Name: Shannon Squire
Location: Apartment Community Dog Park, Florida
Year of attack: November 2022
Tell us about the attack
My sweet 12 lb. Maltese shih tzu, Janson, had just turned 4. We were in the unleashing area of my apartment’s dog park when a pit bull charged through the gate, grabbing, mauling and shaking Janson to death in front of me.
Pit bulls are banned in my apartment complex. It belonged to a 23-year-old girl who had rescued it after finding it dumped in a parking lot three weeks prior. Her boyfriend grabbed the pit bull by the neck, punching it in the face over and over and it would still not release my dog. This attack went on for several minutes and there was no stopping this pit bull. Neighbors heard screams and came to help, to no avail.
A neighbor rushed me to the vet where Janson was confirmed dead.
My sweet Janson had done nothing to provoke this. He was targeted by this pit bull as prey.
How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
It’s been three weeks and I picture the attack every time I close my eyes or even try and remember happy memories with my dog. Janson was everything to me. I took him everywhere. I am depressed and struggle through every single day. I can’t get through the day without bursting into tears at any time, no matter where I am. My relationship is now suffering because I cannot focus on anything else.
I’m afraid of pit bulls and want to move to a country where they are banned and I’m scared to get another dog and have this happen again.
I feel I can’t even tell Janson’s story because pit bull apologists on social media, in denial about what pit bulls are capable of, viciously threaten you for speaking up and telling your story.
The pit bull owner was told by the leasing office to remove the dog from the apartment complex but faced no other consequence. I’ve spoken to police officers and four lawyers who say there is nothing I can do aside from spending hundreds of dollars bringing the owner to small claims court to try to sue for financial replacement of my dog.
The pit bull owner claims she took the pit bull to be put down but there’s no way of confirming and the leasing office told me it’s “nobody’s business” as long as they’ve confirmed the pit bull is gone. She’s been rude and callous and washes her hands of any responsibility, claiming she is not at fault since she “didn’t command her pit bull to attack” Janson.
There isn’t a single law in Florida to hold this person accountable, even after she deliberately introduced an aggressive breed which she had no background knowledge of into an apartment community where they are banned.
What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
Pit bulls are dangerous, unpredictable animals. Rules banning them in certain housing communities exist for a reason but pit bull owners just don’t care.
This could happen to anyone. An adult, a child, or another dog, but it seems there will be no real consequences for pit bull owners.
We need to listen to victims of pit bulls, look at statistics, and introduce laws that hold real legal ramifications for owners of pit bulls. Most renters and homeowners insurance policies don’t cover these breeds for a reason. Laws forbid you from driving a car that doesn’t have insurance. Why are there no laws that forbid people from leaving their house with this aggressive breed?