,Jesse James,Madonna, Brad Pitt,Ted Roosevelt,and Robert Furguson all own/owned pitbulls and so did a few presidents.
    • reply
      by Buddy on Dec 10, 2011 at 02:49 PM in reply to anonymous
      You forgot to mention "Santa Claus", You must be the smartest man in the world. WOW, I'm impressed!!!!!!!!
      • reply
        by anonymous on Dec 10, 2011 at 03:18 PM in reply to Buddy
        just keep making yourself look imature and pea brained..by the way what you said makes no sence what so ever.these people are real.i dont remember hellen keller being a fake person or thomas edison or any of our presidents.also if they can not follow a command than how was one trained for a movie or one trained for a deaf and blind woman or trained to find drugs or find lost people?wow I think I would rather beleive the facts than peoples opinions,especially someone thats as close minded as you.
        • reply
          by Buddy on Dec 11, 2011 at 07:49 AM in reply to anonymous
          The Family that has lost a loved one because of "pea Brained close minded "people that defends a Brain dead DOG the majority of people are afraid of knows you people have lived in the backwoods too long and are in dire need of education.
        • reply
          by anonymous on Dec 12, 2011 at 12:22 PM in reply to anonymous
          aw did I hit a wittle nerve haha??buddy the woman that died has owned pitbulls and loved the breed and so does the family so if you are so for taking up for the ones who have lost why dont you just stop talking.the family and woman that passed cared for pitts and knows any dog can go crazy and its even been said the woman that's life was taken away,if she was here to read these comments you have said about pitts she would be angry.its just like the majority of people prison for murder and other things such as that are african american,does that mean they are all bad people and should be killed?NO it does not,everybody and every animal is different,you cant blame all for what a few did.
      • reply
        by OMG on Dec 10, 2011 at 03:46 PM in reply to Buddy
        are you serious!! To much time on your hands anonymous!!
        • reply
          by jbl on Dec 10, 2011 at 04:41 PM in reply to OMG
          I agree!i think anonymous has a good point and yes they must have alot of time on there hands but this buddy guy must as well,if you look at all the comments he has posted on most of them if it says anything good about pitts.fights on the internet are not cool just to let yall know,its pretty petty.i think anonymous is crazy but smarter but this buddy guy is crazy and doesnt know much he just wants something to waste his time with.
    • reply
      by God Bless America on Dec 10, 2011 at 05:21 PM in reply to anonymous
      Lots of people own pit bulls, lot of people are mauled and killed by pit bulls. What is your point? They are a dangerous breed, and there is no doubt about that.
      • reply
        by anonymous on Dec 11, 2011 at 08:08 AM in reply to God Bless America
        pitts are not the only breed,lots of people own small breeds and lots of small breeds have killed small babys..they are alll animals,they all go crazy whats yoour point?
        • reply
          by God Bless America on Dec 11, 2011 at 01:55 PM in reply to anonymous
          The point is...never mind..can't talk to a wall. By the way, where do you get your info..from MAD magazine?
        • reply
          by God Bless Amercia on Dec 11, 2011 at 04:36 PM in reply to anonymous
          Its funny us that have no clue what we are talking about get to the point where we have no clue what to say when someone else comes with the facts(something thats not an opinion)--saying pitts are a dangerous breed is an opinion,saying small babys were killed by small breed dogs is a fact.it would be nice if people would realize ALL animals are a risk to have not just one certain breed of dog and quit being so stupid and hard headed.ONCE again...they are ANIMALS!I had a friend that had to have stitches on his head because of a daschund that was completely sweet and had never bit.they are all crazy.
        • reply
          by God Bless America on Dec 11, 2011 at 06:33 PM in reply to anonymous
          sneaky ,,using my name ..typical PM. Pit bulls are dangerous and useless.
        • reply
          by anonymous on Dec 12, 2011 at 09:22 AM in reply to anonymous
          they are not useless,drug dogs and search and rescue dogs are NOT useless!thankyou,its not like you would know.you have never owned one obviously so your OPINION does not matter.people that have NEVER owned a pitt have no clue what they are talking about (they just know what they have heard(GOSSIP)and its very obvious.there are many missing children and adults that have been found as well as many USELESS smuggled in drugs, either way this is my last post because its just too obvious you have no idea what your talking about and just want to argue your opinion about a breed of dog that you dont like.
    • reply
      by anonymous on Dec 21, 2011 at 06:41 AM in reply to anonymous
      Helen Keller owned an Akita, not a pit bull. and Rachel Ray had to have her pit euthanized because it bit several people. I don't know off-hand about the others.
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