Location: In a public park, Texas
Year of attack: January 6, 2019
Tell us about the attack
I was walking my dog Arty, a dachshund on Jan. 6, 2019 in the park across the street. We were almost home when suddenly the front door of the house across from us burst open and two pit bulls came charging toward Arty and me! I screamed, No! no! help! help! I was in shock as they pounced on him and proceeded to bite and thrash him viciously! On God, No, No! I kept screaming. I had no weapon. I dropped my phone and fell down hurting my back trying to get Arty away but even with the pit bulls’ owner and neighbors beating and kicking the pits, they held on. Finally, I held Arty in my arms and rushed him to the hospital where he died. I filed an affidavit for vicious dogs, they got a small fine [Ed: fine revenues go to the government, not the victim.] I got nightmares, depression, insomnia, a $2000 vet bill. I was afraid to go outside until they moved.
How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
Now, I always carry a stun baton when walking or running in the park. I’m very afraid of large dogs and any dog that looks like a pit bull. My heart will race and I panic if I see one. I will call animal services if I see an unleashed dog. My husband will accompany me when I walk or run in the park. I cried everyday for a month and was afraid to close my eyes to sleep because I would see the whole horrific event replay in my mind. I still keep thinking of unrealistic ways, Arty and I could have gotten away. If only, I had had a hammer or a golf club or a gun. I still cry when I see his toys. I have gotten a puppy though it has helped me feel less depressed it isn’t the same as having my Arty!
The police said they couldn’t do anything. My most immediate option was to file an affidavit for dangerous dogs through animal control services. They got a fine, neutered the pit bulls, had to put a very small dangerous dog label on their window. I paid for an attorney who attempted to sue them but they were renters and didn’t have home owners insurance. Shortly after, they moved to Austin. I plan to proceed in small claims court once pandemic restrictions are lifted for court cases. The owner never apologized or offered to cover the vet bills.
What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
Always be prepared to be able to protect yourself and your pet from a vicious attack. Take pictures of the dogs that attack and get names and addresses of witnesses. Get involved and try to get an ordinance to prevent pit bulls from living in your city, and from being near a public park or elementary school. Dogs are considered property and because of that designation they cannot be taken away from the owner until they maul or kill a human. Don’t you or your pet be the next victim of a vicious dog attack and murder.