Dog park

Dog sitter fights pit bull at dog park to save the dogs in her care

Name: Tracey S.
Victim: Pet
Location: Dog park, California
Year of attack: 2022

Tell us about the attack

I had just put three small dogs that I dog sit for in the dog park and was headed back to my car with one of the three following me. As I opened the dog park gate to exit, an unaccompanied pit bull came out of nowhere, slipped into the park through the partially-open gate, and immediately attacked the small dog (a Yorkie/poodle mix weighing about 20 lb.), seizing it in its maw. Luckily the pit bull had a collar on so I twisted the collar to choke the pit bull as I kicked it in the buttocks repeatedly until it released its victim. I have rheumatoid arthritis and am 64 years old but I fought with everything I had.

I then shoved the pit out the gate using my foot and while still maintaining a chokehold on its throat with the collar I got the gate closed.

I called 911 who refused to send help for me. They put me through to animal control who did not pick up the phone, so I called the non-emergency police phone number several times. But, they also would not help me, saying it was an animal control problem. I was stranded in the dog park for almost two hours, trapped there by the pit bull outside the gate, because police would not come and animal control was busy.

My friends eventually came with a shovel and pepper spray and drove the pit bull away from the gate so I and the three small dogs could get back to my car and my own dog.

How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
I survived and so did the dogs in my care but I am in a lot of pain. I can’t even lift my right arm.

I hope my physical pain goes away eventually because I had too much pain to begin with.

Legal Consequences
Animal control showed up only after my friends rescued me and they took the pit bull into custody. That is all I know, and I only know that because a friend stayed around and helped the animal control officer capture the pit bull and then told me.

We have a huge stray dog problem in this town of Long Beach California and the animal control services are overwhelmed and low staffed since the pandemic.

What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?

Thank God the pit bull had a collar on. I don’t think I would have gotten it to release the small dog if I could not have choked it. People need to carry something for protection against pit bulls, whether a cane or pepper spray or stun gun, etc. And never pick up a small dog when you see a big dog you are afraid of. * I had NOT done that but if I would have it would only have made it worse. Trust me.