Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dog Attack

Hello Friends--

Something happened to me the other night while I was out running and I wanted to tell you about. I was running around my neighborhood the evening of July 3rd under the fireworks show my town puts on.  It started out such a beautiful run.  Lots of my neighbors were out on the sidewalks watching the show.  When I was almost finished my first loop, I saw a two teenage sitting on the sidewalk, a boy and a girl.  All of the sudden, the dog sitting in between them charged toward me.  I was so scared!  I noticed the dog was a pit bull.  The dog leaped at my.  It jumped on my a few times and scratched up my arm.  The teenager just watch--they did not get up to help me or get the dog.  I was screaming to them "get your dog!" and "put this dog on a leash!".  The dog finally ran back to the teenagers and I continued on with my run.

Really shaken up and scared, I ran past my in laws who also live in my neighborhood.   I told them what happened.  A neighbor who was also outside watching the fireworks heard me and she told me the same thing had happened to her with this same dog.  She said she does not run in the neighborhood anymore because of this.  Then I began to get angry.  This one family who are bad dog owners was not going to stop me from running and following my training plan!

I got home and told my husband.  We looked online at our Township website to find out what we should do. The site said to call the non-emergency number.  With in a few minutes, a police officer called me and told me he was close and would swing by.  Just a few minutes later the officer was at my house, then we walked over to the dog owners house.  There the dog was, still outside running free with the two teenagers.  Then the dog ran at and jumped at the officer.  The officer yelled at the kids to get the dog.  Instead of getting the dog, the kids bolted into the house.  The officer ran after them.  I yelled "I am going home, you know where to find me!", and I ran home.  I do not know what happened after that...

I wanted to tell you this story because most of us run alone.  This is not a cautionary tale of how bad pit bulls are.  I believe that any dog can be trained to be a nice dog, but these people clearly were not training it properly.  I have never called the police before, but since the owners did not even get up to help me, I knew talking to them myself would have been pointless. This incident could have been so much worse!  If the dog wanted to, it really could have hurt me.  I need to find something to run with to protect myself.

This incident really shook me up.  I was really scared to get back out there and run again.  My neighborhood is not very big and not going near  the dog's house would be impossible.  I ran this evening and did not see the dog.  Besides the heat, I had a great run.  My reason for calling the police was to hopefully teach the family that it is not OK to let your dog run free.  I guess it worked, because the dog did not bother me tonight.

Do you run with any type of protection when you run?

A dream is a wish...



  1. I don't run in my neighborhood, but I can see this exact same thing happening. My neighbor across the street has a pit bull and leaves the dog unleashed and gate open at all times. Unfortunately, Philly cops have bigger fish to fry than attending to dogs.

    I agree that any dog can be trained to be a nice dog too, but seeing a pit bull (or any dog really) barreling towards me would scare the daylights out of me. I only run on a track (and will start with a running group in a couple weeks), but I can totally see myself carrying pepper spray or something -- for dogs, crazy people, anything. You never know what could happen these days, and running in Philly without a mid-sized group or race requires SOME KIND of protection, imo.

  2. Omgosh AMY! I was hoping this title was not going to be what I thought it was. I am terrified of dogs. I run in my neighbourhood sometimes and seize up completely when I hear a dog barking when I go by. My neighbours have a bull mastif and the first time he followed me a few feet on the street I almost had a heart attack (luckily he is a big suck). I found a site for pepper spray- I know - it's a bit cruel but if a dog is touching me- I would spray. Check out

  3. I first want to say thank you that you did not blame the dog so much, but more the owners. There are too many people out there ready to say it's because it's a pit bull and not because the owners didn't know how to train it. I work with animals and try to educate people about all sorts of animals, but still, it seems some refuse to believe that animals with bad reputations don't actually deserve them.

    For me, the best form of defense has been talking with neighbors and family. When I recently went home for the first time, my parents made sure to tell me about a change in our walking route (and my running route) because there were some german shepherds behind a pretty crappy fence that we didn't trust. So knowing from others where to run and where not to run is the best for me. Or even what dogs to give more space to than others.

  4. My biggest fear as a runner. :o( I'm glad you're ok.

  5. Thank you for your support everyone! It was very scary, but I am ready to move on. I learned a lesson about staying safe but I will not let this indecent held me back!

  6. Carry a can of "Halt" with you when you run. It is a dog spray, much like mace. All mail carriers are required to carry it and it works.

  7. I'm so glad you called the police. When I heard about this happening from you on Twitter, I didn't know the whole story, and as I read this post, I became INFURIATED at the kids who didn't jump up to get their dog! How awful!!! I feel bad for the dog who has obviously not been trained in any way, shape, or form, but your safety is the most important thing. I hope the officer cited them and now they'll keep the dog leashed!

  8. That's scary, I'm glad you're okay. I run in my neighborhood all the time (and it's not that great of a neighborhood) but when I run at night I have a "running" pepper spray that a friend bought me.

  9. Every time I see a dog loose (all the time), I worry if it is aggressive. It doesn't matter if they are big or little, or a specific breed. Glad you are ok. I guess I need to get that mace and stop putting it off!

  10. That must have been so scary!! I use to be terrified of dogs when i was younger and i think if one ran at me i still might freak out. I dont know what you could do to protect yourself I remember when i visited puerto rico ( they have no leash law) my mother in law use to go walking up in the mountains and there were wild dogs or pets just everywhere and she use to walk with a big stick but to even have to do that here is uncalled for you did the right thing!!