Pit bull in muzzle

Pit bulls: it’s not the owner, it’s genetics

Name: Hope
Victim: Adult
Location: In my front yard, British Columbia
Year of attack: 1985

Tell us about the attack

I was entering my front yard. There was no fence between my yard and that of my neighbour’s yard. Two pit bulls came rushing down the neighbour’s front steps and came violently charging, barking and snapping their jaws at me.

The owner came running over to pull his pit bulls back. He muttered that the pit bulls had never done that before.

I was so scared. I staggered up my front steps and couldn’t even remember how to get my key out of my purse. I rang the buzzer and my boyfriend opened the door. I had fallen to my hands and knees and was trying to catch my breath. My heart was beating so hard that I told my boyfriend I was scared I was dying. He called 911 and the paramedics came. I told them I was afraid I was gonna have a heart attack. The paramedics told me that it’s possible to be scared to death. I was 25 & could have died!

How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
I’ve experienced the strength of pit bulls and their strength goes far beyond what I feel comfortable with. I can’t believe that animals with that kind of strength and viciousness are even allowed to be kept as pets in our communities. I see more and more pit bulls every year. I’m very worried. I won’t even own a dog because I’m afraid to go to a dog park where there might be pit bulls and other pit bull crosses. It’s even made me afraid of any strong dogs. I follow the National Pit Bull  Victim Awareness page because I hope that somehow the laws will get changed and ban these animals everywhere. I wish I knew what I could personally do to help get laws changed.

Legal Consequences
Because I was young and frightened and the dogs did not “visibly” injure me, it never occurred to me to report it. I would now! I imagine a lot of people don’t report minor incidents. It didn’t feel minor to me, and it turns out, it wasn’t, as the trauma has lasted a lifetime.

What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
I want people to stop saying that it’s the fault of the owners. I want people to realize that it doesn’t matter who the owners of pit bulls are: these animals are genetically programmed to attack. They are aware of how strong they are. They bite and rip. Even if you see a pit playing with a tug-of-war rope, it won’t let go no matter what. And that’s how it would treat your body, or your baby’s body or your elderly grandparent or your other pets. We as humans have a tendency to naturally love animals, but pit bulls destroy peoples lives! If you don’t get killed by them you can have your face ripped off and have to live with that! All so that others can keep vicious animals as pets. It makes no sense and they should be banned!