Victim: Adult, Pet
Location: East Palisades Trail at the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta, Georgia
Year of attack: 2021
Tell us about the attack
Last Monday morning around 8AM, my 20-pound Jack Russell terrier (who was on a leash) and I were attacked by a gray pit bull named Bella (who was not on a leash) on the East Palisades Trail at the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta. I thought we were going to die when it happened. It was a large type of pit bull. I had already picked up my dog and was trying to shelter her in my arms, when the pit bull knocked us both to the ground and grabbed my dog’s foot. The pit bull was on top of us. The owner was able to pull her off.
How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
My dog was bitten. Took her to the emergency vet and I think she will be OK. I’ve hiked that trail for 35 years but won’t go again until I have some protection. I’m thinking of ordering a stun gun walking stick. Have already ordered a stun pen and citronella dog repellent spray.
I told the pit bull owner it was against the law for her animal to be off leash on this trail. And why would she have a pit bull, of all dogs, off leash? She replied that many people have their dogs off leash here and she suggested this might not be the best place for me to walk my dog. 30 minutes later, we ran into them again and pit bull was still off leash. She kept the pit bull under control and we were not as close this time.
What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
Carry something to defend yourself. This is the reason it’s against the law to have your dog off leash anywhere – on any trail – even in the water – within the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. I later call the Ranger. He said there was nothing he could do since I didn’t have any way to identify the owner. He said it is a problem and people seem to think it’s OK to have dogs off leash here – and that they share that misinformation on social media. He said he will request that Rangers patrol the area more often but they have limited Rangers.