Location: On the road at our campground in Minnesota, Minnesota
Year of attack: 2018
Tell us about the attack
July 5, 2018 changed our family forever. Our beloved Papillon Alfie, 13 years young, and I had just started out on a walk on that beautiful summer day. There were new camper neighbors across the street who had a dog, a neighbor told me it wasn’t friendly, so we warned the grandkids to stay away from it. Out of nowhere, we were attacked from behind. The pit bull-lab mix had torn loose and come after Alfie, for reasons we’ll never know. It tore our Alfie to bits, and he died within minutes. My grandkids witnessed the attack. We are all still suffering the effects of the attack.
I’ll never forget meeting his eyes during the attack and seeing confusion and pain and not being able to help him or save him. I don’t think I’ll ever forget or get over that.
How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
I never liked pit bulls from what I’d heard about them and seen, but I was not aware of their history of fatal attacks. I did a lot of research after that and was shocked that these killers are allowed to roam free.
I vowed after Alfie’s death to work to not let his death be in vain, but I don’t feel like anything has changed since then. I plunged into pit bull victim advocacy, but have not found a place from which to enact change. I’ve encountered a complicated advocacy, rife with in-fighting and frustration.
My grandkids were traumatized. One said: “Grama, I started to run over and help you but my legs wouldn’t go”. He feels guilty he didn’t do anything. We all suffer PTSD from the trauma of the attack.
The owners of Alfie’s killer were very good about responding appropriately. They voluntarily put the killer down the next day and gave me a compensatory check. I didn’t accept it, as the offer of it meant more than the money. They said they felt lied to by the shelter, which I fought for about 6 months. The “______ ______ Humane Society” is a typical lying shelter. I’d like to be able to say I got them shut down, but I didn’t. They are still adopting pit bulls out to unsuspecting people, like most are. It’s quite frankly a nightmare that this keeps happening!
What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
I had contacted every print and tv media company in my area asking them to run Alfie’s story, but none would, except the small local paper. I guess it wasn’t exciting enough, since it happens 40,000 times a year.
I have met many wonderful, smart, caring, committed people fighting for pit bull victims. Some have become close friends. This advocacy fights a large, well funded pit bull pushing propaganda machine. My thanks to all advocates.