Woman mauled seeks to remove dogs who attacked from neighborhood
Woman mauled seeks to remove dogs who attacked from neighborhood
On Friday October 30th around 7:30pm I was attacked and mauled by three dogs who had escaped their enclosures.
I am asking for community support in advocating for the owners of the three Pitt Bulls involved in the recent dog attack on Tulane relinquish ownership to Travis County in favor of the dog's rehabilitation and overall betterment and wellbeing.
I believe if the dogs are returned to their owners this could easily happen again to another member of our community and they might not be as lucky as I had been to escape without life threatening injuries.
In short: I was run down from half a block away by three large dogs, I stopped walking so as not too look like prey, shouted common commands such as "no", and "stay". The dogs attacked me while I was standing still. Because of their breed and because there were three of them, I did not fight back so as not to further provoke aggression, I held on to a stone mailbox so as not to be dragged to the ground.
The Facts – The Incident – The Attack
On Friday October 30th, at around 7:30pm, I was walking up Tulane road toward Rockhurst on a daily walk with my small dog. I was fortunate enough to notice the large dog when it rushed out of the bushes at the bottom of the Tulane hill. I picked up my dog and faced the dog rushing towards me, I used hand signals and voice commands, “no”, and “stay”, the dog stopped and looked confused. I then began to slowly back away. Not paying any attention to my other surroundings I did not see where the other two dogs came from, all of a sudden there was one, then two, then all three dogs jumping up and pawing at me sniffing for what I had in my arms (my small dog).
Voice commands were no longer working, so I called for help. “I need help, come get your dogs, someone come help me”. I became concerned and afraid because the dogs seemed so determined and no one was around. When a car drove by, I asked if I could get in to get away from the dogs as I felt like the situation was drastically unsafe, unfortunately the car was filled with items and there was no room. Thankfully, the woman driving the car was a nearby neighbor and sent help after pulling into her house.
Two men came down the hill from about a house away and made enough noise to startle the dogs and move them down the street. One of the men mentioned they recognized the dogs and that they weren’t known to be aggressive. I let the neighbors continue to try and get the dogs home and continued walking away from the area with my dog still in my arms.
I got about a half a block away, up over the Tulane hill when I heard running. The dogs had followed me after I left the area and were running towards me. I stopped walking, turned toward them, and attempted voice commands. All three dogs ignored the voice commands and began jumping up towards my dog again. I noticed a large stone mailbox with a platform top across the street so I slowly walked over to it and placed my dog on top of the mailbox out of reach hoping that would deter the Pitts from continuing. They kept jumping up trying to get to my dog. I vocalized more commands, but they went unnoticed. I yelled for help again, “I need help, can someone help me, I need help with these dogs”. Not getting a response, I just stood there, holding my dog stable hoping the dogs would get board and move on.
One dog began tugging on my pant leg around my ankle; I did not move so as not to provoke more aggression. Everything after that happened so fast, a dog went for my elbow and got a piece of me but mostly my sweatshirt, a dog got went for my neck, got a piece of my shoulder, buy mostly my sweatshirt, ripping it apart completely. The dogs ripped at my pants, and ripped off my underwear getting a bit on one cheek, and scrapes on the others, a dog bit at my hip but mostly got my shirt, ripping it apart, I held onto the mailbox to keep from being pulled to the ground. At the point I realized I was being mauled I began screaming, because the only thing that was going to help me at this point was reinforcements. I’m not sure how long I was screaming, but it was longer than I would like because I began to doubt I was going to make out of this. At that moment I saw headlights, a car was pulling up and pulling up right next to me.
The woman in the car rolled down her window and I tried to hand her my dog to get him to safety, but the dogs began jumping up to her window and she had to roll it up to protect herself. I thought I was stuck; I had just given up my safest position and condemned my self and my dog. I don’t normally believe in miracles, but as I was holding my dog in the air above my head, and as the dogs were biting at my legs I noticed that the car was I pickup truck, I threw my dog into the bed and waddled over to the side with my pants at my ankles. I tried to pull myself into the truck, but the dogs had hold of my shoes and pants (fortunately not my legs), and I wasn’t strong enough. I held on to the edge of the bed as tightly as I could with hope I could last. I then lost my shoe, and lost the pull and weight of one dog, and since I was holding so tightly and pulling so hard, that gave me enough momentum to get my arms into the bed of the truck and push against the inside of the bed pulling the rest of my body into the truck.
I was sitting the truck for some time before the police arrived. And from the information I have gathered from some witnesses, three people called the police, one person called them twice, and they would not have gotten there fast enough if that truck had not have driven up.
My dog was not at all harmed during the ordeal. Not a single scratch or bite, and I don't know how to express in words how thankful I am as my mental health could not have handled watching him be ripped apart.
Left cheek bite, right cheek teeth scrape, left thigh bite, right inner thigh bit, right ankle bite, left foot bite, right elbow bite, right shoulder bite, right side of my stomach bite, left hip bite, scratches on my right leg, left side behind the knee bit, right side behind the knee bite.
Why I Acted as I Did
Most of my training for preventing animal attacks deals with wild animals from my time backpacking in backcountry areas, but it can be applied to any animal.
When the dogs first approached me I did not run so as to not seem like prey. I was loud, and because I assumed the dogs to be domesticated I vocalized common commands.
They were not snarling nor biting at first, so I assumed standing my ground and vocalizing commands would suffice.
When they charged me a second time, after leaving the area, I stopped walking, so as to not look like prey and encourage/ guarantee an attack, AND because there was no safe place for me to run to that I knew of, I would have been running blind.
When they did start biting me, I did not fight back again because I had no sure way of winning, nor deterring them long enough to get to safety because there was no safe place for me to go, also considering the breed, fighting back would have made them more aggressive.
Why I Think the Owners Should Relinquish Ownership
I did everything I could to avoid looking like prey, and to avoid provoking any aggression. I even left the area and got out of eye site of the dogs before they ran me down.
This wasn’t a dog bite, this was a hunt and attack.
My theories/ speculation as to why they attacked me is that they were hungry.
All of the following is just speculation, but I believe they were so hungry they were doing anything they could to get to a meal. Speaking with the police officers that were on the scene, it was speculated that the dogs seemed malnourished, dehydrated and disoriented (though we do not know this for sure). However, this would explain why they were unable to respond to commands, and why they began attacking me, they weren’t in their right mind due being so disoriented, and then pack mentality kicked in. Due to the pandemic, we are all struggling so much. And feeding three mid-sized pit-bulls on averages costs over $200 a month and over $2400 a year. So its not the owners fault for rationing their food (if that is what was happening, again speculation). However, I have no other speculation for dogs who are "not known to be aggressive", to attack and maul someone for walking down the street.
I don’t believe I would have survived the attack if I weren’t able to get into the bed of the truck. One of the bits on my inner thigh was right over my artery, had they gotten a better hold of me leg, I would have bled out.
Do to this speculation, I doubt the owners ability to the dogs healthy enough to prevent a repeat attack.
I would like to gain support in having the dogs removed from the home so they can be well taken care of to protect them and others in the future.