Yorkshire terrier

Innocent happy walk on sunny day proves fatal to Yorkie because of a pit bull

Name: JAS
Victim: Pet
Location: neighborhood street, Maryland
Year of attack: 2022

Tell us about the attack

I have a 17-year-old paraplegic Bichon and a 6-pound Yorkie, Ava. At the start of October 2022, rain had kept us indoors for at least 4 days. It finally stopped on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, so I decided to get the dog stroller for the Bichon out and take us for a walk. The neighborhood loop is a little under a mile. Both dogs were happy to be out in the fresh air and little Ava was keeping up with me on her leash.

We reached a point where two alleys meet across the street we were walking on. I spotted a white year-old American Staffordshire Terrier pit bull on a leash with a middle school girl and her friend. They had been running in the alley and the dog was worked up in play. In four seconds it pulled its leash out of the girl’s hand, raced to us, grabbed and shook Ava, crushed her, and dropped her. The girls were horrified, grabbed the leash and did a pit-and-run with the pit bull. We have not been able to locate the owners.

Ava died immediately.

How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
On the positive side, I have been supported by my neighborhood, made new friends and feel very loved. Ava died on a happy day, but the shock is still with me. The news was posted on the Community Facebook page and on a “Nextdoor” news app. Ava’s death has raised awareness on responsible dog ownership. One person wrote that a lose Yorkie is a nuisance, but a lose pit bull is a tragedy waiting to happen. I have been advised to carry mace. Today an adult male walked his pit bull past my yard and could barely restrain it. Yesterday a couple with a baby walked their pit bull past my house.

Legal Consequences
If I had picked my Yorkie up and been bitten I would have a criminal case against the owner. If Ava had lived, the vet said she would have needed $30,000 worth of surgery only to live the rest of her life in pain and with PTSD.

The dog loving owners in my neighborhood are looking for the pit bull that killed Ava. The police and Animal Control cannot do anything without an address. The owners never should have allowed these girls to be put in the position of losing control of their young pit bull. The girls are also victims. Can they trust this pit when it fully develops into its muscle? Will it kill again, attack even them maybe?

What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
If you own a pit bull, please be a responsible owner and muzzle your animal when off your property.  Genetics are difficult to train out of an animal.

People should not have to be afraid to walk their dogs. But thanks to pit bulls, we now live in a world where some dog owners are arming themselves.