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July 13, 2010 at 6:25 am #595538
Sorry this is a long post but I thought it was important to provide a lot of details. I’ve been a wsb reader since 2005 and I really care about my community so I wanted to let my West Seattle neighbors know that I was bitten by a pit bull today at a park near Highpoint.
The pit bull started to bark at our family after a few minutes of us arriving at the park so we decided to leave. Two women were sitting with the dog at a bench about 50 feet away (the play structure was between us). We never got very close to the dog and the dog appeared to be restrained somehow but broke loose and charged me and my elementary school age children as we were walking to our car which was just a few feet away. I sensed the pit bull was coming for us and my first thought was to lift my child above my head but my son cried out and instinctively ran. I turned to see a pit bull running full speed and barking at us. I must have said “hey” or something to the dog and fortunately, when the dog was about 5 feet away, he/she turned and charged me. All that was going through my mind was to keep the dog away from my family. I wanted to give my children and wife time to get in the car that was just a few feet away. I was so thankful the dog had come at me and left my son alone. As I was being bitten, I remember looking down at the dog to see if he/she had a collar I could grab onto but I don’t think there was one.
The dog did that typical attack where they grab on and shake the hell out of whatever they are biting.. The dog let go after 15 seconds or so I think because it heard orders from its owner who was playing basketball about 100 feet away to the south of the park. The owner saw what was going on or heard the women who had the dog moments before and ran over to say that it’s ok, it’s ok! And that his dog liked kids. I let him know that his dog just bit me. He didn’t believe me and asked me to show him, so I did. Upon seeing the bite and blood and bruising starting to appear, he struck and swore at the dog and started to walk away… Not even a sorry from him.
My family and I were in shock and just wanted to get our kids away and in a safe place. I didn’t think to order this guy to stay here or ask about whether the dog had his shots, etc.
I had dialed 911 as he was running over and I think he knew this so he fled. I was tended to by the fire department. Seattle Police showed up and animal control to take statements. SFD and SPD were there in about a minute. These professionals are amazing! I am in my 40’s and have thankfully never had to call 911 for an injury to myself. The dog owner was walking west on Morgan/Sylvan as we waited for the 911 response.
Per the Fire Department paramedics, I saw my family doctor and got a tetanus shot, got put on antibiotics, etc. We are shook up but ok.. I am glad that the dog came after me and not my child or both children. Pit bulls have killed or maimed children and adults in the past. I don’t have the supporting links but it has been in the national media over the years.
Watch out for dogs and/or pit bulls! Do not put yourself or your family at risk. In our case, the dog just came after us and I would hate to see this happen to another person or family pet. Don’t assume the handler can control the animal. I can’t stress this enough, don’t think or hope that something wont happen.
After this happened I remembered reading something on this blog within the past 6 months or so about another incident at Highpoint.
The incident occurred at 2:00 PM on July 12 at a park near High Point, the park was near SW Graham and 31st SW.
The dog was dark brown or black and it may have had some white color on it.July 13, 2010 at 6:38 am #699040
I know of one pitbull that matches that description on Morgan and 34th, on the 6500 block (the duplexes on the southeast corner of 34th and Morgan). They leave the dog outside all day long and barely pay any attention to it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had some social issues. Anyways, not saying it’s this dog, but it does match that description and lives in the area.
Sorry this happened to you, I just hope you realize that it’s the owner’s fault, not the dog’s.July 13, 2010 at 12:37 pm #699041
it was smart of you to distract the dog. It’s no fun being bitten but better you than your kids.
I know this dog was a pitbull..
but clearly any dog this owner had would have reacted the same.July 13, 2010 at 3:52 pm #699042
Todd, my husband had a similar experience at Delridge Community Center a couple of months ago. If you would like to talk to him about it, please have the blog administrators give you my e-mail address, and we can arrange something. It would be interesting to try to determine if it’s the same dog.July 13, 2010 at 4:08 pm #699043
I’m so sorry you were attacked. Sounds like a scary situation to be in, especially with the kids being there. Glad to hear you were tended to, and are (mostly) OK.
On a similar note, I’ve been seeing commercials for this show, recently…July 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm #699044
Pitbulls are NOT the problem. Sh*t dog owners ARE.
The dog owners reaction to you being bitten is especially despicable. He should have waited for you until the EMT’s arrived. His dog should have been “quarantined” for biting you. And HE should have been fined for having a dog that has biting behaviors out in a public park where children and/or other dogs might be present. None of what went down was okay, and I’m sorry you had to experience it at all.
But PLEASE don’t make pitbulls the enemy here. ALL dogs can and will bite. I have a huge chunk out of my arm where a Beagle/Basset mix decided to bite me when I was 12-ish. Required a boatload of stitches. Turned out the dog had bitten SEVERAL people before, and yet we were allowed to play in the yard he was mostly confined to. Since that was the 1970’s, my parents didn’t think of suing anyone, it was just a stupid twist of fate really. But I wish people would realize that any dog can be dangerous, especially dogs who are not socialized well and have stupid owners that don’t think leash manners and good doggy behaviors are a MUST if they plan to take their dogs out and about.
Get better soon!July 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm #699045
Todd..I’m sure I won’t be the first, or last, to comment here..but let me start by saying how sorry I am about the attack, and how glad I am that you and your family are safe, and that hopefully the person with the dog will be dealt with by the authorities
Your insistence on calling out that this was a PitBull infuriates me. Would you have been so vehement if this had been a German Shepard, a Boxer, or a Yellow Lab? I doubt it.
ANY dog can be an ass, and can be human aggressive. And owners of aggressive animals should be held COMPLETELY responsible for any and all damage.
– Yes..a Pit (or ANY large dog) can do a lot more damage, but MOST dog bites are from small dogs. Here’s a link to some statistics (as well as some attorneys should you need one).
Just to prove the point. Here’s what one of Mike Vicks ‘killer’ Pit Bulls does now. Meet Leo the Therapy Dog.July 13, 2010 at 4:56 pm #699046
How firghtening, it is so horrifying to be bitten. Also, I am sorry that now your children will most likely be fearful of animals because of what they had to witness. It is ashamed that owners are so careless with restraining thier pets propperly. Don’t they understand this is for the sake of other people and thier pet. I have a neighbor who has a medium sized poodle which they let run free. It has been agressive (growling and lunging) at myself and my mother in my own yard, and I have witnessed it doing the same to the mail person and walkers by. When I brought this up with the owner she simply said “It is a small dog”July 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm #699047July 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm #699048
Fam 2. yeah.. ‘it’s a small dog’..that can do a LOT of damage if it wants to, especially to a child. I just want to smack these people up side the head.July 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm #699049
you have to admit that the sight of a pit charging you is pretty frightening… as is the sight of any larger dog.
I can remember when german shepherds were a rare sight and people were petrified that a kid of 8 (my little brother) was controlling a german shepherd in public.
but you are so right.. pits aren’t the problem.. owners are.
this is why leash laws are so important. if your dog is on a leash at your side they likelihood that they will chase and bite someone else is zero.July 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm #699050
I brought up the leash law to my neighbor and she looked at me like I was crazy then said the dog can be loose in her yard. I responded it is always in my yard and on the street, not to mention the dog poop my husband and I have to clean up and we DO NOT have a dog. However, I have learned you can not make people be responsible if they don’t care…July 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm #699051
the trouble with unleashed dogs in unsecured yards is that they don’t stay in them…July 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm #699052
Yeah, ‘he likes children’, likes how they taste.
Sorry, not a total owner issue. This is a breed issue.
You do not keep bears in the house, even if they are cute.
You do not keep chimps in the house, unless you want your face torn off.
Pit Bulls are instinctive fighters. Akitas were bred to kill bears. That is what they do. Pit Bulls were bred to kill bulls and bears. That is what they do.
You can take the dog out of the fight, but you cannot take the fight out of the dog. Bad owners are a serious problem as well, but the breed is a fighter by design (not nature, design), do not try to say they are not. Just look at them.
They have been bred to be nearly impervious to pain. They have been bred to have the strongest bite of any mammal. There musculature is second to none in the animal kingdom.
This dog is a weapon by design. The care required to raise a Pit with proper temperament is far beyond most standard dog owners. Can it by done, rarely, but yes. Can Joe “HighPoint” put in the time to raise a quality APB?
Ban the Breed for public dog owners. Dog breeders are the only ones that should have access to this breed. This is a special needs animal that should be relegated to permanent muzzling in public and should not be owned by just anyone.
hkJuly 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm #699053
I think maybe the main point we should keep in mind is there is this particular dog that is threatening and aggressive and if you see this dog you want to watch out. Yes, Todd did say “Watch out for dogs and/or pit bulls” but he did give a description of this dog to keep an eye out for.
I can’t imagine what I would have done in Todd’s situation and I’m so glad something worse didn’t happen.
I don’t go to Westcrest anymore because of the number of folks who let their dogs roam free while walking past the play structure.July 13, 2010 at 6:01 pm #699054
I’m glad that you and your family are okay Todd, I hope this incident doesn’t scare your kids off of dogs for life (anytime they’re ready to meet a spazzy lab, let me know, I’ll glad bring mine around for them to meet/play with). Hopefully animal control can find this negligent owner and fine him/take away the dog. Pitts can be great dogs (I know a few) but like any dog, when they have an owner who doesn’t care or take the time to nurture them, they can act out.July 13, 2010 at 6:48 pm #699055
Thank you for the supportive comments.
I totally agree that all dogs are capable of biting. I didn’t say or mean to imply all pit bulls are bad. A pit bull attacked me and my family so that is why I mentioned that it was a pit bull, just stating the facts. And I did state, as MargL kindly pointed out, that people need to watch out for dogs and / or pit bulls.
Regardless of which breed attacked me I would have let my neighbors know so that they can be on the lookout whether it be a pit bull or a bichon frise.July 13, 2010 at 7:36 pm #699056
“this is why leash laws are so important. if your dog is on a leash at your side they likelihood that they will chase and bite someone else is zero.”
Please, leashed dogs can and do bite people. The chance of them biting is NOT zero. A good chunk of dog owners don’t even know, let alone practice proper leash control, and some are completely clueless while watching their leashed dogs.
Ever had a leashed dog come up and sniff you? If they can sniff you they can bite you.
todd__ I hope that Animal Control can track down the owner, it sucks big donkey balls what happened to you and your family.July 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm #699057
service dog academyMember
todd – im so sorry this happened to you. it only proves my point of how crucial having affordable dog training classes can be. i want to extend the opportunity for you, your wife and your kids to come to one of my puppy classes for free and sit on the sidelines so that your kids can have more positive interactions with dogs than negative. i hope they find this dog so that you dont have to take the rabies shots, i hear they hurt. take good care of those wounds, dog bites can get infected easily due to the amount of naturally occurring bacteria in a dogs mouth.July 13, 2010 at 8:31 pm #699058
I am very sorry for what you went through, but as someone involved in pit bull rescue, it infuriates me that this has to become a breed issue, when it was clearly an owner issue, as demonstrated by the behavior of the owner (dog off leash, beating the dog after it bit you, and then fleeing the scene). It’s been said before, but any dog can bite. My husband had a lab once bite clear through his finger.
Not to mention, are you sure it was a pit bull? People are quick to label any dog with a blocky head as a pit, especially if it happens to be doing something wrong. This only further damages the reputation of the breed and perpetuates even more hysteria.
Take a look at the following link to see how easy it is to mis-identify a pit bull:July 13, 2010 at 8:34 pm #699059
Oh, and to HolyKow, if you’re going to use the “this is what they were bred to do” argument, you’re missing one critical piece of the breed’s heritage: while yes, they were bred to fight other dogs, they were simultaneously bred to be extremely human-friendly, so that handlers could reach into the ring and pull them out without being bitten. Pit bulls do need extra attention around other dogs (as any terrier does), but human aggression is NOT an inherent breed trait.
The extreme human-friendliness that is associated with the breed is what attracts many to these dogs. Most pit bulls are overgrown lap dogs.
Read more about the breed’s heritage here:July 13, 2010 at 11:25 pm #699060
todd here’s the discussion from the pit attack you mention…. see my post #6.
So sorry this happened to you and your family!
Interestingly enough, I saw this couple on foot with their child and pit again while driving down Trenton @ about 26th… followed them to Westwood to confirm and was just hoping to maybe see an officer but I didn’t. I drove the nearby neighborhood to try to find the car so I could report an address but unfort. I had no luck.July 13, 2010 at 11:53 pm #699061
I don’t agree that this is totally an owner issue, although bad owners exacerbate the problem. Unfortunately, it seems that pits are the breed of choice for a lot of bad owners. While it’s true that many other dog breeds bite, the most devastating injuries are caused by pit bull attacks – whether the victim be animal or human. While I would not support an outright ban on the breed, I would support mandatory muzzling of pit bulls in public and a HUGE fine for any off leash violation.
Todd, I hope your kids were not traumatized by this event, and that you find and report this guy. Heal well.July 14, 2010 at 12:15 am #699062
anonyme, you hit the nail on the head when you say pits are the breed of choice for bad owners. But there are millions of good pit bull owners whose dogs you don’t hear about in the news. Like mine. Mine is a big mush who thinks he belongs on your lap, sleeps under the covers in the winter because he’s cold and wiggles his whole body if you smile at him. He is the love of my life (shh… don’t tell my husband!) Why should he be on a muzzle in public because of the bad actions of a few?
I do support huge fines for off-leash violations of any breed. My dogs are always on leashes in public.
The problem with breed specific legislation of any kind, whether it be banning them outright, requiring muzzles, or higher insurance premiums, is that it only affects the good, law-abiding owners. We already have leash laws, but the attacks you hear about are always done by off-leash dogs. If we can’t expect bad owners to follow simple leash laws, how does creating more laws do any good?
Take Denver, for example. The city banned pit bulls and dog bites are at an all-time high. Go figure.
The other issue is that the unscrupulous owners will just find another breed. Pit bulls tend to be the breed du jour, thanks to rap culture and the bad ass image promoted by idiots like DMX and Michael Vick. But dog breed fads are cyclical. Before pit bulls it was Rottweilers. Before Rottweilers it was German Shepherds, and before that it was Dobermans. If we ban pit bulls, the thugs will just move on to a bigger and badder dog.July 14, 2010 at 12:20 am #699063
Some responses to this post are soooooo “Seattle”.
Whether it’s the breeding, the owners or the dog themselves is irrelevant.
If I see a pit bull, a golden retriever, a black lab and a german shepard blocking my path, I can guarantee you I am not heading toward the pit bull.
Play the odds folks.
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