Location: Home Depot Parking Lot, Georgia
Year of attack: 2013
Tell us about the attack
A friend met me at Home Depot to help me purchase something that didn’t fit in my own car. She brought her “sweet” pit bull whom I was familiar with. As we stood outside of her car talking, he was sitting on the backseat with the window halfway rolled down. She made a comment about how cute he looked, so interested in our conversation. I turned my head towards the vehicle and he lunged through the opened window at my face. I immediately felt something wet on my face. I thought it was maybe slobber but then she started looking around on the ground. When I asked her what she was looking for, she said “your nose”. I lost 90% of my nose, basically all of the cartilage.
How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
it’s been eight years since the attack, and I just had my 16th reconstruction surgery a month ago. I’ve spent the last eight years trying to look normal again, trying to live my life, and I think I’ve done pretty well considering. Most days I accept what I see when I look in the mirror, but some days seeing the giant scar on my forehead or my misshapen nose reminds me that I don’t look “normal”. I know that I’ve been lucky in my recovery and have had access to the best surgeons who have helped me get my life back. But I still suffer from PTSD when I see pit bulls, especially ones that look aggressive or are off of their leash. As if the physical and social consequences weren’t enough, the financial impact has been devastating. I am still paying off that medical debt from that pit bull attack years ago.
The pit bull was put down that same day. My friend said it was her choice.
In Georgia, the law requires that for a dog owner to be held accountable, the owner has to have known of the dog’s aggression or behavioral issues beforehand. Many of the attorneys that I spoke with told me there was nothing they could do because the dog had reputedly never attacked anyone before.
Finally an attorney pulled the animal control report and found that the pit bull had in fact bitten someone before. So I had in fact been its second victim.
Her homeowner’s insurance paid out her max policy but sadly that barely put a dent in the amount of money I would eventually pay for medical bills.
What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
I believe that pit bulls are animals acting as animals and for any human to think they can out “love out” or “train out” the instinct of pit bulls is fooling themselves and putting the rest of us at risk. Those of us that choose to not own pit bulls should not be put at risk for doing day-to-day things such as going for a walk or jog or visiting a friend’s house or walking home from school. It’s funny that pit bull advocates don’t want to blame the animal for being bad but then also don’t want to take responsibility for not controlling it. The fact of the matter is pit bulls should not be pets. There are so many great breeds of dogs for pets: why take the risk with a ticking time bomb?