“Loose German Shepherd attacked my mom”

via google maps

“Dear PoPville,

Just wanted to let you know about a loose German shepherd with no visible tags that attacked my mother Friday on her way to pick up my son from school.

I just had a baby and my parents are in town helping me with my two other children.

This happened at 3:00 pm on Q street between 14th and Vermont. It knocked her down and jumped on her back. She landed on her face and has scratches and blood on her nose, hands, and knees. There were lots of people out and about the owner could have easily been present but the dog didn’t go to them.

This is the route I always take and I’m scared this will happen again.

Thanks for any advice or steps I can take to ensure the proper people are informed.”

22 Comment

  • PSA on the phone number for D.C. Animal Control:
    I just realized that last time I posted this number on PoPville, I gave the general WHS number (202-576-6664), not the 24-hour number for “cruelty/neglect and animal emergencies” (202-723-5730).
    If you entered the 6664 number in your phone, you might want to update it with the other number.

  • There have been some past PoPville threads about getting a dog labeled as dangerous… but I think these were all cases where the dog’s owner was known.
    In the absence of any information about the dog’s owner, I suspect all you can really do is call Animal Control and give them as much information as possible about the incident, especially the time and location.

  • And this is exactly why off-leash dogs scare me.
    I second everyone’s comments above, except it does seem to be extra difficult to have dogs labeled as dangerous if their owners are unknown or the dog has no identification.

    • I mean, your point is taken, but this could have just as easily been a loose dog where the owner had no idea the dog was loose. Who knows. There isn’t an abundance of information here to go by.

      • I don’t disagree with you, Duponter. It could have been. I guess I’m just a glass-half-empty type of person in these situations, and I’m more inclined to think that someone just wasn’t paying attention to their dog being loose than the accidental “omg the dog ran out the door when i was getting the mail” kind of scenario.

        • If you had your dog off-leash and it started running around uncontrollably and attacking people (presumably through the streets with cars around as well), I’d imagine you wouldn’t just sit back and chill and blend in….

          • Personally I wouldn’t. But have you heard some of the dog stories in this city recently?

          • Except that’s exactly what happened both times my dog and I were attacked. Off-leash pits whose owners either did nothing or ran away while my dog got attacked. Only 1 of those owners got caught.

            There are a lot of people in this city who own large dogs even though they shouldn’t be allowed even a goldfish.

    • Considering this dog did not actually bite the OP’s mother, I’m guessing even if she knew who the owner was it would not be labeled as dangerous. There also seems to be parts missing from the story. After the dog knocked over the OP’s mother, what happened? How did she get it off if the owner didn’t call it away? It’s possible the dog wasn’t being truly aggressive, but it’s impossible to tell without having seen the incident or knowing the rest of the story.
      In any case, I’m sure it was a scary incident and the owner of the dog should certainly not continue to let it off leash, if in fact they did it on purpose. Best thing OP can do is call animal control if she ever sees the dog off-leash again.

      • From the description, the dog may simply have been overly friendly and poorly trained (which doesn’t excuse the dog being off leash and running loose). I’ve known a few such dogs (and their owners) and the bigger they are, the more annoying it can be–and to a small person and/or somebody who doesn’t trust dogs (especially children) it can be quite terrifying and even dangerous.

        • I agree with both of these posts (anon & DC Tropics). This sounds a lot more like untrained jumping-for-attention behavior than an “attack” … Not to say I don’t feel for the person who was hurt (I’m sure it was very scary), just that I don’t see evidence of this dog being aggressive based on this description. It also sounds like the dog might have gotten away from its owner and that it was lost, which could explain why it was overly excitable and seeking attention.
          But if this is a case where the owner was intentionally walking off-leash, the OP should certainly call animal control if she sees this again. It drives me crazy to see so many dogs off leash in DC.

          • No. Just STOP! No dog ever should ever be able to jump on a person! Seriously. There is no “friendly” jump up. On leash or off leash (ignorant, illegal and stupid) your dog needs to be under complete control at all times.

          • Thank you, Victoria. I agree. Dogs — especially large dogs — jumping on people indicates that the dog is out of control. Just like I don’t want a stranger touching me without permission I don’t want someone’s dog jumping on me without permission. Especially for those of us who are on the small side, what some people think is “friendly” can be scary and dangerous.

          • ” This sounds a lot more like untrained jumping-for-attention behavior than an “attack” ”

            This is one of the more ridiculous comments I’ve read.

  • You might consider putting up a sign at the dog park on Q and 11th Streets. It’s possible that a dog got loose from there – there’s a double-gate system, but stuff happens. I would still call WHS Animal Control so they can have a lookout for this dog. I hope your mom will be OK soon.

  • Probably got loose when they took the fence down in Logan Circle.

  • Because her mom was from out of town and might not have had a cellphone in hand, or needed to hurry to pick a child up from school?

    Personally, it hadn’t occurred to me that visiting a city meant needing to memorize the procedures and/or numbers to call for animal control. Nor have I included this among the things that out-of-town guests need to hear from me.

    After the fact, all the OP can do is tell her neighbors to be on the lookout.

    • Exactly. This incident happened to the OP’s mom, not the OP. If I were visiting someone in another city and a dog knocked me over and I was injured from the fall, I would probably be sufficiently dazed and upset that I wouldn’t immediately be thinking about calling 911.

  • I believe that rabies prophylaxis would be warranted for this exposure unless the owner of the dog can be located.

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