You never know when the need to be prepared for a dog attack will arise. We read several times a year that a child is mutilated, an adult is mutilated, an old man or a disabled person is mutilated by a dog. Sometimes the dog is part of your neighborhood, sometimes not. Sometimes the dog is part of your family or belongs to a friend or relative. Animal repellent is a humane means of temporarily disabling the dog from escaping to safety. Although I sell and carry repellent, I found myself in a situation where I did not have the repellent when I needed it.
It was a spring day in 2006; I was busy cleaning my house after packing my inventory for a flea market the next day. I heard a child with the bloodcurdling scream that a mother recognizes as a terrible emergency. I thought it was a car accident. I ran out the front door and headed for the nearest intersection. Just before the intersection I found a young neighbor pinned against the front door of the house on the corner being attacked by a Rottweiler.
The pounding and screaming produced no immediate help. I didn’t have time to go home to get repellent or a stun gun. I was about 50 years old, a woman in good shape for my age; However, training with a Rottweiler is not something I was trained to do. I was able to avoid being bitten, I kept kicking and punching the dog away from the neighbor to almost drive her back to my house. It was at that moment that I realized that the neighbor was holding her puppy under her coat. I kept the Rottweiler away and wrapped his dog’s 1 1/2-inch tow-leash-type leash around my arm as I tried to carry them to my porch.
The Rottweiler managed to get around my leg, lunged again and grabbed his dog in his teeth, jumped and ran with him, dropping me and dragging me like a rag doll. He weighed 144 pounds at the time. The strap snagged. Fortunately, my fiance’s previous neighbors drove around the block to help. The husband was able to board the Rottweiler and his wife was able to rescue the girl’s dog.
I ran to my backyard to take my cat home. By the time I called 911 and got back to the front, the wife had given the girls’ mother the dog a few houses in the other direction. Then the mother came back and said she would take her daughter to the emergency room for stitches and care. Her husband was on his way home from work to take his dog to the vet. I left dog repellent on the neighbor’s porch for future use after they left.
I found out a little later that the Rottweiler had broken THROUGH a wooden fence to attack the girl who was walking her dog in the street. Another neighbor just came home and came to help after most of the commotion ended. My neighbor tied the Rottweiler to a tree in my yard with some of his marine rope. It took about 1 hour before animal control arrived on the scene. The control officer did not want to take the dog because he already had too many animals. My neighbor and I demanded that he take the dog because he had gone through a wooden fence and attacked a child. We also inform the control officer that the house on the corner is also the school bus stop where several children gather every morning and leave every afternoon. Reluctantly, the control officer took the dog away.
The occupants of the house on the corner did not return home until after midnight. The next day I was informed that the dog was released to the occupants of the house on the corner despite the occupants admitting that the dog had no vaccinations.
Since I wrote this article, the occupants have put up new wooden fences. The contractor who installed the fence told my fiancé and me that the fence is very poor quality wood and he does not think it will hold 3 Rottweilers. The happy side of the story is that the neighbor was physically treated and recovered. His dog also made a narrow recovery thanks to a caring vet who came to the office on a Saturday afternoon. The bad news is that 3 Rottweilers are still immobilized in a very small area with a wooden fence that may not contain them. Have they received injections? I do not know. One occupant was charged, put on probation and given 2 years to reimburse the girls’ family. The occupants breed Rottweilers. The bus stop is still in front of this house. The fence is at the foot of the side street and the school bus stop on the corner. I learned MANY valuable lessons that spring day in 2006. THIS CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE IN ANY TOWN.
Update: Spring 2008, the family and all their pets have moved in.