Pit Bull Attack

Feb. 20, 2012

Dirk and I set out down the road with Maeve, our Aussie, on a leash, me with my cane, for our daily walk. I crossed the street to put a neighbor’s (call her “A.M.”) hat in her mailbox. A.M. had fed our sheep one day last week and had left it behind. At the same time, another neighbor (call him “C.T.”) opened his door to let his dogs out, not knowing I was standing by the mailbox. I stopped and reached out to scratch the ears of the C.T.’s Aussie who bounded to meet me. Suddenly I experienced severe pain and a shove from behind my good knee. I screamed and whirled around to see what hit me, my cane in hand, and a neighbor’s (call him “B.C.”) brindle put bull backed off, then turned and ran down to her house, two driveways away. Blood ran down my leg filling my shoe and puddling on the ground. Dirk was across the street in rush hour traffic, unable to do anything but yell “Watch Out!”, but I couldn’t hear that with all the cars going by. When he could get across the street I was bending over, compressing the wounds with my hand. He pulled out his handkerchief and I put that against the skin, and held on tight. There were 3 deep cuts on the inner side of my good knee, the opposite leg from the hip operation. I waited, bent over pressing hard on the “bandage,” while he got the car, some paper towels, duct tape to compress it, and a bottle of peroxide, and we drove to a local urgent care. I called the B.C. to let him know what his dog had done, and learned that she was up on her rabies shots, at least. He said he’d surrender the dog.

I’m taking a heavy antibiotic, lots of “live” yogurt for my rumbling tummy, and praying my 2 mo. old hip replacement will not get infected from these three puncture wounds. Since they bled a great deal, the wounds had a good rinse immediately… The ice on the leg actually helps with pain so I don’t have to take pills for it now, although I did last night. Wish me the best…

Three weeks later… The pit bull was put down after 10 days with no sign of rabies. I feel so conflicted. I still am in pain from the deep bite wounds, the grapefruit-sized hematoma is going down gradually, is now the size of an orange, hot and painful. Went to my regular doctor to have the wound checked, they ordered a sonogram, which shows no abscess, fortunately. I feel sad that the B.C.’s pet had to be put down. I feel frustrated with this additional “hit” to my mobility. It’s set me back two more weeks. I’m frustrated with B.C. who doesn’t believe in his responsibility to keep his dog on his own several acres. As a contractor, he could have a fence up in a couple days, with an electric opener, but all these years, always with an aggressive dog, he’s never built the fence. This is his second dog to be picked up by Animal Control for biting someone. The last time, 2 years ago, it was one of the hundreds of bikers who ride this country road. There are small children in this neighborhood, and I tremble to think what that dog would have done to one of them.

A few years ago, his previous pit bull seriously injured my dog when A.M. was taking care of her while we were away. This pit bull also fought with  A.M.’s dog and injured her severely enough to have her to the vet, also. B.C. took no responsibility for the vet bills either time. C.T.‘s wife is afraid to come out of her house when she sees that dog in her yard. No one wanted to report the good neighbor to Animal Control, so I got bitten.

March 15, 2012

Another neighbor, (“B.D.”), called my husband to ask what that dog was doing roaming the neighborhood again when she thought Animal Control had put it down. Three days later, I also saw it–well, a twin to the one that had bitten me–in B.D.’s yard across the street, where there are small children. B.C.’s grandson had had this dog in an apartment complex that changed the rules and said no pit bulls were allowed, so he passed that one on to his grandfather within two weeks of my attack. B.C. also let this dog run, as he had the previous pit bull.

I called Animal Control, to ask what to do in this situation.Our instructions: take a picture with time/date on it each time we see that dog anywhere not in its own driveway, call the sheriff, and a citation will be delivered. Animal Control called B.C. to let him know this was going to be the procedure. So far, so good. I have not seen the dog out there again. He’s free to have the dog, and I’m free to walk a public road without fear of attack by it.

When we first moved out to the country, the road beyond our house was not paved for three miles, protecting us from through traffic, and we could let our dogs out to roam without offending anyone. But no one had a pit bull. Times have changed, and in 22 years, now the roads are paved, the speed limit in front of our house has been posted as 45 MPH, down from the previous 55 MPH (not that it’s enforced–it isn’t) and huge log trucks, cement mixers, tractor trailers, fire trucks, tank trucks and rush hour traffic rumble by at high speeds taking a short-cut from Holly Springs to US 1. Anyone with a dog they care for keeps it in their yard. We have mesh electric sheep fencing all around the yard to keep our dog in, and the pit bull out. Sometimes we bring our Aussie to play with other dogs in the neighborhood, in their yards, not in the road. I like to have our neighbors as friends, and B.C. has helped us countless times with construction of useful things at home, like the ramp for Dirk, coming home from the hospital with his broken hip. Overnight the ramp materialized so he could use it to get in the house.

B.C. has offered to pay any medical bills left over after insurance, and I’ll accept that. But each time I talk with him I’ll ask whether he has his fence up yet. His house is on a flag lot, far from the road, but his unrestrained dog does not know to remain there.

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Filed under community, Compromises, dogs, Health

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