Victim: Adult, Child
Location: Hiking on a trail, North Carolina
Year of attack: 2022
Tell us about the attack
My boyfriend and I, along with our one-year-old child, were finishing up our hike at the end of a trail. Suddenly, an aggressive pit bull appeared from around a bend in the trail and immediately charged us.
I’ve never been afraid of dogs. I was even still in denial as it came at us, but seeing its snapping jaws and wide eyes made me realize that this pit bull was going to attack.
In a “paranoid” moment about wildlife attacks a few weeks earlier, I had bought pepper spray, just in case, not even thinking I’d have to use it against a dog, and had it in my pocket.
The pit bull got within five feet of us still running at breakneck speed when I sprayed it.
It didn’t even stop, or yelp in pain. It just changed its path and tried to come at us again from another angle. By then, the owner caught up to it and managed to restrain it as we walked away. Did he apologize? No. He said that his pit “is a big baby and didn’t mean any harm.”
How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
Like I said before, I’ve never been afraid of dogs, but this incident woke me up. I started reading about aggressive behavior in normal dogs vs. pit bulls and realized that the genetics of pit bulls make them completely different from other dogs.
I keep seeing the “blame the owner argument”, but that shows a severe lack of self- accountability and awareness. I refuse to accept such excuses if what someone thinks is a “big baby” can suddenly snap and threaten my family.
From now on, I will be paranoid around every single pit bull and their clueless owners that I cross paths with .
Due to me still being in denial about the “bad owner, good dog” trope at the time, I failed to report this.
What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
Protect yourself. My paranoia saved us an uninsured trip to the hospital at best, and a funeral for me, my boyfriend, or our child at worst.
The average pit bull owner is NOT responsible enough to keep their pit bull from attacking. Letting them off of their leash, around children or other dogs, even leaving them untethered in their backyard for them to get the opportunity to escape IS irresponsible. Their wilful denial of reality is part of the problem.