Leg in cast

Pit bull victim’s experiences dismissed

Name: RB
Victim: Adult, Pet
Location: Walking my own dog, Pennsylvania
Year of attack: 2018

Tell us about the attack

The first pit bull attack happened in 2018. I was walking my dog, a small Italian greyhound mix, when I see a large pit bull charging us. It had no collar, and my dog retreated to behind me. I screamed for help, but no one was around. Only having one hand free, and panicking, I continually used my foot to push the pit bull away by its chest. Even then, my inner dog lover wasn’t ready to hurt the pit bull. It kept returning and biting my legs while trying to get at my dog. After 5 minutes, it gave up, and trotted off.

The second incident, in 2022, was largely the same. This time, however, the pit bull had a collar. Unfortunately during the struggle of lifting my harnessed dog (like a terrifying piñata), I wasn’t able to read the collar. The pit bull managed to bit my hand, but not my dog. Again, this one ran off.

How has your life changed as a result of the attack?
I have developed PTSD from these incidents, and often relive the dread and panic of the events. I discuss it regularly with my therapist and practice coping mechanisms for when I even just *see* a pit bull breed on walks with my small dog. I constantly look over my shoulder even at a distance from others walking their pit bulls. If they got loose, that distance means very little. I face constant shame and minimization when discussing the events and my struggles with others, thus hurting the healing process. My fears are mostly centered around the possible injury or death of my own dog. It’s terrifying to think that I would put my life in danger to save my dog, but I would, as only I could possibly prevent her death. My living in fear has improved, but I am a long way from being “healed”.

Legal Consequences
None, both pit bulls were reputedly “unidentified” strays, and I never heard anything regarding their capture after reporting the attacks to the police.

What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
Your instincts in moments of being charged aren’t often correct. I should have been more aggressive with subduing the dogs instead of hoping that they would tire and move on by using stalling tactics. I underestimated the threat involved and only got lucky that both incidents only involved minor injuries to myself.