Every day, I receive messages from people whose dogs have been attacked by other dogs. Some of these stories are absolutely heartbreaking, not only because of what happened to the injured dog, but because of the emotional pain that is suffered by its owners.
I received permission to share one such message with you, and you can read it by clicking Read More, below.
I feel that dogs which were bred to kill other dogs are particularly dangerous when they are at large and even when they are simply being walked off leash. To prevent accidental injuries from dog fights, I strongly feel that dogs need to be properly confined at home and leashed in public.
[From an e-mail message sent to Kenneth Phillips:]
I took my 5 month-old daughter Lucy and my Maltese named Missy for a walk Monday April 30th, 2007, just 2 days ago. Lucy was in her stroller and Missy was by my side on her leash and we were walking down the sidewalk as we normally do. A pit bull came charging at us. My first instinct was to protect my baby and I threw myself in front of my baby and threw myself at the dog.
The dog got a hold of Missy and crushed it in its jaws. I tried to help my dog and I was screaming for help. A 16 year-old kid came running down the sidewalk and tried to get his dog off of my dog to no avail. After the dog finished with Missy, he dropped Missy from its jaws.
This boy was yelling at me, calling me names. His family came outside and they took the dog in and locked themselves in the house until the police came.
The family was yelling at me to shut my f****** mouth when all this was happening. There was a kid, his father, the grandfather, and an uncle and they were all yelling at me to shut my mouth because it is just a dog. They did not ask if my baby was O.K. They did not ask if I was O.K. They did not care about my dog. They just wanted to run into the house. They told me not to call the police. I was bleeding, my dog was dying in my arms and my 5 month old was crying, and they told me to shut my mouth and to not call the police as they ran inside.
I was lying there with Missy and my baby screaming for help and these animals did not help me and my dog. When the police came, I told them I was fine and the baby was untouched. I would die or die trying before anything happened to my daughter.
We were made to go in the ambulance and I had to get a tetanus shot and was given antibiotics and have to take antibiotics for 2 weeks. I could not go with my dog to the vet. I begged and pleaded, screaming and crying, for the officers to please take Missy and save her. They finally put her in the squad car and a lady who witnessed the incident went with Missy for me. They would not let us go due to the fact that the owners could not tell us whether the dog had up-to-date shots or not and it could have rabies. It had no collar, no tags, no leash, no papers, and no record of rabies shots.
The other dog is being held for 15 days for rabies observation and will likely be let go to these people, or I should say animals, to kill again. My husband and I are pushing for the dog to go down because I know it will kill again.
Missy did not make it. She died at the hospital. Her lungs were punctured and she bled to death. They could not save her. They performed CPR and had intubated her to no avail. I know she died in pain. I would like to think otherwise, but I work in a hospital, my mother is a nurse, and my uncle is a veterinarian. I know that the dog was in pain.
I could not be with her when she needed us most and she died with strangers. I have lacerations and abrasions to the face, chin, mouth and lip, but I do not care. I did not feel any punctures or pain because all I cared about was my baby at that point.
All I want is Missy back home where she belongs -- and I know that will not happen. We went to the animal hospital after I was released from the ER with my daughter to say goodbye to Missy and I was waiting for her to wake up and bark and run and jump in my arms.
I thank God that Lucy, my daughter, is alive. However, have not been able to eat nor sleep since the incident. I know my daughter misses her puppy because she wakes up looking around for her. Missy would take naps with Lucy and when Lucy woke up, Missy would come and get me. If Lucy would wake up and cry, Missy would run and get me and run back to the crib to show me Lucy was up. She was not just a dog to us. She was our family.
Every second of the day since the incident, all I can replay in mind was that monster tearing my dog to shreds and mutilating her little body as I watched helplessly. I tried to save her, but I could not. We were not near that dog's property. We did not provoke the dog. The dog was out to attack. Missy did not even need a leash. She stayed in our yard with us and never ran away. But we were the ones that had this harmless little dog on a leash who was sniffing and walking beside us.
I am a stay-at-home Mom now. Missy slept in bed with us. She was at my feet all day. She barked if anyone went near our baby and sat next to the baby always to protect her for us. We loved her and now she is gone. This could have been prevented.
I feel these people should be criminally charged. This dog should never have been allowed to be anywhere near people/kids/other pets. These people should never have possession of a vicious dog to begin with. They could not control the dog and I hold them responsible.
I do not want money. I want justice. These people are going to walk away with a slap on the wrist, probably get their dog back, and go on with their life. The police issued them 2 tickets for $39.00 each. The dog will roam the streets again and the people will breathe a sigh of relief that all they had to do was pay 2 fines.
I want these people to be responsible and be held accountable for what happened to Missy. All I want is our Missy back. I cannot get her back. I do not want Missy to die in vain. She saved us. I could not save her life. I want to do this for her and for other victims out there. I know if it was not my family and I, it would be another, and maybe a child next time.
I pray that this was a bad dream and I will wake up. I wish I did not take a walk that afternoon. I want to erase that day and start over. I was going to do laundry. It was such a nice day though I decided to go earlier without my husband and go on our walk. (My husband is a soccer coach and was coaching late that day.) If only I did not go on that walk, Missy would be alive. If I just stayed home and did laundry, Missy would be alive. If I went in another direction, Missy may be alive. If I tried harder to get Missy out of that monster's jaws, she may be alive. If I had a baseball hat or would have been armed properly, Missy may be alive. I am living with the guilt that I could not save our dog. I am awake at night with the nightmares of seeing my dog die in the jaws of the monster. I have visions of the dog getting a hold of our daughter and me not being able to save Lucy and it makes me sick to my stomach.
I know time will heal. I may sound crazy, but I am not crazy. I am a well-educated woman who loves her family and loved her dog and now misses her like crazy. I should not have to walk in my neighborhood in fear of being
attacked again and I do not even want to go outside now.