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“Dog attack in Columbia Heights”

by Prince Of Petworth June 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm 28 Comments

“Dear PoPville,

I was walking my dog and a friends dog (both Labrador Retrievers) home from the 11th Street dog park in Columbia Heights on Thursday, June 1st when a loose dog approached us.

We were on Sherman Avenue NW between Lamont and Kenyon heading south. Both of my dogs were on leash but the loose dog had no collar, leash or owner present. The dog went for the black lab first and then attacked my dog, Griffin. The dog had a strong hold on Griffin’s neck and head for a while and had him pinned on his back. With the help of some people in the area we were able to get the dog off of Griffin after a few minutes and secure it with a leash. The police were called and the dog was picked up by DC animal control.

I took both of my dogs to Friendship Heights Animal Hospital where they found a large wound on Griffin’s head as well as puncture wounds on his neck. They put sutures in the head wound – photos below (caution: graphic) and had to leave the neck wounds open. Griffin is doing very well and the black lab did not have any injuries or wounds.

The loose dog was a fairly small Pitbull mix with black and brown markings. If anyone has any information about this dog or its owners please call DC animal control: (202) 576-6664. I am so grateful to all of the people that stopped to help or call 911 – THANK YOU!”

  • BRP

    oh my god how scary! glad Griffin is on the mend.

  • Q

    That must have been terrifying. I’m so glad your guys are okay. How did you get the other dog off yours? My small dog and I were recently chased by an adolescent pit bull whose owner lost hold of the leash. Luckily, I was able to zig zag enough to keep away from it until the owner got control again. But what should I have done if it had grabbed her? How do you get two dogs apart?

    • kharr89

      I’ve heard that you’re supposed to grab them by the back legs. This removes their leverage to continue moving forward and biting. Thankfully have never been in the position to try this myself.

    • Mickey’s BFF

      You should jab the offending dog sharply in its hind quarters (some say in the anus) to break its concentration. Fortunately, my dogs & I have never been in a position to have to try it.

  • Dognonymous

    Poor buddy! Glad Friendship was able to get him fixed up. It’s so reassuring having them in town.

  • gonzo

    Terrible! And in my neighborhood, too. My dog was once attacked by an unleashed pit down on V street, and we had to take a visit to friendship heights. The pit was also wearing a pink sweater…

  • Get Well Soon Griffin

    OP- sorry you had to experience this as I know how scary it can be! I hope poor Griffin heals up nicely and does not have lingering trauma from the incident.

    FYI a quick tip on breaking up dog fights that many dog owners are not aware of:

    It’s best when there are two people and when each of them grab a dog by the haunches/hips and lift them off the ground at the same time (like wheelbarrows). After a moment the dogs will disengage each other and you can back them each up to a safe distance from each other to take control. You should never put your hands into the center of the fight as you will almost certainly be bitten. It’s never a totally safe exercise to separate a dog fight but this approach minimizes risks for both the humans and the dogs involved.

    • Anonymous

      When holding a dog in this position, can’t it turn around and start snapping at you?

      • PFlyer

        Yes, it can. Several years ago, I was out for a walk and came upon a very large unleashed, unattended dog going to town on a MUCH smaller dog that was being walked by two terrified (pre-teen) kids. I was recovering from massive knee surgery at the time, was off of the crutches, but still needed to use a cane to get around comfortably and safely. I learned that sunny afternoon how effective a couple of well placed whacks and lunges with a $20 CVS aluminum cane can be is getting the attacking dog’s undivided attention, ending the attack, and sending the attacking dog scampering off for the hills with its tail between it’s legs. Kinda reminded me of my college fencing days . . . .

  • Woodridge

    I’m so sorry – that’s a horrible thing to have happen. Glad to hear Griffin is doing ok!

  • Thought

    Another quality of life issue ignored by Councilmember Brianne Nadeau.
    The subject of Nadeau came up at a dinner party I attended this weekend. Not a single person had anything positive to say about her tenure (I am reluctant to use the word service). This has moved from opinion to consensus. I hope she is exploring a different line of work, for the good of the district.

    • ParkViewneighbor

      So interesting how people disapprove of our elected leaders yet these same elected leaders are constantly re-elected. The Jacks, the Brandons, and co are still there after all these years and lack of action…

      • textdoc

        Many people voted for Brianne Nadeau because they were tired of Jim Graham and his corruption. And it wasn’t like she was Graham’s protege and anointed successor, the way Brandon Todd was for Muriel Bowser.
        PoPvillagers are hardly a unified bunch as far as politics is concerned, but even if they were, they’re still only a segment of a large D.C. population. So it’s not surprising that election results often don’t reflect PoPvillagers’ preferences.

    • jonah

      What would any Councilmember be able to do about this situation?

    • BuffySue

      I highly doubt Brianne Nadeau is ignoring this issue, as there is a long list of concerns in our great city of DC (no hints of sarcasm). Personally, I feel she is doing a great job—especially in regards to being open and honest with her constituents as opposed to accepting bribery etc.

    • Na-doz

      ugh, glad to hear others agree. Nadeau is not of great use as a defender of Ward 1. Voted for her, sad mistake.

    • bsdetector

      I suppose your dinner party is a statistically representative sample of the electorate?

      I find it hard to believe that this frightening situation is any way relevant to Nadeau’s tenure.

      • Ward 1

        Contact Nadeau and she’ll spend more time giving you a list of why she can’t possibly do something to help than it would take her to simply try to do anything at all to try. It’s an absolutely pathetic response every time. She has her own (misguided) agenda and doesn’t care at all about taking time for her constituents. Nadeau must go.

  • allison

    I am so, so sorry to hear about this. How scary. I’m glad Friendship was able to take care of it, they are wonderful up there and we’ve always had positive experiences when we’ve gone for our dog.

    On Friday or Saturday when walking our dog, we saw a handwritten note describing the incident taped up on the gate of a home on Sherman between Lamont and Kenyon where a pit bull fitting that description is often standing — not sure if that was done by the OP or another witness.

  • flieswithhoney

    OP, do you have a picture of the dog or can animal control send you a picture? Some, myself included, recognize and remember dogs easier than their owners. And recognizing the dog could narrow down where the dog lived. Hope Griffin heals quickly.

    • catperson

      I think I saw this dog on Columbia RD a block east of Sherman on Friday. If I see it again, I will call authorities.

  • sinequinnon

    So sorry this happened! Post a sign or two around the 11th and Park dog park. Me and my shoddy memory were there when someone opened the dog park gate to a dog with no tags. The dog got into a couple non-serious scuffles with other dogs before someone used their leash to hold the dog outside the park until police came. The owner eventually showed up.
    In the event that it was the same dog and owner (and it might not be!) perhaps other folks who were present could help identify them?

  • KBLuckey

    Only in DC could a dog being attacked become politicized…. OP, sorry to hear about your dog, sending vibes for a speedy recovery with no residual affects

  • LittleBluePenguin

    Oh how awful! I am so sorry this happened to you and your doggy pals! I hope you’re able to track down the dog / its owner to ascertain whether it is up-to-date on its shots, etc! Hugs!

  • GetWellGriffith

    I am so sorry for you and poor Griffith! I am constantly worried about this when i walk my dog as several of my neighbors have had their dogs attacked – unfortunately all by pit bulls even though I know the breed can be ok in the right circumstances.

    I am so relieved you were able to break it up.

  • I’m so sorry about the whole incident and injuries. I hope everyone is feeling better, including the owner and people who helped break up the fight, it must have been terrifying. I must have ran into the owner’s friend just after, because she warned me not to go that way with my dog. She seemed quite shaken as well.
    Kudos to you all for being able to hang onto the other dog and get it to animal control.

  • So sorry that happened, but glad your pup is on the mend. I had a similar experience with my dog in January, the owner was able to get the dog off mine but not before it hurt my dog. Laceration and puncture wounds. The owner ran off with his dog before I could get any information. Luckily the quarantine period passed quickly. My dog is fine but I’m extremely aware of my surroundings now when I’m walking her. The animal control folks who came out to take my report suggested I carry a stick with me when I walk her. Almost 6 months later and I still do just in case.

  • ShermanNeighbor

    My husband told me about this! He helped you when it happened. We live on that block and about 7 years ago our dog was attacked in a similar way so it’s been a really bad problem! Our dog still has a scar on his nose and lip – try to be mindful, it took a few months for our dog to be back to normal after that one. Good luck and quick healing!


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