A neighbor recently contacted me with a very disturbing story about a fatal dog on dog attack. His story appears below. Beneath that you will find information on animal control in the District of Columbia and what to do if you witness animal abuse/neglect or encounter a dangerous animal situation.
We live on Owen Place in Trinidad. Our neighbor got a pit bull a few years back. We just found out that it was trained over the years to fight. About a year ago it jumped another neighbor’s fence and ripped apart a little white dog in just a few seconds while several neighbors watched in horror, unable to do much. The dog was taken by Animal Control but somehow it ended up back at the neighbor’s house.You can find information on the definition of a dangerous dog, how a dog is determined to be dangerous, and the result of such a determination in the DC CODE § 8-1801 - 1813; § 8-1821.01- .02; § 8-1831.01; 8-1841.01 - .09; 8-1901 - 1908. The Washington Humane Society maintains a page with links pertaining to animal cruelty and how to identify and report it. If you or your dog are bitten by another dog you should call Animal Control at (202) 576-6664. This DOH website explains what might happen next.
Last Tuesday evening, two men exited the next-door neighbor’s house with the dog. The dog was not leashed. We were outside on the front porch and our two dogs. The pit-bull started aggressively barking at our dog, climbed over the 42” picket fence and chomped my little rat terrier around the neck.
We both rushed out to help but couldn’t do much. I was bitten four times and my mother-in-law was bitten once. She was also violently thrown down and hurt her wrist and back. After I realized that I could not overpower the dog I went in and got a baseball bat. I tried to hit the dog but its two handlers blocked my swings and told me to stop hitting their dog. I got a couple of good hits in and the dog released.
At this point there was blood everywhere. I called 911 and in about 10 minutes the police and EMS arrived. Animal control showed up about 10 minutes later. The two men brought the dog back into the house and fled out the back door into the alley. The police and animal control entered the house and took the pit bull into custody.
We took my dog to Friendship Animal Hospital where he was extensively treated. By the next morning we realized his internal bleeding and damage to throat and brain stem were too severe and we had to put him to sleep.
I was told later that this same dog attacked an elderly woman and had killed another dog but that the police weren’t involved in either case.
Dogs can be trained to be dangerous. And they can attack, unprovoked and without warning, even over a fence. I think it’s very important to report aggressive dogs and get them taken off the streets so this kind of horrible tragedy doesn’t happen to another dog or person.