“I heard it on NPR” stems from another underhanded attack by a pit bull advocate on Jeff Borchardt, the father of a young boy mauled to death by his babysitter’s two pit bulls on March 6th in Walworth, Wisconsin. Following the release of Borchardt’s story on July 26, Beyond the Interview, Jeff became involved with the City of Watertown, whose council members are midway through passing a rational and preventive pit bull ordinance.
After a recent public hearing about the ordinance, which Jeff attended, Laurie Hoffmann wrote a disturbing Letter to the Editor of the Watertown Daily Times, rife with untruthful and defamatory statements. It’s a wonder the Times published it all. There was no fact checking either. Hoffmann stated multiple times that both Borchardt and the babysitter were “negligent” without any evidence to back up her claim, the legal definition of libel.
Another deception in Hoffman’s piece, is her claim, “I heard it on NPR.” Hoffmann said, “I also cried when I heard National Public Radio report about the Wisconsin grandmother who put her grandson in a car seat on the floor with her Jack Russell Terrier.” First, no such story ever aired on NPR, according to their website. Second, the only infant killed by a Jack Russell in the U.S. since 1982 was Justin Mozer in 2008 in the State of Kentucky.
The circumstances of Mozer’s death were also entirely different.
You see how this works? National Public Radio, which Hoffmann listed twice in her letter, could not have run a story about a non-existent victim from Wisconsin.1 Hoffmann falsified the “victim” and the “state” in her letter (Check out a Google site search of NPR.org). As one can see from the search result listings, NPR does like to talk about Jack Russell Terriers, but in the context of “Jack Russell Terrier Swallows More than 100 Pennies.”
A bloody fatal dog attack is far less palatable to NPR producers.
Hoffmann used NPR to lend credit to her hazy story and the State of Wisconsin, where Jeff’s son was killed by two pit bulls, to “localize” the infant killing Jack Russell. This combination appears intentional. Like Michelle Serocki of the Brew City Bully Club, who deceitfully tried to lure one of Jeff’s friends with false information in a private Facebook message, Hoffmann’s letter sheds more light on the “organized” pro-pit bull effort.
Laurie Hoffmann also failed to disclose her background in the letter. She is not a mere Watertown resident, but served on the board of the Watertown Humane Society, at least through 2009. Hoffmann is a shining example of why “public policy coming from animal advocates concerning protecting humans from pit bulls is fundamentally flawed.” People like Hoffmann have no place in policy decisions designed to protect the safety of citizens.
Jeff Borchardt’s response to Hoffmann’s letter is below, followed by the babysitter’s response, Susan Iwicki (added Sept 3), and Hoffmann’s printed letter.
Watertown Daily Times
Friday, August 30
Response to Laurie Hoffmann
My name is Jeff Borchardt. I am the father of 14-month old Daxton Borchardt who was brutally killed by two pit bulls owned by a family friend on March 6th. It was a prolonged attack that lasted up to 15 minutes. The dogs crushed my son’s skull and ripped off the entire right side of his face. My friend Susan, was also sent to the hospital due to the injuries she received fighting off her own pit bulls to protect my son’s life.
In Laurie Hoffman’s letter to the editor (August 23, 2013), she made grievous errors about the circumstances of my son’s violent death. Being the father, I spoke at length with the Walworth County detective. Had there been any negligence on anyone’s part, criminal charges would have resulted. Susan’s dogs have never shown any signs of aggression prior to March 6th, both were also spay and neutered. These dogs appeared to be the nicest, friendliest family pets you could ever imagine. The only mistake I made was believing the myth, “It’s not the breed, it’s all how you raise them.”
I have no idea where Hoffmann got the story of the Jack Russell terrier that supposedly killed another Wisconsin boy. It never happened. The only recorded fatality by a Jack Russell in the past decade occurred in Kentucky. That infant was lying on a bed; there was no grandmother present or car seat, his name was Justin Mozer.
The desire of some people like Hoffmann to portray pit bulls as anything other than the ticking time bombs that they are is a great disservice to the public. Dogs selectively bred for hundreds of years for the repulsive sport of dogfighting. When Susan walked into her back yard carrying Dax on that snowy day in March, they viciously attacked them. The result of Susan’s two well-raised pit bulls turning “dead game.” It was a struggle so violent that the metal gate to the dog run was ripped down. Blood covered her backyard along with all of my son’s clothing. In addition to inflicting catastrophic injuries, the dogs stripped my son naked.
My only desire is to honor the memory of my son by sharing the truth about pit bulls with other people who believe the myth that I did. If the truth in this letter can contribute to a safer Watertown, my son will not have died in vain. – Jeff Borchardt
DogsBite.org Facebook Page
September 2, 2013
Response to Laurie Hoffmann
My name is Susan Iwicki. I was caring for my friend’s 14-month-old son, Daxton Borchardt, at my home in Walworth, WI when my own two pet pit bulls attacked me while Dax was in my arms. It was the most violent and bloody 15 minutes of my life. This was not just “a dog bite” incident. This was a vicious and prolonged attack on our flesh. This was a mauling by “normal house pets” that without warning reverted to what their breed was initially bred for: killing. No amount of force I exerted, including gouging at the female’s eye, was enough to stop or even create pause in their attack.
I never saw a single flash of aggression in those dogs since they were brought into my home as puppies three years prior. I truly believed, “It’s all how you raise them.” And they were raised with love, attention, and proper discipline. They were each spayed and neutered as early as the vet allowed and had regular veterinary visits. Both dogs were socialized, played with numerous children and small animals throughout their lives, and loved to cuddle. I was their “mama.” My dogs never experienced a day of neglect or abuse in their existence. The false sense of security is in believing it is the owner, not the breed.
On March 6th of this year, my so-called “babies” attacked their “mama” and ended the life of a real, human baby. A sweet, curious, happy little boy named Dax. In Laurie Hoffmann’s letter to the editor on August 23rd, she refers to the “negligence aspect” of pit bull victims’ stories. If the breed is so safe and truly are “nanny dogs,” how could any owner of a pit be negligent for having a child near their “nanny dog” that was raised well?
I urge you to look at that “friendly” pit bull you or your neighbor owns. Perhaps you believe the myth that I did, “It’s all how you raise them.” It certainly sounds attractive to believe, doesn’t it? It isn’t. It is an outright distortion of reality and one of the most dangerous myths to believe and perpetuate. From 2005 to 2012, pit bulls killed 151 Americans, about one citizen every 19 days. By 2016, pit bulls are projected to maul 275 Americans to death since 1998, the year the CDC stopped tracking fatal dog attacks by breed. – Susan Iwicki
1 In November 2012, in the United Kingdom, an infant was killed by a family Jack Russell. This may be what Hoffmann was referring to. The was not a United States dog bite fatality, much less specific to the State of Wisconsin. Also, NPR, at least according to their website, never reported on this boy’s death (no results for Harry Harper).