Your dog attacked my wife!

I started to write this as a pit thread, but it’s not the dogs fault, and the family was so apologetic that I just can’t maintain the rage needed to make it Pit worthy, so read on…

Mrs. Stone loves taking long walks every morning and evening. Tonight, she was walking down the sidewalk only three blocks from our house when two dogs ran out of the yard, across the street from her, and attacked her.

She turned her back on them and pulled her arms in close to her chest. One of them only barked at her, while the other one jumped at her back. After pawing her a couple times, they turned away and started back across the street. But as soon as she turned her head even a little bit, to look at them to make sure it was safe to leave, it jumped at her again. The next time it left, she waited a moment and took off running down the street. It didn’t follow. (Her intention the first time she turned her head, was to slowly walk away, so as to not entice it to chase her. But after the second attack, she was too frightened to manage that and just fled.)

She came home to me (sitting at the computer, my normal position) with a torn dress and a combination of anger and fear in her voice telling me what had occurred. A quick examination of her back revealed no damage, no bleeding, and no scratches, just 3 holes in her dress.

A quick call to 911 brought a call from the animal control officer (who said she needed the exact address where it occurred) and a police officer to our door. The officer gave us a ride to location where it happened and we found a group of people on the front yard. Two adult couples and three little kids (ages 3, 4, & 5, perhaps). After describing the dogs, one couple admitted they had two dogs matching those descriptions but insisted they had been inside all evening. And even if they had gotten outside, they insisted that their dogs would never attack someone as my wife was claiming.

The man went inside and brought out the dog… loose… no leash… and it trotted up looking cute and friendly… until it lunged forward, growling and barking and attacked the police officer!!! It nipped him on the shin, the officer swatted downward with his hand, startling the dog, who took off into the back yard.

Yeah lady, there’s No Way that Your Precious F’ing Dog could have ever attacked My Wife! (Ok, just a bit of rage left in me)

The man retrieved his dog, (with a death grip on its collar this time) and put it in the house. The couple was very apologetic, falling over themselves left and right to say that it had never happened before, they would never let it out without a leash again, etc. etc.

It ended with them giving us a check for $50 to buy a new dress with (it was a ten year old, plain, frayed cotton dress… but it was also her favorite dress that she had brought with her from Odessa… in the 3+ years I’ve known her, she’s worn it more often than any other piece of clothing… Darn, we should have asked for more money). The officer will be making his report. We will be making a report with the animal control officer (now that we know the address). And we’re going to leave it at that. I don’t know what the animal control will do in this situation.

IF they were telling the truth, and it’s never happened before, then I can forgive them. If they were lying… then they are good actors, because they really seemed sincere.

The dog I’ve already forgiven… but not forgotten… It attacked two humans within a half hour period. My wife was walking, minding her own business, on the opposite side of the street. It had no conceivable reason to attack her. The officer was just standing there, not even moving and it attacked him. … I love animals and always hate to hear stories about dogs having to be put down… but… I just don’t know… If it had been a child… I hate to think about it. …

Going off to comfort the wife again…

Unfortunately, dogs straddle the line between “pet” and “weapon”. I’ve heard of a lot of local cases where the meth dealers employ pit bulls and german shepards as ‘weapons’ to protect their labs. Yet, I’ve heard of other cases where the same breeds were just pets.

If this dog crossed the street, the owner failed in his/her restraint laws. That dog hurt you and your wife. He knew full well the laws.

Press charges.

Press charges.

You did the right thing by filing a report with animal control, if the dog attacks anyone again, it will (under normal circumstances) be put down due to aggression. Let’s hope that the owners will keep a better eye on their dog and train it better.

Go back to the police. The dog owners may be in breach of the law. The police may be able to lay charges and/or have the dogs destroyed.

This is very important-- I can still become upset when I remember how terrified and helpless I felt when a neighbor’s vicious dog clawed me below my left eye, and that was back when I was six! Some people might poo-poo her fear because she wasn’t really hurt, but it’s an awful, awful experience and physical damage can be the least of it. Hugs and chocolate might be a good start for the comforting.

It’s good that you didn’t let this go. It might help her feel sort of empowered to know that the authorities are doing what they can. Never mind that the dog may be vicious or the owners dangerously negligent and someone will be badly hurt next time.

Cripes, I’m glad she’s OK. How terrifying.

Just this evening a giant Akita (unrestrained) came after my little terrier as I was walking him. I’m going to start walking with my telescoping baton, no joke. You just don’t know what’s going to come at you when people leave their dogs unrestrained.

So scary for her- I’m sorry she’s gone through that.

Any chance of the dress being sewn up? A good seamstress might be able to fix it up good as new!

I’m sorry this happened to your wife. It’s very scary and upsetting. I know how she feels and I’m glad she’s OK.

The dog owners lied when they claimed that their dogs never left the house that evening. Screw them. Prosecute to the full extent of the law. Dogs who hurt people or other animals should not be allowed to roam free. Those people will likely not learn their lesson until their dogs hurt someone, considering how willing they were to make excuses and lie to you and the cops. I hate people like that from very bad personal experience. :mad:

I do think it’s kind of cool (in a very unfortunate situation) that the dog displayed the exact tendency towards the cop that the owners were busy denying. That way it’s obvious your wife wasn’t just “exaggerating” or making it all up.

I love dogs (I have one, albeit a twelve-pounder so not exactly a threat to mankind) but I stopped roller-blading in my old neighborhood b/c I was “stranded” on someone’s lawn by a big stray dog who wouldn’t stop barking and growling at me if I tried to move. I was new to the roller blades so it’s not like I could just dash somewhere to safety; I was standing there for about half an hour, wondering what the hell to do while this awful dog “guarded” me, when finally another dog distracted this dog and he ran off. Long enough for me to haul ass back to my house.

Looking back I should’ve done what the OP did, and called Animal Control to verify if the dog had an owner, and to pick it up if it didn’t…but it really didn’t occur to me at the time.

Bravo for following through and making the owners responsible.

My comment may stem from the fact that my best friend’s dog attacked me when I was in my teens, but I think that dog should be put down immediately. It is terrifying to have a dog attack you, and that dog has now attacked two people. I love dogs that are nice, and I will probably own a dog some day when I live somewhere appropriate for a dog. However, there are too many vicious dogs around, and when owners can’t keep them under control, they need to be put down. I hope this doesn’t happen, but if your wife does start having nightmares, or starts being timid near dogs, you’ll have this situation to blame, and the $50 for the new dress isn’t going to make it any better.

To this day I sometimes think dogs can feel the residual fear I have of bigger ones. Last year I was walking down the street when a rottweiler on a leash lunged at me with an immense bark. It scared the crap out of me. The owners said they were sorry, but just that simple incident stayed with me for a while after that, and I wasn’t hurt that time at all.

Good luck, and do find out what the police / animal control do about it.

See, I don’t get this kind of thinking. The couple who owned the dog were not only apologetic but paid for a new dress AND swore up and down it had never happened before. It’s very likely that not only are they telling the truth but the dogs got out by accident because someone left a door or gate open by mistake.

So why automatically assume that they are evil people who sic their dogs on random people and deserve to be punished?

I don’t think it’s a question of punishing them because they’re *evil * people who sic their dogs on to passers-by. I think it’s a question of punishing them because they’re *careless * people who allow their dogs to escape and attack passers-by. If they were fined for their carelessness they might begin to realise that dogs shouldn’t roam the streets unattended, especially dogs that have a propensity to attack for no reason, as these two apparently did in the case of both the OP’s wife and the police officer.

Like I said though, you have no way of knowing that the dogs didn’t get out by accident. I get the impression from the way they apologised and attempted to compensate that they really didn’t know the dogs were out and so are only careless in the sense that they left a gate unlatched or something. You also have no way of knowing that they’re lying about their dogs not attacking people before – it’s quite possible that something could have happened to make the dogs territorial.

I just don’t see why you’re trying to see the worst in a situation that has many possible explanations that don’t involve the dog owners being irresponsible.

My dog once got out when my brother’s visiting friend didn’t latch the gate properly, I don’t think that makes me careless, just unlucky.

Two of their dogs were outside and one attacked someone. They were either allowed to roam free, or they escaped and they found them and let them back in. They LIED and claimed they hadn’t been out, apparently to try to dodge responsibility. Even to give them the most absolute benefit of the doubt, the dogs somehow managed to sneak outside, attack someone and sneak back inside without the owners’ noticing, showing gross incompetence.

What part aren’t you following?

I’m wondering why you’re going for the absolute worst case scenario here? There’s plenty of explanations for what happened that don’t involve gross incompetance or lying yet everyone’s determined to go for the jugular.

Their reaction when they found out that it was their dogs who’d attacked plus the fact that Earthstone’s wife takes long walks morning and night and hasn’t been attacked before despite the dogs living near their house leads me to believe that you’re jumping the gun in screaming for punishment.

Carelessness of that sort matters very much though, if your dogs are the sort that attack people.

An even better reason for making them realise the seriousness of allowing them to escape.

Partly because I think the parents need a good shock to the system if they’re silly enough to keep these sorts of dogs in a family where there are three young children. This whole situation reeks of those depressingly common stories in the papers where you read about people (especially children) being savagely mauled by family pets and everyone says “why on earth didn’t somebody do something sooner?”

I’m not going for the absolute worst case scenario. The absolute worst case scenario is that they purposefully let the dogs out knowing they’d attack the woman.

What I am going for is a scenario that makes sense based upon what we know, and ALL of those mean either they lied or are grossly incompetent. They said the dogs weren’t outside. They obviously had been, unless you assume their dogs can teleport or phase through walls and they haven’t caught on yet.

They were outside. They ended up inside. How do you think this happened that doesn’t include lying or gross incompetence?

sigh. Once again, how do you know their dogs are the sort to attack people? If they’re telling the truth (and there’s no more reason reason to disbelieve them than there is not to) then this probably will already have shocked them into finding out what went wrong.

Look, bottom line, Earthstone, whose wife was the one attacked and is in possession of far more facts than anyone else in the thread couldn’t bring himself to pit the dog owners. So why is everyone so eager to?

Um, let’s see… they thought a gate was latched that wasn’t, the dogs got out through the gate and later came back in through the same gate with the owners none the wiser?

Wow! Rocket science!

And upon their return the dogs latched the gate themselves so that the owners were none the wiser?

Come on, stop fooling yourself here. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is one thing, ignoring facts is another.

The gate blew shut? The gate was still free to swing open when the cops arrived but the owners hadn’t checked it cause they didn’t know about it?

I’m not ignoring facts, I’m just not making them up. All I’m saying is you don’t know enough about the situation to declare the dog owners irresponsible or liars, but that’s not stopping you.