Screen / storm door

Unprovoked pit bull attack results in $100,000 medical bill for victim

Name: R.S.
Victim: Adult
Location: Public sidewalk in front of owner’s house, Florida
Year of attack: 2020

Tell us about the attack

I was biking in my neighborhood with a friend. While we were biking, she wanted to stop at a house of someone she knew that was just moving into the neighborhood. My friend knocked on the storm door while I waited out on the sidewalk by the bikes. When the door was opened, two dogs came out suddenly. One of them, an American Bully, ran around my 5 foot 10 inches friend at the door towards me (just 5 feet and 100 pounds) on the sidewalk, launching himself into the air and going right for my throat. The force of the attack knocked me backwards. I rolled on to my stomach to grab my now exposed trachea and the pit bull came around and chewed on the entire side of my face. The boyfriend of the pit bull owner came and pulled the pit bull off of me or I probably would be dead.

I would be glad to show photos of the attack, though they are very graphic.

How has your life changed as a result of the attack?

I came close to being killed and I have facial scars.

Previously, I was never afraid of any dog. I would pet any dog, anywhere, anytime without a single thought that I could be harmed. And, I was certainly completely naive to the danger of pit breeds. I am now horrified by the stories that are emerging daily about innocent pets, children and adults who are attacked and maimed or killed because of the negligence of pit owners. I refuse to be anywhere near a pit.

Legal Consequences

Animal control took the pit bull. The owner requested that it be put down, so it was euthanized.

My medical costs were $100,000. My health insurance paid $85K. The pit bull owner voluntarily agreed to pay me back for my out-of-pocket medical expenses which were $15k. I am still owed several thousand dollars on that.

The owner did not have insurance coverage for the dog (which is not required in Florida), and I can’t sue because Florida doesn’t allow for liens against homestead or pension.

What would you like people to know as a result of your attack?
Pits are REACTIVE and can attack at any time for any reason with no provocation at all. I was standing on a sidewalk and he RAN AROUND someone to get at me. He may have seen me as a child owing to my slight build. People think it won’t happen with their pit, they’ve owned it since it was a pup, but then, years later, it attacks them or someone else — and they are shocked. They thought they were right about pits and everyone else was wrong. A pit is nothing but an accident waiting to happen.