“Vicious Pitbull Attack in Mt Pleasant Thursday 8:45pm”

by Prince Of Petworth August 22, 2016 at 12:50 pm 80 Comments

via google maps

“Dear PoPville,

Thursday night my Maltipoo puppy, Bently, and I were taking our usual evening stroll when we were attacked by a black Pitbull, Reo. The dog was off-leash and ran down Kilbourne from 18th towards 19th where he sank into little Bentlys ear and started to toss him about. When he went in for Bently’s neck he ended up biting both Bently’s neck and my hand and started to drag us into the street as I gushed blood and tried my hardest to shield my puppy’s neck which he kept trying to snap.

The owner was absent in this until a neighbor was able to pry Reo, the Pitbull, off of us and she took hold of her dog again, finally having sauntered up the street, not heeding our screams. There was immediately a crowd of neighbors around us, two angels even rushed Bently and I both to our respective Emergency Rooms. One neighbor in the confusion picked up all my belongings strewn about the road, and found Reo’s tag with two disconnected DC numbers on it.

The owner claimed she had to leave the scene to a house around the corner, but has not come forward and I’m desperately seeking information on it’s vaccines for myself and my puppy, as well as ensuring this doesn’t happen to any of the many small children and animals in Mount Pleasant.

We’re both badly beaten and suffered puncture wounds, but are grateful as this could easily have been worse.

If anyone has any information we would be so grateful, [email protected]

  • Alex

    If you walk your dog off-leash, you aren’t responsible enough for a dog. Period. The owner of the pit should be ashamed, and in a perfect world banned from dog ownership.

    • Cooper the cat

      “The owner of the pitbull should be ashamed.”

      That would imply that the own has even a shred of shame, and I really, really doubt that’s the case.”

    • Tsar of Truxton

      All true, though it is not clear that the owner was walking the dog off leash. The dog may have escaped. The owner should still take responsibility for the dog’s actions, however.

    • kharr89

      Agreed. As someone who has a reactive dog, I can attest that leash laws are not just to make sure dangerous dogs are on leash, but to make sure that an unleashed friendly dog isn’t hurt by approaching a leashed reactive dog. If an unleashed dog ran up to my dog (a 70 lb bull terrier), there’s no telling what would happen. Even a generally well behaved dog can become aggressive in that situation because of the power dynamic of being leashed around a dog who isn’t leashed. Sorry this happened to you, OP!

      • NHAve

        Hey BT! Ours is reactive too, and it really chaps me when I see dogs off leash for this reason. It’s for everyone’s safety, I don’t care if your dog is chill and just follows you around.

        • ADO

          Why don’t you just get proper training for your dog so that they aren’t reactive? I often walk my dog off leash because he’s been properly trained to stay by my side. If a reactive dog freaks out he ignores it and if another dog comes up off leash I put myself between my dog and the other dog.

          Obviously an aggressive dog should never be off-leash. But seek proper training for your reactive pooch and it will be for everyone’s safety.

          • eggs

            Because it’s not always a training issue – it’s a power issue between a dog on-leash and a dog off-leash. It puts them at distinctly different levels of power/control and can immediately set a bad tone between the two dogs if one is on leash and the other is not. A dog on-leash may view itself as tied to and protecting its owner from this potentially wild dog that isn’t tied to/protecting its owner. A dog on-leash may also view the off-leash dog as a threat because the on-leash dog can only get 6 feet away, max, and can’t escape.

          • NorthByNE

            Are you serious? You are breaking the law and endangering other people and animals by walking your dog off-leash. Not all dog’s can be trained to not react to other dogs that approach them. The owners of these dogs are doing the right thing by acknowledging their dogs are reactive and using a leash to control them and keep everyone safe. You having your dog off-leash negates that entirely.

          • ADo

            How does my dog being off leash negate someones ability to control their dog? Yes, if my dog approaches the other dog then that would be a problem, and obviously in the case of the OP this isn’t what happened. To say all dogs ever being offleash is a danger is a large generalization. Your reactive dog is more of a danger on leash, not to mention a nuisance.

            Maybe your dog couldn’t be trained off leash because it’s owner wasn’t willing to put in the work (or hire the work) to properly train their dog. Go on yelp and get yourself a proper trainer.

          • navyard

            oh gawd, yet another precious snowflake who thinks the laws don’t apply to them. My dog is special so we don’t have to obey the laws. Laws are for people who don’t have perfect pets. ADO, I nominate you for jerk of the day.

          • c_petworth

            Your breaking the law even if you think your dog is less of a danger.

          • Pixie

            You can’t really train reactivity out of a dog. Believe me, I’ve tried. I’ve made some progress with my reactive dog, but it’s not a thing that can be “cured.” And every time an off leash dog runs up to my dog and freaks her out, it sets us back in our training. Leash laws apply to all dogs, even dogs that are friendly and yes, even your properly trained dog.

          • Givemeabreak

            ADO – if your perfectly trained dog is at your side and you turn the corner and surprise a leashed, reactive dog, what pray tell keeps you and your dog safe if that dog begins attacking your dog? How will you rescue your dog safely if it is in another dog’s mouth?

            You obviously haven’t lived long enough or owned enough animals that not all things can be trained out of a dog. You’ve also obviously never had something this traumatizing happen to you or else you would take better care of your animal. I feel bad for your dog and every single dog I see off leash in the city.

            What a dangerous attitude…

          • AdMo12

            I get ADO’s point, which didn’t have anything to do with the fact that he walks his dog off leash. Reactive dogs on leashes are still reactive dogs; sticking a leash on it does not solve the problem. While training may not be able to make all issues disappears, it will certainly help and equip the owner with proper techniques to deal with this problem. These reactive dogs (on leash!) still react towards me and my dog when we are walking. The leashes, in fact, get in the way when this happens and actually cause more of a problem. I pass by a good number of people up in Adams Morgan who walk their dogs off leash and do not interfere with me and my dog on our walks. What does get in the way is people with retractable leashes, but that’s a whole other issue….

          • NHAve

            Oh LOL. We’ve put hundreds of dollars and hours into training. Our dog can walk by another no problem, but he is not allowed to meet. That is where a reaction is sure to happen. And I don’t care if that’s his limit, he does not have to be social to be successful. He walks nicely on a leash and that’s also success.

            For the love of Pete do NOT simply Yelp a trainer. It’s a totally unregulated industry and your dog could end up worse than when you started.

          • Anon

            For most of us, it takes owning a dog that is recovering from trauma/abuse to understand how hard it is to train a dog not to be reactive. You can put in hundreds of hours and dollars and get to a good place (and you should do everything you can to do that), but leashes are the best way to mitigate risk for everyone. But even if you can’t find it in your heart to understand, know that the existence of reactive dogs isn’t the only reason to leash your pet. For example, people who have been attacked by dogs may have a really bad reaction to seeing a dog off leash, as they have no way of knowing that your dog is supposedly so well controlled. There are also people out there who are so allergic to dogs that even a quick lick or brush can cause a reaction. For them, it can be really frightening or worse to see a dog off leash, even if it does not approach. There are lots of reasons to follow the law and leash your pet.

          • kharr89

            My dog was rescued from a fighting situation after 4 years – no amount of training will eliminate his reactivity towards other dogs. Believe me, we’ve tried. I use a prong collar and a double handled leash and cross the street when I see another dog, so please don’t act like I’m not doing my part to control him. You’re the one breaking the law.

          • Kevin

            @ADO What an ignorant comment. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe you when you say you have 100% recall. I don’t believe anyone really has 100% recall on their companion animal. It’s sad to hear that you are so willing to set your dog, and yourself, up for failure. Of course any issue that arises must be because of the other dogs lack of training. I think the only animal lacking training is you.

        • anon

          ADO- your dog may be a special, perfect, never leave-your-side companion, but you still put the dog at risk not having it on a leash. consider that your perfect dog may see something across the street, or 2 feet away in the street, walk over to inspect and then hit by a car who doesn’t see the dog coming. its not just considerate to everyone else to leash the dog, but safer for your dog.

          • Troll

            Well given the standard leash is 6 feet i don’t know that it would help

          • Anon202

            Just so we are all on the same page- reactive is the new PC way to say aggressive right? SMH

          • Anon

            To Anon202,

            That is a fair question, but they are not necessarily the same thing. My terrier is fear reactive, but not aggressive. He will bark and growl at another dog, but he would not charge it. However the growling alone can cause conflict with another dog.

            And to ADO, I did invest in training for my rescue dog, and we had made significant progress. But then this year, we have been attacked twice by dogs running loose (not in DC), and he is more reactive than ever. Frankly, I can’t blame my dog after a pit bull bit him and shook him until he was unconscious.

  • TJ

    For OP: Please describe the owner. Very important we know not only the looks of the dog but also the owner.

    • textdoc

      It sounds like the owner wasn’t even on the scene until after the attack was well in progress — the OP might not have gotten much of a look at her.

      • TJ

        It still is a valid question, even if the owner was only present for a short time, and is needed information to help this person and help others identify a potentially dangerous situation.

        • textdoc

          Totally valid question — I was just speculating that because of the timing, the OP might not be able to provide much info.

  • mt P.

    GET A LAWYER, NOW!!!!!

    • dcd

      While this may be necessary in the future, what’s a lawyer going to do now?

      • pjl35

        For one thing, most firms have access to databases that would be able to obtain information about who the two disconnected phone numbers belonged to…

        • Anonalawyer

          What? I have never heard of such a database


          • Anon

            You’ve never heard of Westlaw or LexusNexus? I wouldn’t want you representing me…

    • ke

      At least consulting with an attorney is not a bad idea. A lawyer should have access to more investigative information. If it is a firm that does a lot of personal injury dog bite cases in DC, they may be aware of this dog from other matters or have colleagues who are. You also want to make sure you capture info about your injury and any witness information in a timely fashion and in a way that the attorney can use. A lawyer who regularly does this kind of work may also have relationships with DC Animal Control that could be helpful. Wishing you and your pup a speedy recovery!

  • textdoc

    OP, you and your dog will probably be stuck having to get the treatment for possible rabies. See this related thread:
    Was the tag that the neighbor found just a tag with “Reo – 202-xxx-xxxx – 202-xxx-xxxx” — I assume there wasn’t an additional tag showing that the dog had received its rabies vaccine?

  • Neighbor

    There is another owner who regularly walks his pitbull off-leash in this area. The pitbull is a brown/black puppy, probably less than two years old. The owner is a middle-aged black man. The dog does not seem to be trained to walk off-leash and frequently runs a block ahead of the owner or into alleyways while the owner yells for it to return. We have complained to the owner many times and will pick up our dog when we see them coming, but the owner merely responds “He’s fine, he won’t hurt anyone.”

    • SaraEP

      The dog’s name is Hershey and he is very sweet but I fully understand your concern.

      • Neighbor

        That’s him. I was blanking on his name. I agree he seems like a sweet pup, though obviously very rambunctious and poorly controlled. I won’t take a chance with my dog and I don’t see why other people in the neighborhood should have to risk their pets and children’s safety.

      • kanon

        Very sweet dogs still should be leashed.

        • SaraEP

          Yes, yes we’re all in agreement here, he should definitely be leashed I just wanted to note that he’s sweet – can be quite the jumper though haha

      • Overprotective Mama Bear

        If that very sweet or any other dog came and jumped up on my young child there is a very good chance the next time I see him I would smash in his head with a baseball bat or handy two-by-four. That’s what I tell the owners anyway. Leashes protect your dog, not just the people or other creatures they might bite.
        One of my kids has dogphobia now because of a jumpy little dog, the kind that scratch your legs with their little doggie nails and snatch the cookie out of your hand.

        • Ijustcannot

          You would bash in a dog’s skull because they might take your kid’s cookie? That’s not overprotective. That’s psychopathic.

          • west_egg

            His cookie or, you know, his life. Whatevs, right? He’s a sweet pup!!!

          • FridayGirl

            Definitely do not condone the violence in this post but I understand the child’s fear of dogs. I was knocked over by an off-leash rottweiler that came out of nowhere in my own yard when I was younger and it was really terrifying. To this day, off leash dogs that are higher than knee-height freak me out, even though I do actually really love dogs and would love to own one in the next few years (which I will keep on a leash!)

          • Ijustcannot

            west_egg, I completely agree that off leash dogs are dangerous, and that anyone who is attacked by a dog should fully defend themselves and use every means necessary, but that’s not what was said. This person said they would use a baseball bat or a 2 by 4 to kill a dog, simply because their child got jumped on. That’s the violence that I was responding to. I have a small dog who’s been kicked twice and hit once by toddlers (while on leash as he always is). Does that allow me to kick the toddler next time? Come on.

        • textdoc

          I’m not the world’s biggest fan of kids, but come on. “Crotchfruit”? “Bang trophy”?? Inflammatory wording is no way to get parents’ buy-in on how to teach their kids to behave around dogs.

        • Ms. D

          And are you going to bash your child’s head in if they run up to my dog without warning and grab at him or get in his face? I guess I’m lucky that if your child does that, my dog will just sit down and enjoy the love from a little person (and he LOVES kids), but I’ve had far too many incidents with kids just running up on my ON LEASH dog to trust that you’ve even spoken with your children about how to approach a passing dog respectfully. In most of these cases, I, an adult human, was startled by the sudden appearance of a shrieking, unaccompanied child…how, exactly, do you think my dog should react to that? (Thankfully for you, his reaction is to sit down and let them hug him, pull his fur and ears, and otherwise manhandle him without complaint…because if he growled, rightfully, and you came at him with a bat, well, you might find yourself with a face full of pepper spray or a hand grabbing that bat and using it against you!)

          • R2d2

            If a child just charges a leashed dog and the dog is scared and bites the kid, shame on the parents. The dog owner has a right to be upset.

            If an unleashed dog runs toward a small child any adult nearby has a right to use force, deadly if necessary, to keep that dog away from the child. End of story. The owner of the dog took that risk when it felt that leash laws were for everyone else.

  • Anon

    I’m so sorry that this happened to you, and wish you both a good recovery. My dog and I have been through it as well. While this is obviously not the same thing as serving the country in a war zone, we do both have lingering fear and reactions that are similar to PTSD. If you end up having to deal with, know that you are not alone and many victims of dog attacks do.

  • Renee

    Call animal control and report the incident. The dog needs to be labelled a dangerous animal and possibly removed if there have been previous reports. The owner needs to be held accountable. I love dogs but this is not acceptable dog or owner behavior in civil society.
    I hope Bently and you both recover physically and psychologically.

  • SaraEP

    Yeah I think a description of the dog would be helpful – I will keep my eyes peeled. Also, you may want to try googling the two disconnected phone numbers. Some deep ass google investigation may yield interesting results. Hope you both get well soon!

    • dcd

      It’s a black pitbull, answers to the name of Reo. Apparently missing its tags.

      • SaraEP

        Ok, thanks!

  • timmyp2353

    We have a guy in Petworth that walks his puppy-ish pitbull with no leash and it drives me crazy. I’ve told him he can’t do it and he doesn’t give a shit. I’ve called the police but they never find him somehow even though he’s constantly out and about.

    Nice dog or not how many times have we heard the story of a pitbull attacking someone or another animal and the owner says he/she’s never done that before? It’s so unbelievably selfish and dangerous.

  • Chaz

    This is horrible and should never have happened.

    When a dog attacks, one of the easiest ways to disengage *most* dogs is to pick them up by the back legs or waist. It won’t always work, but if you don’t have any other options it will often unbalance the attacking dog, or even just startle them enough to make them let go so you can get away.

  • SW–>MP

    FYI I contacted the original poster with the address where that dog lives. It lives across the street from me and is constantly hopping up on the fence (without actually escaping) and hollering whenever another dog/person walks by. Wakes up the whole street. My roommate and i call it the sandlot dog.

    • VC_MP

      Is this on Brown St.? Just moved nearby and very concerned it’s the same dog.

      • anon

        i know the two dogs on brown street you’re talking about. neither one is a pitbull though. they are terrifying and i always avoid that side of the street if they are outside. I’ve never seen their owner. I made a call once, nothing ever came of it.

        • VC_MP

          Thanks! I just figured the odds of two dogs named Reo in Mt. P (I know one of those two is definitely named that) hopping up on the fence was low, but maybe not. Haven’t gotten close enough to check breed with all the ridiculous barking/jumping ;)

          • SW–>MP

            We are talking about the same dog and like anon said, i’m not sure it’s a pitbull. But i was also assuming the OP might’ve not been able to tell what it was amidst the chaos. Obviously don’t want the wrong dog to face anything. But like VC_MP said, playing the odds of there being another Reo in addition to the fairly terrifying dog living right near where the attack occurred.

    • Good Samaritan.

  • K

    I am so sorry this happened OP. We dealt with a dog bite earlier in the summer and having the vaccine records of the attacking dog just took a layer of stress off. After getting to the ER the very first thing the dog owner did was hand over a copy of the rabies tag and an email of the vaccine record. Worrying about the rabies shots would have made everything so much worse. Good luck and I hope you get the info you need (and that the dog was up to date on his shots).

  • say what

    im sorry this happened to you. And guess what, DC isn’t going to do a damn thing about it. Our neighbors emourmous dog was attached by a pitubll off leash from a house that is well known to everyone and animcal contol for the viscous dog. Our neigbor ended up with stitches along with his dog. This was even in the Post a few months ago. CM nadueaus office had ZERO to say about it when the neighbors reached out to her to voice our concerns. I guess she was too busy getting more low income housing built. Nothng will change until a kid is attacked and even then its still too hard for our elected officials. Please please file a personal lawsuit against the owner. That is the only way to bring attention to this issue in DC. And the dog needs to be put down immediatly.

  • DRC

    Honestly, I can not advocate enough to always walk your dog (or even just yourself) with something that can be used as a weapon towards and aggressive dog. Something as basic as an umbrella, a heavy walking stick, or one of those tiny souvenier baseball bats. My dad does this even way down in southern Maryland on his rural street because there are some dogs that roam free in their yards with only an electric fence to keep them in. He got mildly bit earlier this year by a dog that walked right through it’s fence and the owners hardly cared. I carry a pocket knife everywhere I go and have no qualms about using it to end a dog fight if that’s what it takes to protect my pooch.

  • Adam L

    I’m not saying the dog owner should meet the same end as Ramsay Bolton but…

  • northeazy

    As horrible as this is, it’s important that all Washingtonians can choose the dog they want and we shouldn’t have pitbull stereotypes. If the owner properly cares for them and raises it properly, just like a child, everything will be fine with these Otherwise vicious dogs.

    • BitterElitist

      Actually. Responsible Washingtonians obtain dogs that are suited to dense urban environments with many dogs.

      Often large, traumatized or otherwise aggressive dogs aren’t suited to the environment. That is the owner’s fault.

      Nonetheless people are more important than your desire to have a hunting/fighting breed.

      • textdoc

        “Often large, traumatized or otherwise aggressive dogs aren’t suited to the environment. That is the owner’s fault.” It’s often the _previous_ owner’s fault.
        I have nothing but admiration for responsible dog owners like Pixie who are willing to adopt reactive dogs and train them to be less reactive. They are helping to solve a problem created by the irresponsible dog owners who acquired — and relinquished — these dogs in the first place.

  • Jesse

    Pitt Bulls should be banned. Thier inherent ability to inflict maximum damage per bite is second to none. There is a reason you never see a gangbanger walking a Golden Retriever.

    • NH Ave Hiker

      Great, another misinformed commenter about Pit Bulls.

  • JakeOnDC

    As a fellow pet owner I am glad to hear you both are on the mend.. Suggestions I would do .. pepper the neighborhood with flyers about said dog one way to get back at the owner.. File police reports and a report with animal control. Provide them with as much information as you can.. Most likely this is not an isolated incident with this dog thus the owner’s avoidance. We wonder why these dogs have a bad reputation.. Good luck

  • MtPMom

    I live in Mt.P and it drives me NUTS that people let their dogs walk off leash, what if they see a squirrel across the street!? Just curious, is the owner a reddish haired lady? I once asked her to come get her dog ( a pit mix) away from my two sometimes leash aggressive ankle biters and she rolled her eyes at me before lazily doing anything.

    • MNM

      It makes me a crazy person that I see this so much in Mt. P! It doesn’t seem fair that other people’s recklessness should put kids, adults and other animals at risk. Real question: what do you do if you come across an off leash pitbull while walking with a child and your family dog?

    • Anonymous

      Too many people in MtP do this. We live near the park entrance and I can’t tell you how many people let their dogs off leash when they reach our alley…because they’re close to the park, I guess? (Even though off leash is illegal inside the park too.)
      I have 2 cats who sometimes like to lounge on our back deck and a toddler, too. I really don’t want to worry about them because some asshole thinks it’s okay to let his/her dog tear down our alley without any restraint.

  • Pertinent regulations — DCMR 19:

    900.2 No dog shall be allowed to go at large without a collar or tag, as prescribed by law.

    900.3 No person owning, keeping, or having custody of a dog in the District shall permit the dog to be
    on any public space in the District, other than a dog park established by section 9a of the Animal
    Control Act of 1979, passed on 2 nd reading on September 20, 2005 (Enrolled version of Bill 16-
    28), unless the dog is firmly secured by a substantial lease. The leash shall be held by a person
    capable of managing the dog.

    900.4 The length of the leash required under §900.3 shall not exceed four feet (4 ft.).

    900.5 No person owning, keeping, or having custody of a dog in the District shall permit the dog to go
    on private property without the consent of the owner or occupant of the property.

    900.6 No person owning, keeping, or having custody of a dog in the District shall permit the dog to be
    confined in any yard or other enclosure, or on any private property, or in any automobile or other
    vehicle, in a manner that allows the dog to bite or menace persons lawfully using any public
    street, highway, or public space.

    • For enforcement:
      The Washington Humane Society (WHS) Animal Care and Control Field Services Division is responsible for providing Animal Control Services for the District of Columbia. Animal Care and Control includes Officers, Investigators, Dispatchers, a Wildlife Specialist, and a Director. These dedicated individuals serve the over 601,723 residents and 1.9 million visitors each year. Animal Care and Control responds to over a 1,000 calls for assistance each month that can vary from a dog running loose to a sick or injured animal.

      For animal emergencies, call DC Animal Care and Control (available 24/7) – 202-576-6664.


  • BitterElitist

    I’m glad this didn’t have the ending it could have.

    The pit’s owner did this intentionally. She wanted her dog to attack another dog. Hopefully her dog snaps one day and goes for her throat.

  • Thedogwalker

    I’m a dog walker on mount pleasant in the past I have been encounter a big really big black pitbull who was very aggressive towards us I took to the owner who by that time could not control him… I give him some ideas in how he can control him… By the way he ask me last week if I can take care of him cause he will be out of the city hopefully is not this dog… Their house is the building right in front of 7 eleven on mountpleasant no the one was burn the next door

  • anon

    Try Spokeo. It can tell you the exact address with the phone numbers for a mere $2. Cheaper than potentially unnecessary vaccinations/shots.


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