Location: Backyard barbecue, Missouri
Year of attack: 4 July 2021
Tell us about the attack
On the 4th of July 2021, neighbors invited us and our grandchildren to join them in their backyard for a barbecue and to let the kids play. We told them we felt uncomfortable around their pit bulls. They stated they would lock the two pit bulls in the house. We said okay provided that the pit bulls were not in the backyard. Our 3-year-old grandson went to jump on a trampoline while our 2-year-old grandson stayed close to me, playing.
Within five minutes of my husband and I being there, someone opened the back door and let the male pit bull out. It made a beeline for my husband and attacked his arm; when it released, it then came after me. It bit my leg, making me fall to ground. As I put my arms over my face and head, it began to maul my left arm and then began ripping the left side of my face. As I turned my head trying to protect it with right arm, my body went into shock. Another pit came out and joined the first one in mauling me.
How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
Seven months later, I am still undergoing plastic surgeries to repair all the damage as well as having bone graft surgeries. I have PTSD, anxiety, and depression. I am terrified of large dogs. I will not go outside our privacy fence without my husband. People don’t understand that I almost died and while in ICU, there were times I wished I had died because of the pain and fear I am left with.
I will not go to friends’ homes anymore in fear of unknown dogs. It is hard to go in public places to get stuff like groceries because people stare at my disfigured face. I have no social life and have been off work since the pit bull attack.
Animal control only took the male pit bull, not the female. The neighbors were fined by the city for having a dangerous dog, but the fine money went to the city, not to me. One week after I returned home from the ICU, the neighbors packed up and just disappeared — to avoid legal action, I assume.
What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
I went from being a huge dog lover to living in fear of large dogs. If you have pit bulls, be smart and ensure the safety of people. If someone asks you to please restrain your pet, please do so. You have no clue why that person is terrified of your pet. You can say your pit bull won’t hurt anyone, but it can if you lose control over it.