I was attacked by a pit bull on 11/24/95, I was 9 years old. The dog, named ‘Dice’ belonged to my Aunt and was known to be aggressive.
At the time my Aunt was living in an apartment like unit added onto my grandfather’s garage with its own entrance and back yard. Us grand-kids all knew that we were not allowed into her side of the yard and had to wait for her to answer the door before we could enter her apartment so that she could properly secure the dog. I had visited her many times in her apartment without incident, always knocking and waiting for her to secure the dog and open the door before entering.
One night, I was at my grandparents’ house to stay the night. I got bored and decided to go out and see my aunt. I knocked on the door like I always had and she told me to wait, so I did. She came to the door a few moments later, opening it just a crack and inquired as to what I needed, I didn’t have a chance to respond before the dog slipped past her legs, and for no reason at all jumped up and bit me in the face. My aunt and her boyfriend responded quickly and luckily the dog let go, but the damage was already done. I stood there in shock, not feeling any pain, just feeling the warmth of my blood dripping down my face. I didn’t want to touch anything so I simple cupped my hands under my chin trying to catch the dripping blood. My aunt and her boyfriend reacted very differently than I expected, instead of taking me inside the house for help, they picked up the dog, loaded him up in their car, told me to go inside and get my grandparents and then proceeded to get into the car and leave me standing in the garage bleeding. I found my way into the house and called for my grandparents. They called my parents while attempting to stop the bleeding and tried to minimize the damage by saying I ‘might’ need stitches.
Even at 9 I knew that I was in bad shape and that stitches were a guarantee. When my parents showed up they called 911 because for some reason my grandparents had avoided doing so. We lived in a very rural area and the nearest ER was 45 minutes away so rather than wait on an ambulance my parents loaded me up and took me to the hospital. I spent 3 hours in emergency surgery while a specialist attempted to piece my face back together. My nose had been completely sliced open, my lip was torn open and my cheek was nearly punctured through in multiple places. The hospital report called it a ‘partial facial de-gloving’.
After weeks of searching for my aunt and the dog, they were finally tracked down and the dog was at risk of being euthanized. My grandparents paid for an attorney for my aunt to help her save her dog. They made up a story about how I had come into her apartment even after she told me to wait, even though at the scene it was obvious from the blood stains on the cement that I was outside of the apartment at the time of the attack. We eventually succeeded in court and the dog was put down, but it was only the beginning for me. All the publicity from the case led to me being teased in school by kids who believed that pit bulls are wonderful nice dogs that wouldn’t hurt anyone unless provoked. They called me a murderer because the dog was put down, and constantly singled me out. I lost all my friends and my grades plummeted. I gained weight, stopped participating in all social activities and eventually became a completely different person. I couldn’t understand how people could blame me and treat me that way for having something terrible happen to me. I’ve been in therapy most of my life since I was attacked, I suffer from PTSD, depression and anxiety.
No matter how much my scars fade and no matter how much time passes, I can still remember it all like it was yesterday. I would give anything to have been in a terrible car accident, or a fire, or something where people don’t try to shift the blame, and downplay the danger. As though being attacked by the dog wasn’t bad enough without continuously being attacked by people who can’t accept that pit bulls are dangerous.
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I accept what happened to you. I hope that are a little better now. I am so frightened by pit bulls. As a victim and you getting the blame, it’s so sad. I don’t know what I could ever do, but if I could/can I would/will.
I have never understood why “blame” is even taken into consideration with these attacks. Who cares whose fault it is, Thousands of people and pets are being seriously injured and killed by Pit Bulls. Very rarely there will be another breed attacking but, is so rare. If other breeds starting attacking in the numbers that Pit Bulls have, we would be asking them to be banned. Any breed of dog that has caused this much damage, pain and human suffering, suffering of pets, and death, mutilation and heartache, has no business being allowed in a civilized society., It is Pit Bulls causing the problem. We need to eliminate the Pit Bulls and stop all the propaganda that comes from the pit Bull Lobby. Never do they offer any proof of any of their constant propaganda they pay for. Good dogs sell themselves, Pit bulls have to be rammed down people throats, and that’s what they do. I am glad that the author of this story came out well and healthy, but obviously, there is still pain and hurt because her family members gave first consideration to the Pit Bull, instead of her. The pit Bull should have been shot, right there at the scene.
Very well said!!!!
What a travesty! Rachel, I am beyond sorry for what you have had to endure. It is wrong, it is un fathomable, and it is ridiculous that anyone thinks we should allow canines with such ability to harm in civilized society. Forget that “150%” idea…dogs that require such due diligence to protect the non-threatening public have no place among us. And I see that you are still being mocked and ridiculed all these many years later, by adults!
SandyBee, though I agree that obviously the Aunt, her boyfriend, & the grandparents were obviously not very stand up people for the way they handled this situation & all lying, I still blame the breed right along with the irresponsible owners. This is a prime example as to why we need stricter laws for these breeds & the irresponsible people that choose to own them & not manage them. Pit bulls, any dog in the bully breed family, as well as other breeds such as Rottweilers , Doberman’s, German Shepard’s, Chow’s, Husky’s and many more, have a genetic tendency to be more dangerous. They are guard dogs. They are usually protective of their owners & property. But very few of those breeds are consistently killing people & disfiguring them on a daily basis. People do not lie about the potential danger of those other breeds either. The propaganda surrounding bully breeds is overwhelming. Sadly, that propaganda has led to many parents bringing them into their home as a family “pet” with small children. It has also led people to thinking their dog won’t hurt someone while out running loose either because they seem so sweet & loving at home. There is a lot of differences in bully breeds vs other dangerous breeds. It is important that stricter rules & laws be in place, putting an end to most these attacks & deaths. Ms. Simas has every right to speak out against this breed. If there were stricter laws about WHO can own these dogs and stricter punishments for the people that own dogs like this when they attack someone…. maybe her attack wouldn’t have happened.
How sad Rachel, and how awful that you are re-victimized by pit bull advocates and blamed for your own attack. The world is full of heartless people who turn a tragedy into the blame game. I applaud your courage and strength and pray that God gives you courage to keep telling your story. We are listening!!
This is how dog attacks happen. You have an idiot harboring a dog known to be aggressive, you have kids running around, you have said idiot fail to properly supervise/secure their *known aggressive* dog and, surprise, a kid gets bit. I see human idiocy through this story from beginning to end –starting with the idiot aunt, continuing with idiot grandparents who let idiot aunt and her *known aggressive* dog move in while grandkids are around regularly. You have idiot grandparents who fail to call 9-1-1 even though the 9 y/o has enough sense to know she’s in “bad shape.” You have aunt who flees with known aggressive dog that has now attacked a child. And you have idiot grandparents who allegedly lie about what their granddaughter did in order to protect idiot aunt and *known aggressive* dog that has now attacked a kid. On top of that, other kids were cruel and nasty to the victim.
Can someone please explain to me how the victim then blames the *breed of dog* for what happened? And now devotes her life to trolling the news so she can go hate on responsible dog owners who have nothing to do with jacked up situations like this? It’s sad you had to deal with idiotic, careless and cruel humans and even sadder that you’ve now devoted your life to stoking hate all over the internet, Ms. Simas.
Newsflash: there are dogs of every breed who are aggressive. Just ask any dog trainer who deals with aggression issues. IF someone is going to harbor a known aggressive dog (and I would not advise it for most people) you have to be 150 percent responsible 150 percent of the time. If you are the type who can’t crate your dog in a room behind a locked door (double and triple precautions are a must) before anyone enters the house, then you should not have a known aggressive dog of any breed. If you are so stupid that you would answer the door to a child with a *known aggressive dog* loose behind you, you should not own ANY kind of dog at ANY time for the safety of your family and the community.
”If you are the type who can’t crate your dog in a room behind a locked door (double and triple precautions are a must) before anyone enters the house”
Crates behind a locked door double and triple precautions are a must… You make it sound like you keep Tigers, normal family pets don’t need double and triple precautions as a must, crates are normal for fighting breeds, see the thing is if the aunt had a normal dog instead of a pit fighting junk yard dog then all the treatment needed may have been a plaster and a hug.
I can’t not agree with the comment. Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, not a dangerous animal that may cause death or dismemberment if it escapes containment.
Your aunt and grandparents failed you and I am sorry. Thank you for sharing your story.
Dear Rachel, it breaks my heart to hear what has happened to you. I pray that you find some true friends to give you the love and support you need. This attack was not your fault and no one should try to say it is.
thank u for shring yr experience. my wife was attacked in the spring and still recovering. we have to tell the truth about these sick people and the horrible animals they protect.
OHHHH even after reading how horrible Pit apoloogists can be, reading about it in first person just makes my heart ache… and the betrayal by family is unexcusable.
Wow, that is a very touching yet frightening story!
Rachel, thank you so much for sharing. I’m so very sorry this happened to you. And how your aunt handled it was really awful. I’m very very sorry Sweetheart. I hope you’ll find more and more healing and peace. God bless you bunches.
Your sharing is so helpful. So many seem to have their minds closed to the truth. Why in the world should victims be blamed when attacked? It makes no sense at all.
I will be praying for you. Be well. Know that there are many who care about you and you are not alone. And God truly does love you. Here on Earth we’re dealing with an enemy as well. But there will come a time when he will be put away forever. No more tears.
Love n Hugs, Ali in IL XO