Name: Airi Ikeda
Victim: Adult, Pet
Location: on street, California
Year of attack: 2021
Tell us about the attack
I was standing and waiting for the red light with my dog (named Tanu, Pomeranian 6 years old). A guy was riding a bicycle with a pit bull mix beside him on leash, heading slowly across the signal even though it was still a red light and a car was across the road waiting for the light to change. When the pit bull caught sight of Tanu, the animal began charging towards him. The pit bull owner couldn’t keep his balance on the bicycle with the straining pit bull, so he released the leash from his hand. I was going to pick Tanu up but Tanu was already bitten. I tried to help Tanu and open the pit bull’s mouth and the pit bull bit me as well.
How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
He was diagnosed with a damaged nerve, lower body paralyzed, fractured backbone, and was in really serious condition so that even his very life was in danger. The veterinarian suggested two surgery options for the backbone but can’t get back the nerve system so he can’t walk anymore without a wheelchair, is paralyzed so he can’t even urinate, or, put him to sleep. A surgery was successful and Tanu’s life is stable except paralyzed, but still hospitalized for recovery so his kidney can work well. He can’t walk with four legs anymore. My right index finger can’t bend. I got a panic attack for the first time, mentally broken. I couldn’t breathe and stop crying. I am traumatized.
I didn’t have time to talk with the pit bull owner because I wanted to go straight to an animal emergency hospital. My number one priority was Tanu’s life. A friend of mine took their photo and spread his photo on social networks. Then I got information that the guy is homeless. I did the police report and reported it to animal control. Hopefully, they can find the homeless guy and the pit bull. I can’t feel relieved until I hear they capture the pit bull.
What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
I am a dog lover but I can’t forgive the guy and his pit bull. Dogs are members of the family, so why can’t we use an ambulance when the dog is suffering and life in danger? When it happened, a friend was close so he helped me and drove me to an animal hospital but if I was alone, how could I drive with bloody injured hands and being in such an upset state? I will also suggest that people should have dog insurance. The vet charged me over thirty thousand to save my dog’s life. I can’t even claim compensation for damage from the homeless.
Someone who can’t control their dog especially aggressive pit bulls, shouldn’t have a dog. Nobody knows what can happen. When walking with your dog if you see a pit bull, please hold your dog up even if it looks bad to the opponent. Always anticipate danger before it’s too late.