Kenneth M. Phillips’ Comments On Inside Edition About Ving Rhames’ Dogs

Inside Edition videoed an interview of me today, focusing on Ving Rhames’ dogs. The actor owns at least 4 dogs. One or more played a role in the death of Jacob Adams, 40 (see post, below). Whether Adams died of a mauling or a heart attack is still under investigation.

Regardless of the cause of Adams’ death, I feel that Rhames is not a responsible dog owner — not necessarily a law violator, and probably not even a tortfeasor, but irresponsible nevertheless. My opinion is based upon what we already know about the dogs at Rhames’ house. He acquired 4 or more large, powerful dogs. These were kept at his residence, in a residential section of a crowded city. Rhames himself is required to travel as part of his occupation, so he is not always there to control his dogs. 

He unwittingly created an accident waiting to happen. Four or more dogs (even small, docile dogs) present increased risk of violence when kept together, because of the pack mentality. Rhames’ dogs were large and powerful, making the potential for trouble worse. This being a residential area, there is a possibility that the dogs will encounter a child retrieving a ball or a senior citizen taking a walk — kids and the elderly are the ones who get hurt the most by dogs. Finally, these large, powerful dogs might be wonderful toward Rhames but he is engaged in work that takes him away for stretches of time, leaving the dogs without their master.

I am disturbed by the report in People Magazine that Rhames believes that the Los Angeles City Coroner told him that his dogs did not contribute to Adams’ death. (Click here to read the article in People.) In fact, the coroner is still investigating and has not prepared a final report — so it is unlikely that Rhames, the person under investigation, would be told anything at all. I would counsel Rhames to make no further public statements about the death, confine his dogs more securely, and get rid of a few of them. After all, he gave away his Golden Globe award, and little statuettes never hurt anybody. 

Watch Inside Edition to see the interview, sometime during the next few days.