BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It’s a horrific story of man’s best friend becoming a woman’s worst nightmare. A Northeast Baltimore woman was attacked and killed by her own dog.
Rochelle Ritchie reports the pit bull had attacked before but was back in the owner’s custody.
Advocates say the attack should not have happened. The woman had a huge gash on her face from a previous attack from her dog.
Terry Douglass, 56, is the latest victim in Baltimore City to be killed by a pit bull, a dog she’s raised since it was a puppy.
“You raise it from its young, you never expect something like that to happen. Me having dogs of my own–whether it’s a pit bull, German Shepherd, or the little shih tzus or anything– I’ve never experienced nothing like that, so it’s just sad,” said Wyna Powell, neighbor.
It was just after midnight Friday morning when Baltimore City Police were called to Douglass’ home on East 30th Street to a gruesome scene.
The dog, named Boosie, attacked his female owner, ultimately killing her.
“It’s really sad. She’s a nice lady,” said Donna Carolina, neighbor.
Reports say Douglass, who was bound to a wheelchair and suffered from cerebral palsy, may have fallen onto the dog when it attacked her.
It’s a death Tony Solesky says shouldn’t have happened.
“I have said, I’m on the record saying, that it will happen and it will happen with these dogs,” he said.
“Its claw hit me in the chest and pretty much tackled me and bit me on the face,” said Dominic Solesky, pit bull attack victim.
This year, Maryland legislators approved a bill labeling the dogs inherently dangerous.
Tony Solesky says Douglass’ case proves banning the dogs altogether is the only option.
This wasn’t Boosie’s first time attacking. Reports show Douglass and a family member had been bitten by the dog before.
Why the dog was returned to Douglass after it attacked her remains unanswered. WJZ tried to speak with health officials. They would not go on camera but released a statement saying they kept the dog for 10 days, checked it for rabies and did not find it to be a threat to public safety.
The statement went on to say “the owner was adamant in getting the dog back.”
“This is really a problem of policy, and it’s a problem that they’re aware of. The only time it gets addressed is when we have these horrific incidences,” Tony Solesky said.
Advocates for pit bulls say the breed is not to blame.
“I don’t think that pit bulls are any more likely than any other breed of dog to do any more damage,” said Jen Swanson, pit bull advocate.
Some 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year.
American Pit Bull Terrier
*Most APBT puppies get along fantastically with other animals, including dogs. Puppies often love to play with and have companionship with other animals. This often gives owners a false sense of security. As the APBT matures, their relationship with other animals can change drastically. Often dog aggression issues emerge from 1-3 years in age, but some dog’s exhibit aggression as early as 6 months of age. They often will actively seek out other dogs to engage in fighting with and have broken their collars, crashed through windows, and torn through fences to do so, and one recently leaped from an apartment 2nd story balcony, to get to a dog. They can get along with other dogs at times, but things can escalate quickly and they can attack suddenly and for no apparent reason. They often redirect onto humans who try to break up the fight14. Extreme caution should be used with all animal interactions and owners should never be completely comfortable. They can be unpredictable and a dog that plays nicely with dogs for years can suddenly change. Many owners have been shocked to see their beloved pet’s fighting instincts suddenly surface. It is highly recommended that the APBT is separated from other animals in the household when they cannot be supervised15. This is not a breed that is suitable for interactions at off leash dog parks16
This is a list of dog breeds that have a history of being potentially dangerous to people, especially children. Daxton’s Friends for Canine Education and Awareness understands that any dog has the ability to bite or inflict serious harm to humans. This list consists of several dog breeds that have a higher than average number of recorded human fatalities. Please use extreme caution if you choose to bring one of these breeds into your home. Rental communities and homeowners insurance may restrict many of the dog breeds on this list due to the likelihood of a serious incident.
Pit Bulls, Mastiff, and Rottweiler lead in fatalities and are listed first. The rest of the breeds are listed in alphabetical order:
Pit Bull Terrier Family
- American Bulldog
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- English/Standard Bull Terrier
- Miniature Bull Terrier
- Olde English Bulldog
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Cane Corso/Italian Mastiff
- Dogo Argentino
- English Mastiff
- Fila Brasileiro
- Dogue de Bordeaux/French Mastiff
- Great Dane/German Mastiff
- Presa Canario
- St. Bernard/Alpine Mastiff