Dog Attacked at Warder and Columbia Road, NW

by Prince Of Petworth February 12, 2013 at 11:30 am 181 Comments


Dear PoPville,

Yesterday evening I was walking my dog on Columbia Rd NW near Warder St when all of a sudden a pitbull came bounding across the street in front on traffic and attacked my dog.

The scene was horrible, it had my poor Lu by the neck and would let go. I was pounding it on its head and body, the owner quickly came over and tried to pry the dogs jaws from my Lu’s neck, but the pitbull would not let go. By this time, people had stopped their cars and one gentleman came over to see if he could help. the pitbull’s owner asked if he had any kind of spray he could spray the dog. He went into his car and got a can and started to spray the dog in the face. Meanwhile I kept pounding the dogs head and the owner was still trying to get its jaws apart. Finally the dog released my Lu.

I had to rush her to the vet where I was told she had a hole a bit larger than a silver dollar and a puncture wound on the neck. Both the dog’s owner and I suffered cuts, bites, and contusions on our hands. One thing I have to say is the owner took full responsibility and called Animal Control. We have a report in and hopefully an officer will come today to inspect Lu.

We had a horrible night, Lu couldn’t stop shaking, and today she is sullen with little appetite, and obviously pain. My hands are sore and swollen. We are two tough ladies and will get through this. But to your readers I just ask please keep your dogs leashed, especially with these large unpredictable dogs, as you never know when your dog will decide to attack. This was unprovoked, and as I said the dog crossed the street to get to mine. I know people say it is not the dog its the owner and how she/he trains the dog, but I sincerely think that this owner is a good owner…something just snapped in her dog.

  • dat

    First off – I’m terribly sorry this happened to you.

    Second – you may want to consider suing the owner, especially if the dog was off-leash (which it sounds like it was).

    Best of luck in your recovery.

    • Aren’t there enough lawsuits in this city? It sounds like a terrible accident and the owner of the pitbull called animal control and no doubt will pay Lu’s medical bills. It’s very likely the pitbull will have to be put down. Isn’t that punishment enough or does everyone need to cash in, as well?

  • Boris S. Wort

    And now will come the pit bull apologists, to tell us yet again, how sweet these dogs are.

    • Right

      Greyhounds are fast, border collies are smart, labs are great with kids…but saying pit bulls are bred to be aggressive? Why, that’s blatant breedism!

    • As If

      As if pitbulls are the only dogs that attack. I own a pitbull and would take her to dog parks, only for the other dogs(non pitbulls) there to become aggressive with her at times.

      • Jimbo

        You have a special little snowflake.

        • Every gun should have a trigger lock no matter what. Every pit bull should have to wear a muzzle out in public no matter whate.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think the problem with pitbulls is whether they’re sweet or not, but that their jaws are really strong.

      • As if

        You hit it head on. But the problem is that people give the breed itself a bad rep when the dogs themselves are very fun, affectionate playful dogs. Even when I’m playing with my dog with a toy her jaw locks, thats how they are born. It’s not as though we train them to lock their jaws.

        • Anonymous

          Right– and dog fights stat between non-pitbull breeds all the time, but they usually don’t end as badly as this because the owners are able to pull them apart right away.

          • As If

            In some cases, but how many times have I seen owners try to separate their dogs when fighting to then getting bit themselves when pulling their dogs apart because the dog is still in a rage. But very rare do people look at those situations as they would say if the dog was a pitbull.

            A dog is a dog, a bite is a bite…..

        • anon

          Some bites do more damage than others.

          People need to keep their dogs on leashes, no matter what size the dog is.

        • Anonymous

          Pit bulls do not have special “locking jaws” – that’s pure mythology. They don’t demonstrate some sort of special shaking action when they bite – all dogs display similar biting behavior. Pit bulls do not exert an unusual amount of bite-force for their size. Multiple studies have found that bite force correlates to body-weight, and tests of three breeds conducted by National Geographic found that the American pit bull terrier exerted less bite-force than German shepherds or Rottweilers.


          • JohnQPetworth

            Anon- this is what I was trying to say. Sorry, I didn’t see your post before mine. That Salon article is a good read.

        • JohnQPetworth

          This is false. Please do some research before you make statements like this. I have 20+ years of rescuing pitbulls and I have never had any problems. In fact, in the past 5 years my 90lbs+ pitbull has been attacked by smaller, more aggressive dogs three times and has never bitten back. To make a blanket statement that “pitbulls are bad” or “the jaws on pits lock” is ignorant and does more harm than good.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed. The problem is not that they frequently attack, but that when they do their jaws and build assure brutality. Personally, I do not own or want a dog and believe that large dogs in the city are a huge liability because 1) we cannot trust all owners to be responsible and 2) we cannot trust all dogs not to “snap.” Add that to property damage, noise pollution, and fecal matter — I think this city needs legislation to curb the dog population!

        • Anonymous

          as they always say, DC has so little legislation…

      • BP

        First off, I’m sorry to hear about this attack and I feel for the owner of both pups. I hope Lu has a speedy recovering. As an owner of a pitbulll, however, I feel the need to share the article below: http://www.salon.com/2013/02/05/in_defense_of_the_pitbull_partner/. No, pitbulls are not any more or any less inherently dangerous than anyo other strong breed, nor do they have some sort of magical locking jaw. The fact of the matter is that an animal raised poorly will be mean and most well cared for animals will serve as loyal companions. Sure, some animals do “snap”, but then again, so do some people. Let’s refrain from overgeneralizing and accepting this for what it is: a sad moment for both pets and owners. As an aside, I’m sure if Lu was attached my a lab, or a german sheppard, or a chow-chow we wouldn’t be focusing any of our comments on the breed, rather, we would be talking about the temperament of a “bad dog” and the importance of responsible ownership.

        • Kristin

          Very well said.

    • Anonymous

      My German Shepherd mix was attacked last year by an off-leash Golden Retriever in a similar incident, ran right across the street. Either we should ban them too, or actually expect owners to keep their damn dogs on leashes. Which solves the problem? Pretty easy to see it if you’ve got half a brain. And,YES, we should blame the owners.

    • There is grounds to sue even if the dog was on leash and every lawsuit helps bring accountability and knowledge about these UNdogs into the public eye. People are left to beg to pay for huge plastic surgery bills when uninsured pitbulls attack. Many victims have continued PTSD and many have to pay 18-20 K for an air ambulance before they even get to the hospital. http://occupymaulstreet.blogspot.com/2013/01/pit-bulls-should-they-be-called.html this is why pitbulls should be called FLIGHT DOGS. Our nations 3 rd largest insurer, Farmers, should be commended as they dropped coverage of pitbulls just this week. Owners of more docile breeds and nondog owners have been subsidizing the much higher insurance costs of pitbull owners. The only reason the dogs are not banned is because local leaders respond to tons of calls, emails and visits from people from around the world who respond via the pitbull lobbys websites everytime legislation is posed. The cost of pitbull attacks are passed onto JOE tax payer who pays more taxes for Medicaid and Medicare. Visit dogs bite dot org to get support from other victims, or look up Walk for Victims of Pitbulls on Facebook

  • I wish you both a speedy mental and physical recovery.

    • I second this .. what a horrible thing. this really scares me as a dog owner.

  • cohi

    is Lu going to be ok???

  • I’m so sorry, this sounds like a beyond traumatic experience for you and for Lu. I hope she has the speediest of recoveries. What a terrible, terrible incident.

    Poor pup :(

  • Goodness!! I wish Lu (and you) a swift recovery. (The vet expects Lu to recover, right?)

    I’m glad to hear that the pit bull’s owner tried to intervene, and that he (she?) took responsibility… but he didn’t have his dog on a leash, correct?

  • dogwhisperer

    I take extreme offence to the submitter’s assumption that Pitbulls are aggressive dogs: “…especially with these large unpredictable dogs, as you never know when your dog will decide to attack.”

    As a pitbull owners, my dog is extremely gentle and and lovable. Yes, the pitbull breed does have a bad reputation – due to some of their owners not properly caring nor loving them. But if the owners take care of their dog and treat them with kindness and love, then this reputation would be shattered. It does not matter the bred of the dog, if you ignore it and neglect it long enough, it will revert back to its non-domesticated roots.

    I am truly sorry your dog got attacked by another dog last night, and share your sentiment that dog owners should take responsibility of their pets. But I cannot allow the submitter’s claims about “large unpredictable dogs” to stand without comment.

    • It seems to me that you are on the defensive and reading too much into what the OP said. She never stated that all pitbulls are large and unpredictable dogs. However, this specific dog obviously is and was not leashed. She said that large unpredictable dogs, like this specific one, definitely need to be leashed.

    • Anonymous

      its all predictable till it ain’t. good thing we never hear stories of pitbulls attacking dogs or people, huh.

      • As if

        You’ve never heard of other dog attacks against other dogs or humans…Yes guess your head is tuck in between your legs, just as my dog’s tail is…

        • Anonymous

          did i say otherwise?
          no, i did not.

          but when other dogs attack, people understand that dogs can be dangerous. and the stronger they are, the more dangerous they can be.

          defensive comments about pitbulls come off as non-convincing and make your case sound more biased than factual.

        • Anonymous

          and why exactly is my head tuck between my knees?

    • Agreed.

      All dogs are required to be leashed anyway, and owners of large dogs — unpredictable or otherwise — especially need to observe the leash law.

      • Oops, that should’ve been a reply to Kaylee — I was agreeing with her, not with Dogwhisperer.

    • Boris S. Wort

      “it will revert back to its non-domesticated roots.”

      A non-domesticated dog is called a wolf. Domesticated dogs are all bred to emphasize particular traits. The pit bull was bred to emphasize aggression. That is its domesticated roots.

    • MJ

      Typical pro-pitbull shenanigans. I though the editor was very PC when she said “large and unpredictable breeds” instead of singling out pitbull by saying “if you have pinballs put them on a leash.” Her dog was mulled by a pitbull. Deal with it! I think I would have made a much stronger statement against pitbull if I was in the editor’s shoes.

      Yes pitbulls can be loving and caring or they can be crazy, not like every dog but like some other larger breeds. Please keep yours on a leash!

    • WHATEVER! “I take extreme offence…” Are you a Pitbull ?

      What Judge Judy sometime… these dogs are dangerous – except your angle of course.

      • Sorry – Watch Judge Judy.

        For you Red Pen people ichting to correct me…

        • Anonymous

          Also an angle is not a dog. ;)

          • anon

            Awwww! Acute angle!


          • Anonymous

            Hahahaha. Comment of the day!

  • mpt

    I am so sorry and I really hope Lu (and you) recover. This happened to my husband when he was walking our dog – a pit bull got out of its yard and chased them down the sidewalk and got our little dog in its mouth. My husband kicked the dog repeatedly and screamed and eventually got the dog to drop our dog. It ran back to its house and its owner opened the door and let it in, then refused to open the door when my husband knocked. Animal control had no luck getting them to answer the door either. Fortunately, our dog was not seriously injured – just had to wear the dreaded lampshade and take antibiotics for the bite wounds. And after a traumatic 24 hours or so, she wanted to go walking down that block again! Good luck and big kisses to Lu.

  • Awful. I hope you and the dog are OK.

    This person better be paying your medical bills. I hope they are insured and that you got their contact information. Do you need to file a police report?

    • And Lu’s vet bills too, I would hope.

  • monkeyrotica

    When a dog has bitten and refuses to let go, lift the biting dog up by its rear legs. It will leg go. It’s an involuntary response.

    • Tip of the Day™

    • anon

      It actually gets distracted when you grab it by the back legs because it thinks it going to be in a wheelbarrow race.

      But seriously, yes, this is the way to stop an attack. After you grab the dog’s back legs, pull it away from the other dog. And it prevents the human from getting bitten.

      • Jimbo

        “Wheelbarrow race? HELL YEAH!”

    • Anonymous

      Come on monk, none of us want to hear about your sex life! :)

  • This is horrible and I’m glad it sounds like you and Lu are going to be OK.

    It sounds like you reacted as best as you possibly could in a difficult, scary situation, so please don’t take this as a criticism. And, hopefully nothing like this ever happens to you or any other readers in the future. But, when dogs are fighting, the best way to pull them apart is to pull by the hind legs, if only because it minimizes potential injury to you. Like I said, I’m sure you were scared for Lu/your adrenline was rushing/you weren’t able to think perfectly clearly in this horrible situation and it sounds like you did what you needed to do to protect your dog, so I don’t mean it as a criticism. I’m just putting it out there in case other readers ever find themselves in a similar situation.

    • Anonymous

      Sounds like a good tip. Thanks.

  • I’m so sorry – what a scary experience for you and Lu.
    Glad this owner took responsibility on the scene – I hope she/he continues when you send them the bill to save Lu.
    I don’t care if you have a poodle, a mastiff, a shih tzu or a pitbull – leash your dog.

  • rayul

    thanks to everyone responding. The doctor’s say Lu will make a good recovery. she is currently at the entrance of my house (inside) laying in the sun.

    Just to add, I did grab the dogs rear legs and lifted them but nothing worked. At one point I was even stomping on her side to no avail. I think the spray in the eyes and my pounding its eyes was what worked.

    And just to clarify things, I do not have anything against pitpulls and i truly meant large unpredictable dogs that are unleashed. Leashed big or small dogs I have no issues with.

    The owner commented something to me at the hospital saying she herself was a dog walker and had experienced other dog attacks, and that her dog was a “special case”. She did not elaborate, and I was called in to see the doctor.

    Animal control has come by to take pictures and file a report. They will go and impound her dog as there was a “dangerous attack.”

    thanks again to all who expressed concern. CM

    • Anonymous

      Did you rule out rabies?

  • EvilStevie

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you and your sweet Lu! Hugs for you both.

    Also, thanks to the other posters who have suggested pulling aggressive dogs back by the hind legs. I am a dog owner and did not know that tip. Here’s hoping I never have to use it!

  • Anonymous

    The pit bull’s owner deserves some credit here, for following the proper protocol. Most of the time, they conveniently disappear.

  • houseintherear

    How traumatic for you both- I hope Lu feels better soon and can get over her ordeal.

    My westie, all 26 lbs of him, almost ripped apart a dog last week. Westie was on a leash, other dog was not (and owner did not have it under control at all). The whole no-leash thing is just *always* a bad idea in a city, no matter what.

    • houseintherear

      And what really gets me about these types of situations is that the pit is probably going to be put down. Poor dog was following its instincts, and didn’t have any restraint by the owner, and how will have to die because of the owner’s bad decision. The owner should be put down instead.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah! Death penalty for irresponsible dog ownership! That will solve all of our problems.

        • houseintherear

          Yes, that is exactly what I was saying. Thank you for clarifying.

          Sounds like you’re a really nice person. I wish we were friends.

      • Anonymous

        The dog absolutely should be put down. And, you have more than enough grounds to sue the owner. Best of luck.

      • You don’t know the situation and how the dog got away from her. It sounds like both owners are being very level-headed and responsible. Why incite extra BS here?

  • ET

    I have seen WAY too many dog owners walking their dogs off-leash – several while holding the leash (as if that makes it better).

    One couple had the dog off-leash saw another dog about 1/2 block away, put their dog on the leash for the length of time to pass the dog, then took their dog off the leash. Then they crossed the street. As the couple crossed the street with their unleashed dog they were engrossed in a conversation. The dog while well behaved could have taken off for whatever reason and those people would have had little chance of catching it.

  • Anonymous

    That dog didn’t go insane, that dog went dog.

    • Chris Rock

      I want my joke back.

  • I hope Lu feels better soon!

  • Marcus Aurelius

    I am a dog lover and have nothing against pit bulls per se, but most of the time when there is a report of a serious dog attack the attacking dog is a pit bull. And it’s not just perception, it’s reality:
    Whether it’s the breed, the owners, or some combination of the above, statistically they are more dangerous than other dogs.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah really, when’s the last time someone’s dog got attacked by an out of control golden retriever?

      • Anonymous

        It happens all the time, but you don’t hear about it as much because someone is usually able to stop the fight before it gets ugly. With pitbullls once they latch on to something it’s hard to get them to let go.

        • Anonther

          If a golden retriever viciously attacked another dog, we would hear about it. An attack by a pit bull? Yawn. A killer beagle? Now that’s news and will generate page views.

          • Anonymous

            Right, because it’s harder for a golden retriever or beagle or whatever to cause as much damage as quickly.

      • It happens plenty, but perhaps *you* don’t hear about it because it does not get the news reporters (and media-consuming public) drooling the way a pit bull attack does.

        • Anonymous

          And why do you suppose that the media and the “drooling” public would react a certain way to a pitbull attack, rather than a retriever attack? What would give the media the sheer audacity to single out this particular breed?

          • Stacey

            “The media’s role in amplifying the public’s fear of pit bull-type dogs was evident in a study conducted by the National Canine Research Council in 2008. When an Arizona woman was killed by one or more dogs identified as Labrador retrievers, one local newspaper reported the story. But that same year, when a California man was killed by one or more pit bulls, the incident was reported “by at least 285 media outlets, both nationally (in 47 U.S. states) and internationally (in eight other countries). MSNBC, Forbes, USA Today, Fox News, CBS News, and ABC News all picked up the story.”

            And when an infant in New Jersey was reportedly killed by a Siberian husky, around a dozen local news outlets reported the tragic incident, according to the study. But when another infant was killed by what authorities described as a pit bull in Nevada the same month, it was reported by over 200 media outlets around the world, often with the word “pit bull” in the headlines. Like shark attacks, our perception of the risk associated with these dogs has a lot to do with this kind of sensationalism.”

    • Nick

      Some good points here. Mainly being leash use prevents all of this regardless of breed. Some inaccurate comments:
      1. Lifting a dogs hind legs will not always work, only some of the time depends on the drive of the dog. If you really want to get a dog to disengage you need to (and yes its gross but works) stick a finger in the rear end.
      2. Most dog on dog attacks do NOT involve pitbulls as previously stated as fact. The Truth is they are reported as pitbulls but further investigation shows it to be a mixed breed dog involved that automatically gets labled a pitbull. The sad reality is Pitbulls are the target and get attention when it comes to media so they run the stories. You wont see the dachund attack stories even thought they bite pretty often.

      Do your research and get educated before throwing out opinions as fact

  • I have what the shelter listed as a mastiff/pit mix and she is the laziest thing in the world (“what, go for a walk? can’t you just put a diaper on me?”

    However, off leash dogs REALLY frighten me. Because Lucy is so large, many dogs try to assert themselves to her, and them being off leash while she is on makes it even worse. This happens largely in Logan Circle, which we try to avoid (but she loves it, so once in a while we go). Other owners don’t get it. Even when they are on leash, too many owners don’t have proper control of their dog, no matter how small or large – one of basenji man’s brood got loose in Logan and very aggressively ran towards my dog, with the others lunging for her on their leashes.
    No doubt, if my dog had reacted, who would have been blamed? oh, the large “pit mix”. It isn’t the breed, it’s the dog.

    I don’t understand the idea that people don’t have control over their dogs – they let them go off leash, they don’t pick up after them…and they make everyone else look bad. It’s so frustrating.

    I hope your pup recovers soon.

    • I know exactly what group you’re talking about – those dogs are absolutely crazy. We avoid them, too.

  • ahhhchacha

    I don’t understand why dog owners think its ever a good idea to have your dog off leash. Even the best trained dogs can go chase a squirrel and get hit by a car, or get scared by a passerby and attack, or in this case attack another dog. Is the little bit of freedom the dog has really worth the possible death and injury of your pet – or worse – the death or injury of a child, a neighbor or another pet? I people doing this all over the city and just don’t get why its worth the risk.

    Seriously, someone who does this please explain…

  • Anonymous

    I’ve heard that a way to get a clamped-down dog to release is to find a stick and poke it hard in the backside. That is, right up the bunghole, if you’ll please excuse the crassness.

  • Anonymous

    I am curious: do all people who say pit bulls are super duper dogs, but its the owner that’s the problem also subscribe to the notion espoused by the NRA that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Because its the exact same argument. Pit bull owners have possession a potentially lethal object, which can go off despite their best intentions. But I’m willing to bet most of these “pit bulls are super nice dogs” people also are all for gun control. Doesn’t make much sense to me.

    • Anonymous


    • As If

      A pitbull has very strong jaws which is what causes a more severe injury. A poodle has the exact same potential to bite another dog or human as does a pitbull, but their bite is less powerful, thus still causes injury…Someone will make a way bigger issue of a pitbull’s bite, vs a bite from a poodle, which I’m sure happens more frequently and reported less requesntly as well.

      it’s like comparing a 9mm to a 22. The 9 is moreful, will cause more damage, but the 22 still has the power to cause serius damage as well.

      I didn’t get my pitbull thinking oh yeah if someone attacks me or my dog- that she has a stronger jaw, thus will offer more protection. Someone who buys a 9mm definitely is trying to have the advangtage on someone who has less gun power.

    • anon

      But one difference is that dogs — for better or for worse — have minds of their own.

  • poor Lu. I wish you guys a speedy recovery, and I am glad that the other dog owner isn’t making things any worse for you.

  • I am so sorry to hear this and send you all the best wishes and prayers. Get better soon, Lu! xxoo

  • Anonymous

    i get really mad at hipster pit bull apologists.

    • Yeah, what a hipster-esque dog. I see a lot of guys where flannel shirts, bow ties, carrying the newest micro brew 6 pack walking their pit-bull.

      I’m sorry for Lu, sounds like (and hope) she will be ok. Pit-bulls are the most unregistered breed there is because for whatever reason (muscular / menacing look?) they have been trained and mistreated into agressive guard dogs. They are fiercely loyal and were originally in their heritage a small game hunter (vermin) so they can act out, like any breed, if not domisticated and treated like a pet and not security system. Many dogs will revert to instict or poor behavior if they are not on a leash and controlled.

      You don’t see many labs, beagles, and poodles chained outside in the yard as much as you do these american pit-bulls.

      • anon

        Bad owners seem to prefer pit bulls.


        • I think so. Also look at the DC humane societies and pounds. Two-thirds of the dogs are pit-bulls, many of which have been neglected, tormented, and rescued from homes mis-treating them.

      • Anon

        They’re unregistered because the owners, most likely, can’t afford to pay for the registration and properly feed, spay/neuter & maintain the animal. That’s the reason why so many of the dogs found in DC shelters are pit bulls – they don’t have the monetary resources to do it.

        For whatever reason, low income individuals prefer pit bulls over other breeds. Not only does it provide protection in crime-ridden neighborhoods, but pit bulls appear to be cheap/free to obtain. There also appears to be a certain “machismo” aspect to owning a pit bull and walking it off-leash (idiotic, IMHO).

        Unfortunately, “low income” means that many pit bulls are not properly fed, groomed, and end up neglected (due to owners not having the time or resources to properly socialize the dog).

        Tl;dr – the people owning pit bulls are those least likely to be able to properly care for and socialize them. We should give low income individuals chihuahuas and teacup poodles.

        • Anonymous

          I was waiting for the blaming of low-income folks. Common theme. It will always find its way on to a PoP thread.

    • Anonymous

      So pit bull apologists who don’t happen to be hipsters are cool right? As long as i’m not wearing skinny jeans you don’t mind if I defend them?

  • Skadoosh

    I’m sorry this happened to Lu. I hope she gets better quickly.

    As a pit bull owner, I’m glad that most people who have commented here aren’t so quick to blame the breed. This info might be useful to all of those goat-fuckers who do.

    American Veterinary Medical Association:
    Owners of pit bull-type dogs deal with a strong breed stigma, however controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous.

    University of Pennsylvania Study:
    The top three biters of humans were actually smaller dogs: Dachshunds, Chihuahuas and Jack Russell terriers.

    • The huge difference is that even if a dachsund bites you it very likely won’t even break the skin. Much less dangerous.

  • Kristen
  • Anon X

    Having any dog off leash is dangerous.

    The pit bull owners here have two options:

    1.) Pit bulls are naturally sweet dogs and they only learn violent behavior. In which case, they must provide evidence that of the hundreds of pit bull attacks a year, all of them were abused, improperly socialized, or ill. At which point, they can be righteously indignant at the sweeping generalizations that all pitbulls have the capacity to do real harm to dogs and people and are, like every animal, irrational and unpredictable.

    2.) Their dog is an animal with an unusually high impulses toward violence. Good breeding and socialization can minimize this, but there are unpredictable times that the dog will act out and its best to prepare for those times instead of living in a dream world that my little dog will never hurt anyone.

    People who encounter pit bulls (and to be fair, if we’re talking about a powerful dog off leash taking an aggressive posture) have only one rational choice: Assume that this is one of the bad ones.

    I couldnt care less if your dog is naturally aggressive or naturally sweet as long as its under your control and far away from me. If you cant control your dog, I can only assume you cant socialize or train it either.

  • kc

    Can we get back to the real point here: DC has a leash law. It matters not the breed. Nor does the owner get a waiver because he or his pet are special.

  • anon

    Will the dog be put to sleep? Is there any sort of history of attacks with this dog? I blame the pitbull owner in this case for not having the dog on the leash. While I understand that the dog attacked, it likely would not have been able to do so if the owner had taken the proper steps to keep her on a leash.

  • Bvino

    Here’s an idea: make damage done by dogs a strict liability offense for the dog’s owner regardless of the breed of the dog and regardless of the “fault” of the owner and let the market decide which dogs are potentially trouble or not. If the prospect of serious monetary damages or possibly prison time for the acts of your dog bother you “even if you were doing everything right” as a dog owner, then don’t own a dog or get a breed that you feel more comfortable with. There are some dogs the mere ownership alone of which is negligent.

    • Anon

      The problem with this is that the people who own pit bulls in DC are typically low income and have no assets to go after/don’t have insurance to pay out victims.

      Still I think your idea is valid and more should be done to enforce the leash laws, payment of damages in cases of neglect, and perhaps require a minimum of liability insurance if you decide to own a breed that a proven history of being a danger to other people and animals.

    • Identified

      please stop bringin economic theory into this.

      “Let the market decide” does not belong here.

      • Bvino

        Proposing to internalize the consequences of a member of society’s actions to solve a social problem does not belong in a conversation about the social problem? Or is it just because I used the “M” word?

      • Uh, yes it does belong here.

        If I drive a car, I am required to have liability insurance in case I drive recklessly and hurt you.

        Why shouldn’t you need to pay for the risk of owning an animal that has a higher risk of inflicting a severely attack than other breeds?

        Why shouldn’t you assume the cost, if your dog inflicts damage on someone else or another animal?

        The market certainly should play a role. Why should society pay the costs of any negative externalities associated with you owning a pit bull?

        • Surprisingly, some homeowner insurance policies cover dog injuries even when they don’t occur on the property. I had an unleashed dog wipe me out while I was rollerblading on Beach Drive – broke my elbow and the owner’s insurance paid for everything including missed work. I think they were happy I didn’t sue.

          • Yes, I think some renters’ policies might also cover it. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t have insurance policies that would cover you.

            Still, that’s such a huge hassle for you to deal with. If I had any lasting health issues that wouldn’t be covered by insurance, I think I would sue for damages. You’re also now facing higher insurance rates because you filed for a claim. *grumble grumble grumble*

  • Anon3

    What a horrific, scary incident. :( I’m so sorry you and sweet Lu had to go through this. Thank goodness she will be able to recover – though, I realize the mental recovery will take longer than the physical. Best of luck to both of you. Here’s to each of you loving each other very much to help get through this difficult time!

  • Anonymous

    An offleash pitbull once attacked one of my beloved little dogs, and bit the heck out of me when I tried to pry her off. The dog’s owner fled with the dog when she finally let go. In an unrelated instance, a pitbull tied to a parking meter mauled my wife’s leg when she passed by too closely. The dog’s owner eventually appeared and was able to get the dog to let go, and he immediately ran off with the dog. My wife needed dozens of stitches in her thigh, and if the dog had gotten to the femoral artery, she could have died.

    So, I don’t mess around anymore. Now I carry a decent sized knife whenever I walk my dogs. If a dog attacks me or my dogs, I will kill it. I have known many sweet and loving pits too. But to the pit apologists — you are deluding yourselves. You own a dangerous animal. You are responsible for any damages it causes.

    • Anonymous

      Always give tied-up dogs a wide berth.

  • Oh, this is awful! So sorry this happened to you and Lu!

    I do not understand why so many dog owners keep their dogs off leash. My boyfriend and I walk through Lincoln Park several times a day and we are basically the only dog owners with their dog leashed. One time we were walking by and overheard a woman saying “there must be something wrong with that dog, it’s always on a leash”. Uh, no. We are responsible.

    • Yep – I’m the other person with the dog on a leash at Lincoln Park! When my dog was younger I used to think it spoke to my great prowess as a dog owner that I could walk my dog off leash but the reality is – it doesn’t matter. It’s against the law. I had a woman with small children yell at me once about it (not that my dog was bothering her or her children) and I realized – she’s right. I couldn’t defend myself – I was in the wrong. I have an old docile mutt but he’s 90 lbs and he looks intimidating. I never want to be the reason someone doesn’t feel comfortable using my neighborhood park!

  • Anonymous

    I sympathized with the owner and the dog that was attacked. But stories like this reinforce for me personally that owning a dog and living in the city is impractical, dangerous, and not fair to the dog.

    • Anonymous

      On the contrary, city dogs are better socialized because they get more opportunities to interact with other dogs. They also tend to be happier because their owners aren’t stuck in a car communing three hours a day. Remember, dogs are social creatures and are better adjusted the more they interact with other people and animals.

      • Anonymous

        Plus, responsible dog owners are good for the city. They create a stronger sense of community.

        • Anonymous

          How do dog owners create a greater sense of community?

          My biggest issues with dogs in the city is a) always having them on a leash 24/7, which is unfair/ unnatural for the dog b) no real places for a dog to run around and play (excluding dog park, which resemble prison yards), and c) picking up the dog poop. Its just plain nasty and dog owners have told me you get used to it and it’s not that bad. BS.

          • Anonymous

            Dogs owners smile and say hi to people on the street, and strike up conversations, and look out for other people while walking around the neighborhood. They pick up litter while cleaning up after their dogs. I’m not saying dog owners are the only people that do these things, or there aren’t irresponsible dog owners, but I do believe good dog owners are beneficial to the neighborhood.

          • Anonymous

            My goodness, you are prissy. I’m glad you don’t own a pet, or have a baby, or work in a hospital, or collect garbage for a living.

          • urban dog owner

            So you’re saying it’s better to live far outside of the city so you can just let your dog run around and poop in the backyard instead of walking it and cleaning up after it? After leaving it caged inside the house for 12 hours while you work and commute? Maybe you feel that way, but a lot of people are willing to take on the responsibilities that having a dog entails and I don’t think it diminishes their, or their dog’s, quality of life at all.

            And for the record, I never had to “get used to” picking up poop. I just did it. Really, it’s not a big deal. Do you think we’re picking it up with our bare hands or something?

      • Anonymous

        You are being extremely presumptuous don’t you think?

        • Anonymous

          Really, one can argue that doing anything in the city is impractical, dangerous, and not fair to someone.

        • Anonymous

          Picking up poop is a big deal. And yes, I am VERY happy that I don’t “own a pet, or have a baby, or work in a hospital, or collect garbage for a living.” as a response pointed out.

          As I said in my original comment, this story just reinforces my OPIOION that owning a dog in the city is a bad idea. But in true dog owner fashion, the masses have lined up to tell me how prissy and presumptuous I am for my personal opinion that happens to run contrary to what they believe. Typical.

          • Identified

            Are you happy? Did you get the reaction you were trolling for?

            You gave your opinion. Other people gave theirs. And you bitch?

            Be careful not to fall off that high horse, you might break your neck.

          • Anonymous

            So you don’t want to own a dog– that’s fine. But don’t pretend you know what’s good for a dog when you obviously know nothing about them. Also, dog attacks happen everywhere (my best friend was attacked by one in the country when she was a baby).

          • Anonymous

            And I’m sorry, but if you think that picking up a little pile of dog poop with a bag is a big deal you are prissy. That is like the definition of prissy. No one said you were prissy because you don’t like dogs being in the city.

  • dave b

    good news is: whatever your dog did to annoy that pitbull it won’t do it again and will be more likely to avoid future attacks. you might think it did nothing, but you are not a dog. who knows what vibe it was sending off that only other dogs interpret.

    my parents have a small dog and adopted a larger husky. for the first couple days the husky’s hair would stand up and look all menacingly at the small dog. then one day it pinned it down by the neck. my mom was crying, the small dog was trembling. the small dog would have been dead if the husky really wanted it to be. they have gotten along swimmingly since then. message sent and received

    • ahhhhchacha

      you’re right… it was the victim’s fault…

    • As If

      I am a pitbull owner and I disagree with your comment….Thought I did find it to be entertaining. No dog or human deserves to be attacked just by walking down a public street.

    • Anonymous

      dont blame the victim!

  • DC

    Would you consider describing the dog and owner? I saw a vicious fight between two pit bull type dogs at the dog park near there and the aggressor’s owner fled the scene. This included a rather bad bite to the second dog’s owner. It was another situation where the dog took hold and would not release.

  • Bullwinkle

    How likely is it that when you attack the pitbull it will drop the dog and turn on you (the attacker)? that’s what scares me.

  • Anonymous

    Sidetrack- Would you ever put the value of your dogs life above a humans life?

    • houseintherear

      Sadly, I would. But I’m a single, childless person and my dog is basically my kid.

      • Anonymous

        This says alot.

        • houseintherear

          I guess it does. :) And your need to comment says a lot about you.

        • Anonymous

          With all of the dog owners reading this post, I would have expected more responses to this question. Perhaps they are embarrassed because they value a dog’s life more than a human life? (which is wrong BTW). If you answered yes, you need to reevaluate your priorities.

          • Anonymous

            How many people did you think would respond in less than 20 minutes to a ridiculous question buried in a very long thread? Troll.

          • Anonymous

            who are you to judge who is right or wrong? my pets are more important to me than some humans. tough shit.

          • Embarrassed? No. Your question is insensitive and not worthy of debate in light of the forum (i.e., in a post in which an owner almost lost her dog yesterday).

        • Anonymous

          no it doesn’t. it says one thing. it says that she might ever put the value of her dogs life above a humans life.

          and even in that statement there are a lot of If’s.

          • houseintherear

            Who says I’m a she?!

          • Anonymous

            the motherly instinct ;)

          • Anonymous

            Earlier in this thread houseintherear advocated the putting down of the owner rather than the dog. Trust me they are saying alot about themself. I am glad we are not neighbors.

          • Anonymous

            How do you know you two are not neighbors? ;)

          • houseintherear

            I am currently drafting a petition for the DC Council to initiate a law that will instantly kill a dog owner who has a misbehaving dog, duh.

          • Anonymous

            cuz you’ve been posting on here for years and i’ve read ur blog.

          • Houseintherear

            And throughout all those years, I’ve never posted anonymously. Imagine that! I must have ovaries of steel.

    • Identified

      Would I ever put my dogs life above that of a human?


    • In a second… Without a doubt, I wouldn’t even hesitate. I like my chances against any Pit Bull, but do not like my Beagles chances when said Pit has my Beagles neck in its jaws…

  • Anonymous

    First off, break the vicious, attacking dogs neck…

    2nd, there is no second…

    • C3PO

      Pretty badass on the internet, aren’t you?

      1. You couldn’t break the dog’s neck. You’re not strong enough, and possibly the dog would turn on you.

      2. Assert yourself in real life once in a while, and you won’t feel the need to be Rambo on this blog.

  • Daneowner

    I always wonder what if any dog attack my gentle giant female Great Dane (34 inches tall and 145 lbs) the way the Pitt bull attacked the other dog? I only worry what happens the next day when other dogs try to socialize with her. Will she be the same loving, gentle and playful or she would lose trust and becomes aggressive. I have no doubt she would annihilate the Pitt bull.

    • Anonymous

      Care to put a wager on that?

    • I was around Great Danes quite a bit growing up and they really are the calmest, sweetest dogs. There are two in my neighborhood now and they are so gentle when playing with my 6 pound dog.

      • Daneowner

        They are indeed the calmest, sweetest dogs but that doesn’t mean they are not capable of protecting themselves and their owners. Dane were originally breed to be a war and hunting dogs. Do you think that little in-secured Pit bull can take on Great Dane? I am sure the Pitt Bull will have his first bite but that’s all its going to get because it takes a lot to provoke a dane.

        • Identified

          It would be a hellof a fight, but who would “win*” depends on the dogs. Danes are big and powerful, and I have met a few who are not nice at all, but they also haven’t been breed for war in centuries. Pits are still being abused in dogfights.

          300 years ago, a bulldog would have been a vicious animal. Now they are adorable rollypollies.

          **their is no winner in a dog fight

          • Identified


          • Anonymous

            But there most definitely is a loser.

        • Woah, maybe you meant to reply to one of the sevearl people who insinuated that your Great Dane wouldn’t win a fight against a Pit Bull. I was just agreeing with the first part of your post; no need to jump down my throat.

          • Daneowner

            @kaylee…wow..slow down girl. I was going off on the wager dude.

  • Lisa

    I live right around there too, and I bet I have seen the same pitbull. There are a lot of pitbull dogs in this neighborhood; some are as sweet as can be, but others are straight out of a nightmare. Some of the owners just love getting a rise out of people too, which is just sick. I’m so so sorry this happened to your sweet dog; I hope she recovers quickly. My heart goes out to you both.

    We must be vigilant around this area with our dogs, and the entire city as well. I recommend carrying pepper spray or a baton. If it isn’t a crazy dog after you, it’s a person yapping to you about your dog. I find DC is really not all that friendly when it comes to dogs.

    • Anonymous

      “some are as sweet as can be, but others are straight out of a nightmare” – that is every dog.

  • Sorry this happened to you and Lu. I’ve experienced a few dog attacks and can appreciate how horrible it can be.

    People, keep your damn dogs leashed! It’s so selfish.

    Reminds me when I was a teenager growing up in backwoods FLA. My mom made me carry around a big shovel handle (the wooden part) when I walked around the woods (with or without) my dog. It doubled as a walking stick and a weapon – just in case another dog, or critter, or crazy-ass redneck attacked us, I could try to defend myself.

  • Anonymous

    I hope you and your dog have a speedy recovery. Having had my dog bit once before, I know how traumatic it is. I see people walking their dogs unleashed all the time in DC, I wish the city would be a bit more strict about dog registration and fining dog owners for unleashed and unregistered pets in the city.
    With regards to breeds having specific behavioral traits, if you can select and breed a dog with social acceptable behavioral traits, you can breed one with social unacceptable behaviors too. It is not the animal’s fault, it is the breeder’s. The owner is always accountable and if you decide to take on the responsibility of a pit act responsibly and be extra vigilant. Even pit bull adoption agencies recommend owners with strong personalities. Pits were bred to catch and guard and yes, even fight back in the day, so it should be no surprise that these behaviors show up.

  • Erika Rydberg (@Pancakepopple)

    I’m sorry this happened! I saw another friendly looking Pitbull just north of you last night, and was worried it might have been the same dog, as the owner was letting their dog roam the neighborhood. Fortunately + unfortunately it was another unleashed dog. I hope you + Lu recover and this is a lesson for other owners of all types of dogs.

    • anon

      Did you happen to say anything to the owner about leashing his/her dog? Maybe if we all took more effort to call people out with unleashed pets, it will happen less. Just a thought.

  • McMiller

    Terrible. So sorry for you and Lu. I hope Lu recuperates soon. I can’t imagine how worried and hurt you must feel.

    I also feel bad for the other dog owner and his dog. He will surely lose his dog because of this and his dog will fan the flames of pitbull haters.

    As it’s been said–keep our dogs leashed!!! For everyone’s safety.

    So sad all around.
    Take care.

  • Anonymous

    What pray tell is a “pit bull apologist” anyway? I am a huge advocate for pit bulls and I do not apologize for it. Those of you who feel they are somehow inherently different from any other dog are just regurgitating the fear and lies the media wants you to believe to sell stories.

    ANY off-leash dog or dog left unattended is dangerous regardless of how friendly they usually are or what their breed is. Period. If you have the urge to leave your dog tied outside the coffee shop or let them roam off-leash at the park, do us all a favor and just don’t. This is the problem, people, not the specific breed of the dog.

    Do you know how many times I’ve been out walking my dog and someone’s off-leash Portuguese Water Dog or Yorkie aggressively charged us? Luckily my PIT BULL is small enough that I can pick her up and protect her from getting attacked. Except, if this were to happen to me and my dog defended herself, I’m sure she’d be blamed because of her breed. Hence why I avoid y’all and your off-leash dogs like the freaking plague.

    • anon

      From Merriam-Webster:

      An apologist is “one who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something.”

      • Sounds like Anonymous is a non-apologizing apologist.

    • Anon X

      Yes, I’d love to know how often you’ve been charged by off leash Portuguese Water Dogs and Yorkies. So tell me, how many times??? You certainly imply its a frequent occurrence.

  • Anonymous

    Because Lu and her owner suffered injuries, emotional trauma, and medical expenses due to the pit bull owner’s negligence. Lawsuits are not evil things if used as they’re intended, such as in situations like this.

  • Does anyone know if police will enforce the off-leash rule violations?
    Perhaps neighbor could identify the households that are letting their dogs off-leash and ask police to issue tickets?

    Here is the schedule of fines for walking a dog off-leash (outside an enclosed dog park): “Each person who violates a provision of this chapter shall pay a fine not to exceed $25 for the first violation, $50 for the second violation occurring within a 24-month period, and $100 for each subsequent violation occurring within a 24-month period.”

    Also: “An owner of a potentially dangerous or dangerous dog that causes serious injury to or kills a human being or a domestic animal without provocation shall be fined up to $10,000.”

    Source: http://www.animallaw.info/statutes/stusdc8_1801_13.htm#s1805

    I’ve found that the quickest way to get a person to change their behaviors is to hit them in the wallet.

  • Alicia

    My heart breaks for you and your dog; you must have both have been terrified. I love my dog more than anything in the world and I would have been furious/terrified/outraged if that happened to her.
    But let’s remember, there is no such thing as a bad dog or a bad child, only a bad owner and a bad parent. Pitbulls are often vilified as aggressive, unpredictable dogs, when really they are no more so than any other breed or mutt that roams the street. Just the other day some harmless looking mixed breed dog on a retractable leash attacked my dog while we were walking down the street minding our business and had my boyfriend not thrown the dog into the street and yelled at the clueless man, who knows what would have happened.
    Not every Pitbull is danger to society, nor is every off leash dog. Every irresponsible dog owner, however, is.

    • anon

      I wish retractable leashes could be banned.

  • Agreed. Why not just be comforted by the person taking responsibility, instead people try to sue the crap out of them. What a screwed up world we live in…

  • This is a terrible story and I am so sorry for you and Lu. I hope you both recover quickly. Another way to get a dog to release, fyi to everyone, is to take the part of your palm connecting to the wrist and hit the dog as hard as you can in an upward direction on the nose. It will trigger a sneezing response, they will let go and while they are sneezing uncontrollably, the dog can be restrained. I am not going to get involved in the Pit Bull debate, but I will say that people should never take their dogs off leash unless they are in a dog park. Also, if you don’t want an aggressive terrible dog, then you must do three things:
    1) Exercise your dog. (And I don’t mean a walk around the block, jog with it, hike with it, walk a few miles with it. A good rule of thumb is if when you return home and your dog doesn’t lay down, then it was not exercised enough!)
    2) Socialize your dog! (Make dog play dates, take it to the dog park, go to doggie day care! don’t isolate your dog and expect it to know how to behave with other dogs!)
    3) OBEDIENCE TRAIN YOUR DOG! (Be the alpha, have your dogs respect!)
    If these are not options for you, then please DO NOT own a dog. You give the rest of us a bad rap.

  • bjc

    I’m going to steer clear of the Pit Bull bad vs. good debate and just try to offer some constructive advice if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in a situation like this.

    First, I agree with an earlier poster’s suggestion of trying to grab the hind legs of the offending dog. If there are two people on the scene, one of them should definitely being trying to gain control of the dogs hind legs. Some dogs will release using this technique, others will not.

    If not, I’d next suggest “flanking” the dog by grabbing a handful of skin near the rib cage and twisting — HARD. This will get all but the hardest dogs to release. It’s also quite likely to get you bit if you don’t have someone else controlling the dog’s hind legs, so be careful. Finally, as a last resort, you can take hold of the dog’s jowls and press them up into their teeth – again HARD.

    You’d be surprised how much punishment a dog can take in terms of being beat with a blunt object and still not releasing its bite. You’ll have better luck using the techniques above rather than wasting valuable time punching or looking for something to hit the dog with.

    One final tip. If your dog is on a leash and attacked, concentrate on the attacking dog. Let go of the leash on your dog. Your dog stands a much better chance of escaping or defending itself if it’s not wrapped up around your leg / tangled up in its own leash.

  • Anonymous

    How about sprays? Do they help break up fights attacks? If so what works?

    My Golden doodle is just 4 months old and I am terrified reading this blog

  • JoeDirt

    I have a small-ish terrier mix that I walk regularly around the Logan Circle area. I also have a blade in my pocket that I can get to very quickly.

    If a large dog attacks mine and locks down on him, it will be the last thing they ever do.

  • Lucy Muir

    The poor sweet baby. This is what pit bulls do – off property, unprovoked, out of nowhere attacks. In addition to them attacking more often and their injuries being more severe, they also just attack people going about their life on the street.


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