Victim: Adult, Pet
Location: My enclosed front yard, California
Year of attack: 2021
Tell us about the attack
I was playing with my 6-month-old lab puppy in the front yard. This yard is completely enclosed by a brick wall and a gate. We were playing in the sprinkler when a neighbor walked by and his pit bull jumped up on the wall. We went over to say hello and his pit bull bit my dog’s face and tried to drag it over the wall. The pit bull owner did nothing as I spent 3 to 4 minutes defending my puppy and screaming and pleading with him to help. The pit bull also bit me and his owner once we got it off my puppy. The pit bull owner told me “don’t call the cops and don’t go to the hospital or vet.” I got medical attention for myself and my dog regardless, and reported the attack to animal control and nothing happened. He only got a warning. The man refused to pay our bills. The vet said the nature of the attack was vicious and nearly fatal.
How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
We are left traumatized and scarred physically. It has made going to the park or taking my dog out for a walk something that we fear. If I’m not safe in my own yard behind a brick wall then I don’t know where I can feel safe. I grew up in this house my entire life and spent my childhood playing in that yard. My mom was the neighborhood babysitter and we always felt safe in our own yard. I will never feel safe in my own yard ever again. Every time I see a pit bull my heart pounds and I feel like I’m going to pass out. My puppy is also terrified of pit bulls now and we both have had a hard time trying to get back to life as we knew it. I have anxiety and flashbacks all the time.
I have a photo of the pit bull owner’s driver’s license and sent him my bills and contacted him many times. He refuses to pay for anything or take any responsibility. I even recorded one of our phone calls where he admits what happened and then says that he refuses to take any responsibility.
What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
Trying to get this pit bull to release my puppy was like trying to stop a bear. This thing was not like a dog but rather something so much stronger. The only thing that got it off was once I started punching its eyes. I thought to try shark tactics on a dog and that was the only thing that saved my puppy. I had never experienced a pit bull attack in my life prior to this incident. I was previously one of those people who said about pit bulls: “it’s not the breed it’s just the owner.” I know the opposite now. A pit bull isn’t comparable to a typical canine when it attacks. This pit bull was leashed and it bit all three of us. A pit bull on a leash is an illusion of security. Are you comfortable with a bear walking down the street as long as it’s on a leash?