2 Dogs that “attacked several citizens” were Shot by Police Officers at 2:15pm on Capitol Hill

From the MPD-1D Listserv, MPD responds to a query about a dog shot at 8th and C NE:

“At approximately 2:15 today, First District officers on patrol discharged their weapons at 2 pitbulls running at large in the area. The dogs had reportedly attacked several citizens in the area beforehand.

One dog succumbed to his injuries on the scene and the second was seized by Animal Control Officers. The owner of the dogs has been identified and will be cited accordingly.

There were no serious injuries sustained to the victims of this animal attack.”


“On March 13, 2014, at around 2:00 PM, First District officers on routine patrol in the 800 block of C Street, Northeast, interrupted (2) loose pit bulls attacking a citizen’s dogs by fatally shooting one of the pit bulls, and injuring the other. The animals were recovered by the D.C. Animal Control Agency.

The on scene investigation revealed that prior to the attack that the officers witnessed, the pit bulls had bitten a citizen, and attacked another dog at 10th & Maryland Avenue, Northeast. The citizen was treated on the scene for her injuires by DCFD, and released. There were no injuries to the officers.

This case is currently being investigated by First District personnel and the D.C. Animal Control Agency.”

66 Comment

  • Oh god, can’t wait for the comments on this one…

    • i agree. i own a pitbull and something like this really upsets me. there is no backstory but people point the blame because its a pit. more than just pits attack ppl, but only pitbull attacks get reported. it breaks my heart. especially because my pitbull is the sweetest dog ever and they really just have a bad rep.

      • not true. a Corso bit a young girl in the face on Kearny in NE recently and we talked about that too..

        • And that Corso was first called a Pitbull on the Brookland listserv, later corrected by someone involved. So I guess your point is somewhat true, but so is the persons you responded to.

      • maybe you missed the part where the pits attacked several people

      • People aren’t pointing fingers because the dogs are pit bulls. They’re pointing fingers because they attacked people.

  • Sad on all counts.

  • I’m going home to hug my pitbull now

  • This is just awful. Awful for the people and dogs that were attacked, awful for the pit bulls that were shot (its not their fault they were aggressive, I blame the owner), awful for the cops that had to shoot the dogs (that must feel shitty no matter how justified), and awful that the pit bull owner caused this mess.

  • even if one concedes that pit bulls are no more violent than other dogs, they are capable of serious damage. and so they are not equal to other dogs. yes a terrier may be just as violent, but terriers dont kill people. they arent physically capable of it. pits shoud be banned,

    • I’m no dog expert, but couldn’t any large dog kill or at least seriously injure someone? Should we ban all large dogs?

    • That happens to be true for most dogs, 2013 also saw a fatal attack by a black labrador retriever. We should probably ban all of them. Also banned: cats for trying to trip people down stairs (ALL THE TIME!!!), clowns for being creepy and having the general appearance of a thing that LOOKS like it’s thinking about killing you (seriously, Mr. Clown, what ARE you hiding under that paint…).

    • Pit bulls and other breeds of dogs that are frequently cited in injury-producing attacks have no place in a large metropolitan area, IMHO. They should be free to live in areas like the rural country or suburbs where they have more room to roam and are in less contact with humans or other animals. But they really are ill suited for city life.
      I’d have no issues banning overly energetic and attack-prone dogs such as pitbulls, purebred Labs, and Dobermans from DC.

    • Call me crazy, but the story said the people who “attacked” did not have any serious injuries. We are not talking about a fatality here, so why are you bringing it up?
      Let’s put something in perspective. In 2013 there were 31 dog bite-related fatalities across the entire country. The report doesn’t specify breed so we don’t know what type of dogs were responsible. Even IF all of them were pits, that’s 31 fatalities and the estimated pit bull population in the US is over 5 million. OVER 5 MILLION. If pit bulls were really as “lethal” as some would have us believe, wouldn’t we see A LOT more bite-related fatalities than we do?

      • I wonder what constitutes “serious” injuries here? My sympathies to everyone involved in this traumatic incident. I know from experience that dog bites can be terrifying even when they aren’t “serious,” and I’m sure seeing a dog shot is no picnic either.

      • Your comment would be infinitely more valuable if you would, you know, cite some sources.

    • Banning pit bulls seems to me to be a copout. Many pit bull owners in D.C. own pit bulls because there are so many that need to be rescued. They are working to alleviate a problem. Imposing a ban just seems to avoid the problem and turn it over to someone else because of a questionable assumption that pits are disproportionately dangerous to humans.

    • I believe humans tend to be the ones that usually cause the most injury to others. Let’s start with a ban on them…

    • as info, Pit Bull = Pit Bull Terrier

  • My pit mix probably heard the bang (we live relatively close by), and has been hiding under a table ever since. Terrible news….

  • Whenever I see a story about a “pit bull” attacking someone/another dog, I have to question whether it really was a pit bull. People are so quick to label any dog that remotely has typical “pit” characteristics a pit bull, but often it is a completely different breed.

    • DC Animal Control was on the scene and identified them. My guess is that they do a pretty good job of identifying breeds since this is their JOB. I promise you, there isn’t a conspiracy against pit bulls. They just happen to be pervasively ill socialized and responsible for most injury-producing attacks in DC. You can’t rationalize this sad truth.

      • Bad and irresponsible pet owners are very attracted to pit bulls. Doesn’t mean that all pit bulls are bad… but it does mean that many poorly raised dogs are pit bulls.

        • figby

          That’s a beautiful theory. I was savagely attacked by a pit bull owned by responsible people. And went to the hospital. I also wasn’t judging the dog solely on appearance. Also was unprovoked. And I used to be a pit bull defender. No more.

          • I was bit on the head by a German Shepherd. That doesn’t mean I think ALL German Shepherds are bad or dangerous dogs. Sorry that happened to you, but way to generalize.

      • Not inherently- they’re judging based solely on appearance, which is inherently guesswork. Or are you suggesting they get DNA analysis the day of?

      • wait, “pervasively ill socialized?” do you realize the number of pit bulls in this country? that is an impressively asinine comment. 6 million pit bulls in the country and it’s pervasive to you?

  • Douchebags keeping their dogs off-leash never learn.
    Keep your dog – especially ill-socialized pitbulls such as there – on a damn leash! How hard is it?!?
    Shame for every person and animal involved in this. Except the dogs’ owner – I have no remorse for this person.

    • Agreed. Most of these issues can be avoided if you keep you dog on leash (it is illegal to have your dog off leash in DC). I don’t know if that was the case or they just got loose, but keeping your dog on leash at all times could prevent a lot of terrible problems.

      Also, the poster just above is right. Since Pits aren’t a specific breed, but a mixed breed of several bull and staffordshire terriers, just calling a muscular, bull looking dog a pit bull is sometimes inaccurate. Terrible situation for all involved, hope everyone recovers just fine.

    • No kidding! I blame the owners for killing the dogs, not MPD. MPD was just doing their job. I run in that area all the time, and the though of a stray pit bull on the street scares the crap out of me. If you want your dogs to run free, move to West Virginia – don’t do it in the middle of a huge, crowded city.

  • Shame on the irresponsible owners who allow their dogs to run loose or fail to ensure that the dog is properly secured.

  • Props to the cops. Two less liabilities running around the city. Hope the people who were attacked earlier will be ok.

  • I grew up with English Setters and Brittney Spaniels – they are at their core and by their nature hunting dogs. They were bred to be hunting machines. Some never hunt, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t in their blood. You don’t teach it. You can control it and harness it to an extent. Same with pits. They were bred to be fighting machines. If you let them loose to their own devices, they risk causing some problems..

  • In DC there are still a lot of dogfighting operations. I have a friend who lives north of H street who helped bust a guy; his dog twice escaped the yard and attacked other dogs. Usually those dogs are well trained not to attack people and children but they frequently maul other dogs when they get loose. As many have pointed out, this is an issue of bad dog owners and it happens with a certain kind of breed because pit pulls are the dog of choice for dogfighting operations. The issue lies with irresponsible owners who train their dogs to attack, and often for the purpose of engaging in illegal dogfights.

    • i own a pit and bad dog ownership is completely true. its not about the dog, its about the owner. if you have a hyper active dog with all this energy, and you never take him for walks, the dog has no where to put his excitement. if you have a dog that has no boundaries, has not been trained, etc, how does he know when to stop? people who get these dogs and don’t train them are the problem, not the dogs.

      pits by nature are the sweetest dogs. they want to please. and be loved. end of story.

  • Pitbulls? Naaaaaaah, it can’t be. Every pop’er tells us puts are saints and not naturally predisposed to violence.

  • brookland_rez

    Good. I’ve been out running/walking in Brookland and had aggressive dogs off their leash come running at me. What is it with some people? I don’t hate dogs, just some of their owners.

  • I witnessed this incident happen today while at a traffic light at 10th and Maryland. Anyone who thinks these dogs should not have been put down is an absolute moron!! The dogs attacked a man and his dog while he was walking across Maryland. The man had to let his dog go so it could run its life. It was absolutely terrifying!!! Children could have been killed by these animals. I’ve never liked Pitbulls, I think they have a chemical imbalance, they can snap at anytime, yet I do have friends who own them and swear they are sweet dogs if raised correctly. All I know is that in this incident, whom ever owned those dogs deserves to go to jail.

    • I don’t think anyone said the cops shouldn’t have done what they did. It is, however, a sad situation all around- I’m sure even you can agree to that.
      And all pit bulls have a chemical imbalance? Seriously? Some of you really need to do some better research on pit bulls in general before you go running your ignorant mouths.

  • The fact of the matter is that humans – despite all their best efforts and training – cannot fully control pit bulls 100% of time. While this is true for most breeds of dogs, the consequences are rarely as devastating. Pit bulls and other large hunting/fighting dogs don’t belong in a city with scant areas for them to roam freely and in close, dense proximity to lots of aggravating variables (cars, children, other pets, loud noises, etc.)
    They really need to be removed from urban environments. Everything about the dense concrete urban environment goes against their nature.

    • You know what kills people in cities way more often than pit bulls or any other dog for that matter? People. Should we ban them from cities too? Hmmm….

      • Until we change the law and make dog owners criminally responsible (i.e. heavy fines and jail time) for their dogs’ actions, I’m sticking by my solution. If you think of something better, feel free to suggest it. Either take these breeds out of the city or make the penalties stiffer. People respond best to economic incentives.
        Personally, I’m tired of owners of vicious dogs getting a slap on the wrist. There needs to be a $10K fine for a dog attack plus some sort of amount of prison time if their dog attacks someone or another pet and causes injury. Treat it as you would treat an assault, since these attacks occur due to the negligence of the owner.

        • I totally agree with this comment. Humans who possess animals should be held criminally responsible for their animals’ actions, especially in the case of violence/assault. The penalties should be much stiffer than what they are. With stiffer penalties, people might think twice about owning animals/breeds with a history of violence.

          • I agree. But until that day happens, the victims can and should sue the hell out of the owners. If there’s one thing DC’s got plenty of, it’s hungry, aggressive, ambulance chasin’ lawyers.

      • Now that’s a reasonable argument. You must by a lawyer.

  • How terrible. I walk my dog in that area. This reminds me – need to get bear spray ASAP.

  • I don’t know if well-socialized pits are more likely to bite humans but I do know that once clamped down, pits are less likely to release. No, I’m not saying their jaws lock-shut like an alligator but the timid ones, dating back to the early 19th century, were culled–producing a breed with a good bit more moxie to disregard anything but the task at hand. Unfortunately, for a couple of centuries, the task at hand was fighting–either other dogs or even in some cases bear or bull baiting.

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