To the Editor:
This March 12 I opted to go for a relaxing walk with Clementine, my 12-year-old English Lab. It was 6:10 p.m. when we walk out on to our street, as we do nearly on a daily basis. We were rounding the first block when a sudden snarling streak of brown and white flies through the air at my dog’s neck. I recognize it to be a pit bull, which is now gnawing at my dog’s neck as she howls in pain. I am pulled around again and again in a circle, by the two dogs until we all fall. I am on my knees and the pit bull is now level with my face, I realize the possibility of it attacking me, too. I quickly get up again and scream for help, but no one seems to hear me or my dog’s cries. I am helpless as the pit bull once again clamps down on my dogs shoulder; but that is when a tall young man suddenly grabs the pit bull’s collarless neck and pulls it away. In my terror I could only hope him to be the owner. With the pit bull restrained I use my cell phone to call my son to come to our rescue.
Once home, Clementine is checked over for injuries. But I am now terrified; this is the second attack from the same dog. The first time was last year when my daughter was walking Clementine and the pit bull lunged from its owner’s grip and bit our dog. In an attempt to be forgiving we did not report this initial attack. This was not an option tonight; once more the attack was unprovoked. This has to stop, for the safety of my dog and most importantly my children. My children and I just want to be certain that we can safely walk our dog through our neighborhood without fear of attack. Is this too much to ask for?
The police came to take an incident report and now I know more about Virginia’s One Bite Rule. Nothing will happen until a dog bites the second time and a report is made.
*Such is the ruling set from the laws of England late 1600’s in today’s modern society. Virginia is one of 18 states who share this ruling.
Dog walkers beware. You are legally permitted to carry a ‘bat’ or ‘baton’ and dog-pepper spray to defend your pet. Or better yet, for those who are able to endure such trauma better than me, use your cell phone to video tape the attack and send it to Animal Control. One picture is worth a thousand ‘barks’ but the sound your pet makes when attacked is unforgettable.
dogbiterule.com (History of the “one free bite rule”)
Animal Control 748-1683 check hours
Non-emergency Police 748-1251