Pea the Mighty Toy Poodle

Name: Penny S.
Victim: Pet
Location: My front yard, Ohio
Year of attack: 2015

Tell us about the attack
All of my animals are rescues, a motley bunch. I adopted Pea when he was 9, a senior toy poodle. He came in and took over. He was the smallest and oldest, but that didn’t matter, he was in charge. My neighbor had a pit bull that wanted to fight my son’s lab, Pea’s accepted pack member. One morning I was filling the birdbath in the backyard, when the dogs took off around the side of the house, barking. Thinking they were going to chase a cat into the woods, I followed. As I came around the corner, I heard an animal shriek. The neighbor’s dog was shaking Pea by the front leg. Pea had jumped between the lab and the pit, to save his pack member. When the dog saw me, he dropped Pea and ran. Pea survived, with a broken jaw and radial leg fracture. Still pack leader, he was 14 then.

How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
I am very vigilant in restricting pit bulls on my property. I’ve lost friends who believe I’m a dog racist. I had a tenant who had an illegal pit bull, I made him get rid of it. He posted my name and address online, I received death threats and worse, had to get the sheriff. I’ll never stop speaking out against bully breeds, no matter what happens.

Legal Consequences
The pit bull was gone by the time I got home from the emergency vet, it was a Sunday. They thought I’d demand it be put down. They did pay the vet bill, over time. They moved later, and I heard they took the dog back. It had a habit of running away (not neutered), and even though they lived 15 miles away, once the dog showed up here. The owner came and got it, but eventually it disappeared for good.

What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
These dogs are not like other dogs. They want to fight, no matter how loving they appear. They are dangerous because they look like other dogs. They are unstable. Most times the animal or person they go after is their owner or a member of their owner’s family. This cannot be loved or socialized out of them. They select their victim, and that’s it.