Location: On sidewalk in front of my home, Illinois
Year of attack: 2020
Tell us about the attack
I was taking an after-dinner walk. My neighbors from down the street were walking a pit bull on a leash. I moved off the sidewalk to let them pass. They stopped to say hello, but I kept my distance. Just as they said not to be afraid of their pit bull because it was the most gentile loving pet ever, it leapt with no sound or warning and seized my arm in its maw.
It took a minute to pull the pit bull off my arm, revealing a bloody mess of now-exposed raw muscle. The man was now holding the pit bull by the collar, but it was too strong for him: it jumped again and bit down on my upper lip and the bottom of my chin.
When I got to the hospital I was told how lucky I was that they could repair my lips and chin and that I wouldn’t lose them. However, a horrible bacterial infection settled into my arm muscle and it took many months of antibiotics to help heal the swelling and pain.
How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
I grew up with labs and always had a dog. I am now terrified of dogs.
I occasionally still experience residual pain in my wrist.
Since the pit bull belonged to their daughter who lived an hour away in the city of Chicago, and she took it back there right away, nothing was done with it. My county said they couldn’t do anything, either.
The pit bull owning family would not give me proof of the pit bull having had vaccines. Their homeowners’ insurance paid my hospital bills and plastic surgery bill. I was compensated $10,000 for pain and suffering. Since I care for my 92-year-old mother and am not working they said that’s all they could do for me.
What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
Pit bulls were bred to fight and they are fighters. They clamp their jaws stubbornly and it is hard to get them to release. They are aggressive and don’t stop.