Dear PoP – Horrifying Dog Attack in Brookland/Woodridge Alley

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“Dear PoP,

The issues with these dogs have been going on for months… and no one seems to have the courage to actually take the dogs away. I’m pro-dog, pro-pet, but this is not responsible dog-ownership. It’s amazing that the city has no means to deal with repeat offenders before we have a crisis.

Shared on several NE listservs

A female was just attacked by 3 pit bulls in the alley near my house parallel to 22nd St NE between Otis and Perry. Fortunately some brave souls came to help her as I’m pregnant and just hearing her screams gave me contractions so I would not have been any help if I made it outside and would have gone into labor – All I did was call 911.

I’m not sure who it was, but the ambulance came and the emt’s are knocking on doors on 22nd to help the victim. If you know anything – or if it was you and we can help – please let us know.

As for everyone else please be vigilant and be careful. These pit bulls are from the 2200 block of Otis St NE. They have been out terrorizing the neighborhood way too often.

My complaints to the police and animal control have been ignored. We have too many small children at risk.
Please help before someone else gets hurt.”

122 Comment

  • I bet a little poison would help this problem or a well place shot from your window.

    Sometimes it can be a good thing to have a gun.

    • The knee-jerk reaction is often the worst course of action.

    • The type of people who have vicious uncontrolled dogs are the kind of people who will just go out and get more dogs….not control/train them and teach them to be vicious. The dogs need to be removed from the owners and evaluated. If they can be rehabilitated then they should be. If they can’t they should be put down. The dog owners should never be aloud to own dogs again and arrested for the attack on this poor women.

  • Why have people living near there just not shot them? No gun? Guns are legal now in DC. A quick hit to the head with a large shovel would do the trick. If I lived near there I wouldn’t have hesitated to kill them if they presented a threat to me or my children. Humans are more important than vicious dogs right?

    • While it is legal to own a registered handgun in DC (and note, it’s always been legal to own a shotgun or rifle), it is still illegal to carry that gun anywhere.

      No person shall carry or possess a firearm on public space in the District of Columbia unless traveling directly to or from a lawful firearm-related activity (registration, hunting, shooting at a practice range, etc.)

      Also worth noting it’s still illegal to discharge it as well. Now, would a jury convict you of these charges in such a case? Probably not…

      Read here:,a,1237,q,567003.asp

  • cue up the pit bull apologists in 3…2…1

    • I’m sorry about the pit bulls.

      • +1 million – that was hilarious. Well played, Taylor StreetMan!

        And, on a more important and serious note, I really do hope the victim has a speedy recovery. This is a horrible story.

  • When will someone take serious action against these dogs? Yea, yea, they’re wonderful pets blah blah blah. No! your dog has been bred for hundreds of years to do one thing and one thing only, FIGHT. All dogs from this breed group should at very least have controlled and monitored access. Every moron on every corner should not have access to a potentially deadly killing machine.

    • Exactly how I feel about 85% of the youth I have encountered in DC. I wonder when “someone will take serious action” against them.

      And as far as needing controlled monitored access of the dogs, how about control and monitoring of the owners.

      Yes, adopting pit bull type dogs as adults is somewhat risky as you rarely know their history, and it isn’t until the dog is put into a compromising situation that you will actually find out how they will react. You can say, “Oh, but he was such a love bug on the couch” but do you know what the dog will do when “challenged” by another dog/human/etc?

      And while pit bulls have been bread for many many things (like helping farmers with livestock), one of those things they have been bread for is their temperment and are very often used as therapy dogs in hopsitals, and specifically with children.

      The problem with these dogs though sounds like it has all to do with the owners, and little to do with the breed of the dog.

      • And you know exactly what type of person around here owns a pit bull that is likely to attack unprovoked.

      • certainly, the owners are to blame here, but you can’t ignore the fact that owners are 1) choosing pitbulls because they are easy to train to be vicious and strong enough to do damage, and 2) it doesn’t take nearly as much effort to make them dangerous as it does to make them perfectly safe, loving pets. we don’t have killer labradoodles and beagles for a reason.

        • Um, you know: beagles (hunting dogs if there ever were any) are in fact quite often vicious, in appropriate for families and in general biters.

          • well no, obviously I don’t know because I don’t spend any time thinking or caring about dogs… but I still have never heard of a beagle attacking anybody.

    • The real question is when someone will do about this particular dogs and these particular owners.

  • bfinpetworth

    Hoping that the victim is ok. Jokes are sometimes ill timed on websites. The dogs, unfortunately, will be victims also of these irresponsible pet owners. If anyone needs to be shot, its the people that let these dogs terrorize. Dogs are rehabilitatable (see Vick’s dogs) but I’m not sure some people are.

  • Stop with the pitbull defense. They’re not misunderstood. They’re not safe. No need to hold a vigil for these pitbulls or any others.

    • As I said, you can’t allay ignorance and fear with pesky, inconvenient facts. Your comment: case in point.

      • Sorry, as someone whose friend’s son was mauled to death by their own family pitbulls, your ignorance is in fact appalling. Those dogs were raised as beloved members of the family and never trained to fight. One dog attacked the grown teenage son, the other dogs joined in and he died. It’s instinct that has been bred in over many generations. Pointers point, retrievers retrieve, pitbulls lock their jaws on their victim’s throat. It’s not always the ‘terrible owner.’

        • While your experience is tragic, it is by no means conclusive. They call anecdotal evidence unreliable for a reason.

          One thing I would be interested in seeing is some objective statistics on attacks/deaths resulting from pit bull attacks, and from other breeds.m,,

  • In some Asian countries you cannot have attack dogs, such as pitbulls, unless they always wear muzzles when out. Just an idea. They come with certain requirements.

    • I have wound up – quite unintentionally – as the new adopter of a Pit mix. I don’t “love the breed” but then I’m a Heinz-57 afficionado: I’ll adopt what they have at the shelter. If I were buying a breed, it’d be a Dane, or a Labrador.

      That said, a few things:

      – any dog, just about, can be made vicious – it’s not a reflection of the breed. Some breeds are easier to do this with than others, but these types of attacks are a direct reflection of owners.

      – Pit bulls are hunting terriers – they were bred to bring out their attack instincts, but not for fighting…this is nearly exactly like a border collie lest you fail to grasp the warm-fuzzie image. The Border Collie is another completely inappropriate dog for the city.

      – My two mixes have been pretty amazingly gentle – one was abused and is clearly scarred mentally by that experience. But, it doesn’t take the form of viciousness in her behavior (terror and barking, yes). That said, the plural of anecdote is not data. One of mine never did much except chase a frisbee, the other won’t retrieve anything but is hell on squirrels and rabbits.

      – Anyone who has an aggressive dog like that – regardless of breed – should be required to muzzle them or keep them secured. Given what a massive undertaking such enforcement (and the attendant costs) would involve, I’m not surprised complaints go un-addressed. How about taking some prevention of your own?

      These are not uniform dogs…it’s not “the breed”…it’s some people doing the wrong thing with their pets and it would be best for the pets and the rest of us if these damaged people weren’t allowed to continue their abusive ownership.

      I have been bitten by a neighbors dogs (not in DC) while jogging – the instigator was a Golden Retriever who had major territorial aggression issues – but he had a pack (two fellow pets) and they did the dog/wolf surround you thing and it scared me much worse than it scarred me (though I do still have a bite mark on my a**). I used mace and an old chair leg on that dog the next time it came after me. I love dogs but you do have the right of self-defense. No, you should not need to carry mace around in a proper world, but really, do you look both ways before crossing or trust the light?

      Why an accident hasn’t happened to these unattended dogs is surprising to me.

      • Hey, no border collie hating. Border collies are herding, not hunting dogs. Herding dogs are meant to use their bodies to intimidate, not hunt cattle and bite them. Border collies have been bread specifically to not damage livestock.

        • I’m not hating on them – but that hunting instinct they use for “herding” is the same one honed in Pit Bulls for “baiting” bulls and other livestock. It is the same instinct being used for both.

          And they are insanely inappropriate dogs for the city – they have such a phenomenal energy level and need to herd/chase/nip all sorts of things. I had a friend who had one that would try to herd his kids. It was pretty hilarious.

          • Sorry, but hunting(terriers) and herding are vastly different. Hunting dogs track prey and sometimes subdue the prey by force. Herding dogs use eye contact and body posture to wrangle sheep or cattle. Sure, I’m biased by my border mix but she’s a great city dog. She sleeps all day and runs with me after work. I’ve never seen her herd or nip.

  • my first instinct is to make a joke – whatever the situation – and I apologize if anyone took offense to my earlier remark.

    I’m horrified by this event. It made my stomach clench just to read the headline. I hope the woman will be OK, and I’m sorry, but these dogs NEED to be put down. Now. Today.

    As for pitbulls, they scare the heck outta me, as I’m sure, they are (most often) intended to. I’m not sure where I fall on the nature vs nurture argument, but I feel like we never hear about deadly attacks by poodles, goldens, shepherds, collies, etc.

    This may very well be because pitbull attacks become headline news whereas the others don’t. My instinct, though, tells me otherwise.

    • I think there should be a ban that is strictly enforced to keep pit bulls out of the city dog parks. Every time one shows up, usually with a waif of a 23 y.o. hipster (who would be able to control a 70lb dog on adrenaline about as well as I could stop a mack truck), I grab my dog and get out.

      • bfinpetworth

        My 80 lb shepherd was attacked in a dog park recently and when I confronted the owner, she passively replied “I don’t see any dog attacking your dog.” When I told her that she needed to be more responsive when asked to control her dog, she said “I did control my dog.” Crappy little 20-something spoiled brat unwilling to take responsibility for her dog beating up on my 12-year old shepherd who had the wisdom to just look straight ahead and NOT react to the dog chasing her and attacking her around her neck.

        I’ve sworn off dog parks completely because of people like her.

        • where was this?

          • bfinpetworth

            This was in the unofficial dog park at the school on Webster and 7th. The dog was what looked like a pit-mix and the owner was what appeared to be a nice middle class young white woman with not a clue how to deal with her dog in public. Here is a clue: If someone is screaming at you to get your dog of her dog, JUST DO IT! Don’t act like its not your damn dog and that nothing is happening! If my dog Sophie had decided to fight back instead of going passive, it would have been a bloody mess because, despite her age, she’s still quite agile and strong. I don’t for the life of me know why Sophie reacted the way she did except that her instinct kicked in and she knew this was a fight she didn’t want to be in. Thank goodness.

        • Wow. Scary.

          Because of fools like the women mentioned, we are hesitant to visit dog parks at all after hearing endless stories like this.

          Besides that, our tiny Min-Pin would most likely be an irresistable snack for one of these vicious dogs or the dog of a careless owner.

          • dog parks are sometimes a train wreck waiting to happen due to :

            1) owners who aren’t paying attention to what’s going on (you know who you are, cell phone talker/iphone browser)
            2) owners who haven’t trained their dog to respond to commands
            3) owners who have no ability to recognize signs of aggression/nervous/scared behavior in their dog
            4) owners who think it will be a good idea to “teach” their young kid to like dogs by letting them run around with them while they’re playing. (there’s one particular instance of this at park & 11th that will most definitely wind up badly some day).

            i’ll admit that i was once a category 3 here, before i worked with a trainer. now that i know what i’m looking for, a good amount of the time that i’ve seen fights break out in a dog park – i could have predicted it would happen beforehand. and it is often instigated by the dog you wouldn’t suspect (toy dogs included).

            clueless/irresponsible owners are a good reason to avoid dog parks. if you’re going to go and you see any of the above going on, probably best to just bug out and go for a nice long walk instead. you and your dog will both be happier.

        • + 1. As the owner of a large hound, I encounter many times people letting their dog harass my hound simply because they are little dogs who can’t hurt her. Bullsh*t.

      • sigh… where to start? I understand your concern, but first of all, what constitutes a “pit bull?” Most of what are called pit bulls are a mix, not a breed. and really, ban ALL pit bulls? My “pit bull” was attacked by a vicious, uncontrollable Schnauzer last time we were at a dog park. Should we include Schnauzers in the ban? My great grandmother’s dog Timmy, was an ancient heinous, satanic Chihuahua that attacked everyone. My mom’s Yorky will bite anyone that gets near my mom, so out with the Yorkies. My my, the list grows longer. Where do we stop? How about strict enforcement of immediate removal of uncontrollable or mean dogs with owners who are ill-prepared to control their pets. Wouldn’t that be more rational, not to mention more effective?

        • sure, it’d be more effective, but it would be impossible to implement and for all the cost would likely result in nightmare personal prosecutions and handful of dogs not harming other dogs or people.

          what would be more effective is banning breeds or putting restrictions on them, such as the aforementioned muzzles on attack dogs.

          your mom’s yorky wouldn’t kill a woman walking down the street.

          • One missed point is “What is a Pitt Bull?” There is no such thing, so how could such a ban be enforced. Wiki: “The ASPCA claims that the media is biased toward covering pit bull attacks more extensively than attacks by other breeds, and that this has contributed to a widely held belief that they present a significantly greater risk to humans than other breeds of dogs; ASPCA made the claim based on reportage of four dog bites that occurred in August, 2007, and comments by local media contacts.” Place responsibility where it should be, with the owner.

          • plus, i don’t think the victim in this posting was killed. And my mom’s yorkie is 3.5 pounds of demon.

    • You don’t hear about it because it doesn’t make a juicy story. Just like rottweilers and dobermans were the media story of the 80s and 90s, now are pit bulls. They used to be nanny/family/army dogs and didn’t face this scrutiny. Unfortunately, as they became “hood” symbols of toughness, they became victim to poor socialization, lack of resources, and, like the children of the hood, they do became poorly behaved.

      I don’t believe vicious animals should be allowed as pet. I don’t believe what happened is right. Trust me, as an animal advocate this kind of story doesn’t help me. Also, as an animal advocate, I don’t go to dog parks or bring my dogs to festivals because as a pit owner, I don’t take that risk for the discrimination to be an issue…even though my dog is on her way to be a certified therapy dog.

      I do believe that banning a breed isn’t an answer — “they” will find a new dog to abuse so it turns nasty. I do believe that mandatory muzzle laws are not the answer. I do believe education, low-income owner support, and other tactics will help. It is confusing, and difficult. At first, I was even willing to consider mandatory Spay/Neuter but now I don’t think that is the answer.

      If you want to read about this confusing issue, check out the below link which links to other resources. BAD RAP out of SF is also a great resource for legitimate reading about the issues – not a propoganda site for enthusiasms who can’t think straight.

      Pit bulls aren’t for everyone but they are not naturally vicious.

    • “I’m sorry, but these dogs NEED to be put down. Now. Today.”

      I’m inclined to agree. Some steps should be taken to prevent the ‘owners’ from obtaining more dogs. Does DC law permit anything like this?

      • Normally people who MISTREAT animals are prohibited by law from owning animals again but I don’t know if this is extended to people who own violent dogs/repeat offender animals. It should.

        Goldens are the #1 perps of dog bites in the US but Pits/Pit mixes happen to be stronger, and particularly when raised by the wrong people, less inclined to let go. I love pits but respect and appreciate their strength and that they certainly are not the right dog for most people…rather than blame the breed let’s blame the owner. I’d advocate for a policy requiring permits for pit owners along the lines of general dog licenses to try and encourage people to be responsible owners…though, of course, somebody will always slip through and the dog and breed will be the 100% scape goat.

        Sad story all around.

  • Get a grip people. Calm the hysterics. Put away your weapons. It wasn’t the entire breed of “Pit Bulls” that attacked this poor soul, it was a couple of individual dogs TRAINED to be vicious (as opposed to BRED to be so). “Pit Bull” is a term used to describe as many as 11 different breeds. Often what is referred to as a pit bull in the U.S. is actually a mix of a bull breed and a Rottweiler, Mastiff, or other breed to add muscle and size. One original “pit” breed is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Looks for all the world like the terrifying phantom fantasy of so many people, but is actually referred to as “the nanny dog” in Britain because of its sweet temperament and how great they are with kids. We rescued one last summer from WARL and a sweeter dog you couldn’t meet. Some people still blanch with fear even as she is laying on her back, wriggling for a belly rub wagging her tail in happiness to meet them. If I was attacked on the street, my dog would hide until it’s all over and go home with the assailant for a single kibble. But I know you just can’t allay prejudice and ignorance with pesky, inconvenient facts, so break out the poison, get your guns, and have it.

    • perhaps you didn’t notice the original post about someone being attacked by a pack of pit bulls. THAT is an “inconvenient fact.”

      • yep i noticed that it was group of individual dogs that attacked, not an entire breed (fact and checkmate). I had the same irrational fears about the breed based on my own ignorance, fanned by the soap-selling media in need of an easy story. like most stories, americans have little tolerance for deeper investigation, or complexity of narrative. I crossed the fence reluctantly and over a long period of time based on my own actual experience, not media hype, hysterical blog responses, or otherwise. it’s the owners that are the problem. not the breed. are the dogs that attacked a horrible problem in need of swift solution? of course. does that damn the entire breed? no, it doesn’t.

    • I think the mistrust people feel (however unfair) is similar to the idea of excons (hear me out):
      some will never commit another crime, will work hard to straighten out their lives, re-establish themselves in society.

      others wouldn’t even blink before breaking into your home or worse.

      the problem is, how to tell one from the other?

      I’m afraid the stories of loving, caring, gentle pits are as much anecdotal as the stories of these vicious attacks. Most people will want to err on the side of caution, however. Sure, this is unfair to the truly reformed excon and the love-bug pit who’s great with kids, but the consequences of guessing wrong are often horrific.

  • bfinpetworth

    As the former owner of a rottie named Kylee who gave me and my family many years of joy and laughter, without an single incident of aggression beyond normal barking, I’m torn on this issue. Rotties used to be the boogey man among dog breeds, but that has clearly shifted to Pits.

    What I do know about any of these “aggressive” breeds, including pits, rotties, german shepherds, dobermans,…, is that it is an IMPERATIVE that the owner take full responsibility for the dog at all times. Under no circumstances should a person need to feel fearful because an owner of one of these dogs does not have complete control over them. And if there is ANY sign of aggression, remove the dog from the situation.

    Above all else, train the dog with love and firmness – NEVER with physical abuse. A dog is moldable, but it must be done carefull with dogs like these.

    And sometimes, I think, there are just bad dogs that no amount of love and training can turn around. But I think they are few and far between.

    • It’s true, dogs are a lot like people. The overwhelming majority of them are good, but it doesn’t take too many really bad ones to spoil the whole bunch.

  • This isn’t a dog issue. It’s a class issue. Trashy poor people (not all poor people are trash) breed nasty dogs. Doesn’t matter the breed. I fthey have chihuahua or a greyhound or a corgi, they will breed it to be nasty and vicious and attacking. So if we ban or do something with pit bulls, another nasty breed will become the bogeyman.

    • +1. well put.

    • Idiot well-off people take action to breed/own nasty dogs too. See GayPetworthian’s post above about dog parks and the dumb owners who frequent them. I think more times than not, it’s not a bad dog, but a bad owner.

      That being said, I love pit bulls and am the owner of a pit mix, but one cannot deny that they have been bred with certain traits that make them more unpredictable than other dogs. I adopted my pit mix, found him to be the sweetest dog when around me and my other dog (after much training), but even when I adopted him I sensed there was something a bit off about him. Turns out he can’t be trusted outside my presence (bit his walker, bit my girlfriend, etc. when I wasn’t there). After taking him to many dog behavior specialists, the conclusion was there was just something in his background that made him that way, and his pit-characteristics didn’t help. Seeing as how he came from rural South Carolina, I can only guess what crap he had to endure growing up.

      In sum, I think there are good arguments on both sides; pits aren’t the horrors people make them out to be, but they require strong leadership and good training early on or else their breed traits take over. Sadly, many pits don’t get that.

    • Well said

  • Pit Bulls are not “bred” for violence, they are trained for violence. There is a large scientific literature which is pertinent to this issue, which I’ll decline to cite in detail (so not to bore the hell out of anyone). The particular breed of dog responsible in violent incidents has shifted over time as fashions change. In the 80’s, dobermans and rottweilers were more likely to be trained for violence, now it is more common to see pit bulls. These issues are not the fault of the dogs, nor are they due to the violent nature of particular dog breeds. These issues are caused by the OWNERS. Some twisted people (such as Michael Vick) purposely train their dogs to be violent. In other cases, sheer stupidity and animal neglect can also have the same/similar effects on dog behavior. Given that there are three pitbulls in this case, my bet would be that the owner is purposely training the dogs to be violent (either for dog fighting or for protecting a drug house). I would call the police and animal control repeatedly until they deal with the problem! I agree with the original poster, these dogs are dangerous and someone needs to do something about it.

    • Bravo for rational thought and clear prose. I would normally suggest also calling the media to encourage an official response, but I’m sure the story would just be one more log on the fire of “ALL PIT BULLS ARE DANGEROUS.” It’s sort of like pedophiles; if it’s a same-sex case, the story is portrayed in a way that insinuates that all gays are pedophiles, but if it’s a male-female case, it’s never suggested that all heteros are pedophiles. Americans love simple narratives with an easily identified villain.

    • Interesting note about the Vick dogs. Despite years of abuse, neglect, and TRAINING to be agressive towards dogs (and people), many of the dogs saved from the case expressed none of these tendencies. Which points that a) Vick sucks as a fighting dog trainer and b) this isn’t inherently in the nature of these dogs.

      To see beautiful case stories about the rehabbed dogs doing super dangerous things like being near children – check out –

  • The point of the original post is not whether pit bulls are dangerous of not, what seems to be missed is why DC animal control or the DC police do not do anything about this. Dollars to donuts the animals are not licensed b/c no one in DC gets a dog license. If there have been repeated complaints, why doesn’t DC just confiscate the animals on that basis and then move on from there.

  • I live one squares block from these dogs and have been confronted by the agressive fence jumping female on two separate occassions. Do not run! Face her and speak firmly, maintain eye contact but do not advance toward her. This will have to do until the dogs are removed by more importantly, the house occupants are held accountable for the many illegal activities that go on there! The police know that address by heart! Come on people!

  • Not “bred” for violence? How about bred for strength, jaw power, tenacity, pain tolerance, and quick reflexes? Because I assure you, they most certainly ARE bred for the characteristics most likely to help them win a fight.

    Yes, bad owners make bad dogs, no matter what the breed. But when a poodle (even a full-sized standard poodle) takes a snap at me, I’m in for a couple stitches at the MOST. If a pitbull, with its beartrap-strength jaw, takes similar offense, I will lose a digit, or worse.

    I would support a ban on the breed.

    • Let me be very clear here. Your dog, and by extension you, are a menace to civilized society. Your defensive snarks are telling enough. It is typical for the person who is wrong to take an outrageous example, such as a schnauzer attached your pit bull, to make a point that doesnt exist.

      Pit Bull refers to, which since you’re clearly unable to define them, the American Pit Bull Terrier. Dont act like the pit bull is an abstract concept that no one can really pin down.

      Your silly comparisons to to yorkies and chihuahuas lack any sort of appearance of logical reasoning.

      You are clearly blinded by your affection for pit bulls, which in fact, highlights the biggest problem with pit bulls: the ignorance, arrogance, and completely ineptitude of so many of their owners.

      • That was meant as a reply to “Just Sayin’s” numerous posts.

      • “You are clearly blinded by your affection for pit bulls, which in fact, highlights the biggest problem with pit bulls: the ignorance, arrogance, and completely ineptitude of so many of their owners.”

        I think this applies to a great number of dog owners in DC, regardless of breed. Which I think is JustSayins’ point.

      • Haha ok, whatever dude. The fact that I speak the truth on pitbulls makes me a “scary freak” is pretty remarkable.

        • Fuck me? No, I don’t think so. Fuck you. You’re the one who resorts to petty personal attacks because someone, with documented facts on their side, dares to say that there are cavalier pit bull owners in this city who act like their dogs arent a problem.

          I have a very broad amount of experience with a LOT of dogs. I’ve never seen the highly concentrated epidemic of rage that exists in Pit Bulls in any other breed – except maybe Chows. This is bolstered by the fact that there are numerous deadly, or very severe, Pit Bull related attacks every year. Sure you can say that Pit Bulls are unfairly targeted by the media, but facts just dont back that up. Pit Bulls are responsible for far more attacks than any other breed.

          Like i said in my earlier post, the problem with Pit Bulls is only compounded by the attitude of their owners. Which you so eloquently and immaturely proved with your red with rage “Fuck you Douchebag”. Well, no, fuck you, you Internet Tough Guy.

        • Just in case you thought I was only basing my opinions on anecdotal evidence (you know, like you are with your ridiculous assumption that because your dog hasnt bitten anything that it wont and none of its breed will)

        • Listen Chief Speak the Truth. You’re response is laughable with zero facts on your side. Now back off or I’ll set my bit bull on you and she’ll cuddle you into a bloody stain.

        • Again, no facts on my side? Here – I know you dont like to read, let me cut and paste the most particularly suitable portion:

          “There is a persistent allegation by pit bull terrier advocates that pit bulls are overrepresented among reported dog attack deaths and maimings because of misidentifications or
          because “pit bull” is, according to them, a generic term covering several similar types of dog.
          However, the frequency of pit bull attacks among these worst-in-10,000 cases is so
          disproportionate that even if half of the attacks in the pit bull category were misattributed, or
          even if the pit bull category was split three ways, attacks by pit bulls and their closest relatives
          would still outnumber attacks by any other breed.”

          This study finds that there were 1552 attacks by pit bulls, plus about 100 more by mixes over the past 18 years.

          The next most frequently documented dog bite perpetrator? The Rott… guess how many? 457.

          Since you showed an interest in Schnauzer attacks, I thought you might be interested in the incidence of documented Schnauzer attacks over the past 18 years…

          1. 1 time. So you can take your false equivalences and eat them with your crow.

      • oh my. such devastating evidence. without your sage guidance, it’s as though i’ve been wandering blind in the wilderness. i relent: i’ll put down my dog right after lunch, then go hunting for others. c’mon everyone! KILL ALL THE PIT BULLS!! KILL ALL THE PIT BULLS!!!

        • Is that your cute little way of saying you were clearly wrong with your false equivalences and outrageous analogies?

          Pit Bulls are obviously dangerous. I cant fathom how you can continue to deny this.

    • I read through all of the posts hoping someone would make this point. Of course it’s possible that a Pit Bull would be less aggressive than a Yorkie. But, it’s also important to note that a Pit Bull has the physical potential to be a lot more violent.

      Also, I hate how those who are in support of these dogs complain that the evidence of Pit Bulls as an aggressive breed is all anecdotal, but then go on to give anecdotal evidence that small breeds are actually more aggressive.

      • the point is that all anecdotal “evidence” is just that. Singular, and not possible to use as a breed-wide indictment.

  • I still say shoot ’em.

    Let me know where this is, I have some friends down in Southern MD that would love some shooting pratice.

  • anonymouse_dianne

    Please follow up on this and the woman’s condition. PBS did a great follow-up on the Vick dogs and Bad Rap just a couple weeks ago, which you can find on their Need to Know website.

  • I can guarantee that anyone who shot my dog would hang bleeding in my basement until expiring.

    Keep that in mind vigilantes.


    This was posted in April of last year.

    So did Animal Control release the pitbulls back to the owner, or did the owners get new menacing pitbulls? Either way, if this woman was now seriously hurt, or even if one of the pitbulls drew blood from her in any way, follow-up from April 2010 was insufficient. These dogs need to be put down, the owners need to be jailed or fined and banned from owning dogs, and Animal Control or MPD or both need to be told to they they were responsible for following up on this and are partly responsible for this woman getting hurt.

  • Can’t we all just get along?

  • Generalizations and preconceptions are as unhelpful and counterproductive for pit bulls as they are for people.

    Here’s an interesting article on Vick’s dogs (not all could be rehabilitated, but the whole bunch wasn’t bad):

    “So what conclusions can we draw from the fates of Vick’s pits? ‘We know so little about dogs like these because so few of them have been allowed to live.’” –Dr. Frank McMillan (Animal Society Director)

    I think this is more an issue of ACCOUNTABILITY than class/breed, etc. If there is no discouragement of or punishment for training dogs this way, it will never stop– as “Sleepy” put it, “if we ban or do something with pit bulls, another nasty breed will become the bogeyman.”

  • Jeez, i said i relent. So let’s meet as a group at logan circle tonight and start hunting them down (clearly we head east from there). they’re dangerous blood-thirsty, uncontrollable beasts, so let’s get rid of them. We need a plan. Guns are so loud that they’ll warn the others… hmmm… sticks? too messy, plus I threw out my shoulder shoveling snow. Gasoline and matches? Tempting for the sheer neighborhood bonfire aesthetic, but again, the howling would be too loud. I know! bows and arrows! THWACK, one less scary myth for the masses. Shall we say 7-ish? Maybe cocktails first? Shall we say Stoneys?

    • You’ve got some serious issues when it comes to how to interact with others. From your “F-you” moment, to your incessant reliance on sarcasm, false comparisons, and exaggeration, coupled with your inability to acknowledge a problem that is evident by the data, you’ve portrayed yourself as a pretty annoying prick. I hope thats not true offline.

      I wont be seeing you at Stoneys.

      • Not Stoneys, huh? What about Bar Pilar?

      • And you’re shockingly blasé about ignoring your opening salvo of “Let me be perfectly clear…you’re a menace to society” while condemning my “Fuck you douche bag” response to it.

        • I am actually further convinced that this statement is true. Your complete inability to understand the danger that these dogs pose says to me that you cant be a responsible owner of one. If you dont understand how that is different that “fuck you douchebag”, there’s a problem.

  • I recommend that Just Sayin’ share this exchange with the police as soon as possible.

      • I’m not very good at blog responses. I meant to connect it to Frankie James comment thread. This is what concerned me:

        “Maybe we could top it off with some shooting pratice in an Brookland Alley. You say when and lets invite – Just Sayin – She sounds like alot of fun…”

        That seems a little beyond the pale. Something the news might mention, as in “There WERE warning signs.”

  • ANYWAYS Back to the issues:

    Can MPD and animal control be held accountable for not acting on multiple reports by scared and concerned neighbors of dangerous menacing animals roaming free?

    Have these dogs bitten or mauled before? Was that reported? Have victims been too scared to report injuries? Or have they “just” roamed and threatened as reported in April 2010 (see link I posted earlier)?

  • I used to live on 2200 block of Otis years ago…a family had two pit bulls and one killed the other in the back yard. I moved because of that family. I called animal control about dogs. I thought about poisoning the remaining dog but could not bring myself to do it. I remember a MPD officer having to pull gun on dog upon entering gate. Officer was called out for a different matter.

    I am not saying that family is guilty but it would not surprise me if they owned the dogs in question. In DC you can live on a ‘perfect’ block and that one family can ruin it, they were that family.

  • I apologize if anyone has misconstrued my vulgar comments here. I don’t in anyway recommend guns for this problem.

    I don’t own a gun and haven’t for many years. Back in the days, shooting wild dogs was the answer.

    Having been attacked personally three times by groups of dogs roaming the old neighborhood has left me bitter to say the least.

    Sorry if I offended or scared anyone.

    • No worries Frankie James. I did not take it seriously at all. (But thanks, New Shaw Neighbor). My sarcasm is meant to be provocative, and it can bring out the worst sometime. I’m going to bow out of my skirmish with the “Anon,” too. I was bored and s/he was just such easy bait, so I couldn’t resist. Not my finest, (if one of my funnest). I’m just aggravated by arguments that use bigoted generalities, especially when evidence to the contrary is so abundant.

      • Excuse me? Bigoted? Against a dog? BIGOTRY AGAINST A DOG? Do you hear yourself?

        And what, beyond your own personal experience, have you provided in the way of evidence?

        Is now the best time to remind you about that pit bulls were involved in around 300% more dog attacks than the next most violent breed over the past 18 years…?

        What EVIDENCE do you have refuting that?

        • Sigh… I don’t feel compelled to prove anything to you, Anonymous. But since you asked: My opinion is based on a solid year of reading specific ASPCA and AKC reports, visiting area dog shelters at least 3 times a week (sometimes more), speaking to veterinarians, shelter professional and volunteer staff, meeting with dog owners, dog trainers, dog day care centers, and police, compiling historical data from as far back as 1899 from the U.S. and Europe, and visiting pit bulls with temperaments ranging from docile to dangerous, damaged to darling. I did my homework first hand and thoroughly. I could pick apart the thin gruel of “data” you used, but really, it wouldn’t be a fair fight. I didn’t respond seriously to your comments, because honestly, they don’t warrant serious discussion. You were too easy to bait, and after your “menace to society” comment (thanks for the chuckle, God that’s funny), I was very motivated to do so. But I’m bored now, so have a nice evening.

          • No, really, do you read what you type before you press submit? You sound like one of the most miserable people i’ve ever heard from. You are defensive and utterly rude.

            You still havent said jack shit thats convincing. All this data that dates back to 1899… where is it? You did notice that I found data back to 1982. But I guess since you told me about it, and you’re clearly superior to me, I should just believe it without actually having anything to base it on. Then, when someone asks me, I can repeat the meme and my source would be you, the anonymous PoP commenter continue this cycle of misinformation.

          • From PoP archives – when the dog was shot at Adams Morgan day. . .

            13 September 2010 10:39 AM | Neil Said:


            Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, has conducted an unusually detailed study of dog bites from 1982 to the present. (Clifton, Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to November 13, 2006.) The Clifton study show the number of serious canine-inflicted injuries by breed.

            According to the Clifton study, pit bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios and their mixes are responsible for 74% of attacks that were included in the study, 68% of the attacks upon children, 82% of the attacks upon adults, 65% of the deaths, and 68% of the maimings. In more than two-thirds of the cases included in the study, the life-threatening or fatal attack was apparently the first known dangerous behavior by the animal in question. Clifton states:

            If almost any other dog has a bad moment, someone may get bitten, but will not be maimed for life or killed, and the actuarial risk is accordingly reasonable. If a pit bull terrier or a Rottweiler has a bad moment, often someone is maimed or killed–and that has now created off-the-chart actuarial risk, for which the dogs as well as their victims are paying the price.

            Clifton’s opinions are as interesting as his statistics. For example, he says, “Pit bulls and Rottweilers are accordingly dogs who not only must be handled with special precautions, but also must be regulated with special requirements appropriate to the risk they may pose to the public and other animals, if they are to be kept at all.”

  • Every single time a dog does something wrong, people seem to think it’s a pit bull. Most people have no ability to discern when a dog is a pit bull, they’re just quick to jump to conclusions.

  • PoP should write a post about whether black teenagers who live in affordable housing projects and hang out at Gallery Place should be allowed to own pitbulls near white gentrifiers who demand an organic grocery store and deduct their mortgage interest from their income taxes while failing to pick up their chihuahua’s poo. I bet we could set a record for comments, all caps, and page views.

  • For the record, there is one guy at Stoney’s with a crossbow now. He looks peevish.

  • Why are crossbows better than regular bows? Didn’t that get everyone wondering???

    Longbow Rate of fire: Trained marksman can shoot 20 arrows in a minute.
    Penetrating power: Trained marksman can penetrate armor from 300 metres distance
    Accuracy: They were used en masse, more of a rain of arrows falling from the sky

    Rate of fire: No matter if you are a trained marksmen or a quickly trained peasant, i say max. 5 bolts/minute
    Penetrating power: Quickly trained peasant can penetrate armor from 250 metres distance
    Accuracy: Better then the Longbow, Quickly trained peasant can fire more accurate with his crossbow then a trained marksmen with his longbow

    Sieges: During siege attacks, i would say crossbows. Get some wooden plates for cover, get every crossbowman a reloading team of two men and you can fire crossbowbolts in a relative fast rate. This works too for siege defenses

    The advantage of crossbow accuracy in siege attacks is obvious. Longbows don’t fit to pick off men from walls with battlements.

    The advantage of longbow rate of fire in siege Defenses is obvious. As knights will storm your castle you release a rain of arrows to cause death and disaster among them.

  • Is there any update on this woman’s condition?

  • Does it really matter what the breed is? And no, I’m not a pit bull apologist. It just seems to me that the issue here is that these dogs attacked a person. For me, it doesn’t matter at this point what breed they are, if they have never done this before, or if their owners claim they are good dogs. They attacked a person, and should be put down. End of story. Get those dogs out of that home, send them into doggie eternity and make sure the owners are punished within whatever legal means exist.

  • Can you tell me specifically what these dogs looked like?

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