Would You Stop Walking?

Updated on May 23, 2011
D.J. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
26 answers

Here lately in my neighborhood people have been getting attacked by pittbulls. These dogs are vicious animals and need to be banned from the u.s. I dont care how nice you claim your pitbull is, they have been known to turn on their master. They attacked a kid just getting out of his car, attacked another child playing in his driveway and I can go on and on. All of which had to be put in intensive care. I like to take my baby for a walk in his stroller everyday but I am now afraid. My housband says to take the 22 (which is registered) with me while walking, but I really dont want to have a gun with me while walking my baby. Would you just stop walking? I am a SAHM and alot of days this is the only exercise I get.

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So What Happened?

I decided to stop taking my baby for walks. Animal control in my area is so sorry. When I call them, somtimes they show up and somtimes they dont. And when they do, it takes so long that the dog is gone. I just walk on the treadmill and take the baby with us to the playground in the evenings for fresh air. I would just like to say that my comment about pitt bulls being vicious animals have nothing to do with the media. My comment is from a personally witnessing a pitbull attack a child and friends and family stories about being attacked. But when "the media" said that kids in my neighborhood were being attacked, thats when I began to worry.

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answers from Washington DC on

DO NOT give one breed a bad name because the owners are ignorant.

No, I would NOT stop walking. I REFUSE to live in fear or terror. That's how the bad guys work - they use fear and terror. I would walk with my gun or a large, sharp stick and if the dogs come close, i would get the first hit in. But that's me. I won't shrink and I will NOT live in fear.

Have you called the police about the animals?
Have you talked to the owner about the animals?

My nephew has a pit bull that wouldn't harm a fly. I have a pit bull boxer mix that knows nothing but love - it's ALL IN HOW THE ANIMALS ARE RAISED.

If you have a problem with animals - contact the animal control and police. IF ANY child has been attacked, the animal must be held for 30 days....if the attack was unprovoked, then most likely the animal will be put down.

Oh hell - you are in Atlanta - call Michael Vick and ask him for help....not trying to be facetious here but really....are the owners looking for fame? Instead of living in fear - take control. Be pro-active. Call the local news. Call the police. DO SOMETHING but do not live in fear. And DO NOT give ONE BREED OF ANIMAL A BAD NAME BECAUSE THE OWNER'S ARE IGNORANT.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Personally, I would take the .22 and shoot a dog if it came at me or my kids. Pitbulls don't bother me because I grew up with them and never seen one bite anyone or act aggressive. German shepards though, I worry about. I have seen one rip a little girls leg off and there is one down the road from me that lunges at me everytime I walk down the street, thank goodness it's on a chain.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I'd take the drive to walk at a near by park if possible, I'd also speak with animal control and have them start coming by on a regular basis where you walk.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

Actually, German Shepherds attack more people every year than pit bulls. It truly is the owner and how they are trained/raised. If I were you, and if it's that bad in your neighborhood, I'd drive somewhere to a park or walking trail and walk there.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If you don't want to carry a gun, I'd bring a can of bee and hornet spray (has a longer reach than pepper spray) and if a dog came running at me or my child, they'd get a facefull of it (and from what I've read it's even more effective than pepper spray). I am a dog lover, but I've had to deal with loose aggressive dogs in the past and I WISH I had something with me to protect me and MY dog at the time.

If your baby is in the stroller, your child is better protected and probably less attractive to a dog rather than a small child running about (which would look like "prey"). Also...call animal control and KEEP calling them. Call the police. Drive them nuts. MAKE them act to keep the neighborhood safer.
Good luck.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Lexington on

ANY type of dog can be a threat. It just sounds like in your neighborhood you have some very BAD PEOPLE who own dogs, and they chose pit bulls to own.

I know one lady who walks with a baseball bat, stick, or umbrella. I agree with the pepper spray or air horn although, LOL, my voice has always been loud enough! I understand the problem with a pit bull attack as opposed to some other dogs. I feel I can intimidate almost any dog. I take a look at a pit bull, though, and KNOW that they would win just because of their massive, strong jaws. Again - not their fault. But I think that is why people mention them more than other dogs. I was attacked by a huge, crazed German Shepherd when I was a teen. Would I have lived to tell in the tale in one piece (I FOUGHT) IF it had been a pit bull? I am just saying, I understand your fear, even if I do not agree with singling out pit bulls. -- ANY crazed, vicious dog is dangerous and should never ever be loose.

Call animal control. Walk without your baby and try to find whose home the dogs belong to. Is there a time of day they are out loose? All this can help animal control get them.

Hopefully you can soon resume walking WITH your baby.

BTW - What I used to often do is walk with my baby in a back carrier. You may feel more secure with her on your body and up high. It also leaves your hands free, and your baby still protected.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

Did you know that chihuahuas are actually far more violent than pitbulls? Poodles too. Pitbulls just get a bad rep because they were bred for dogfighting for so long, thus associated with violence. That, and when a pitbull loses it, they do more damage because of their brute strength and jaw muscles. But they are no more 'naturally' violent than any other breed of dog.

That said, I used to work in a kennel, and dealt with my share of violent dogs. We always had a can of pepperspray on our belt, in case one of the dogs we were handling lost it. I only had to use mine 3 times... and it is VERY effective. Even more on dogs than on humans... becuase they rely on their noses just as much as their other senses, and the pepper spray will affect that too. Even if they don't breathe it in, it will sting their eyes and nasal passages.

Definitely call animal control. DON'T WAIT for another person to be attacked... get statements from the people who have already been attacked, and file a complaint. Have your neighbors do the same. If they wound up hospitalized, then there is documentation. If enough people complain they will HAVE to do something, even if it is only to give the owners a warning to keep them leashed. Animal control usually gives second chances... but not 3rd or 4th.

Until then... walk the other direction. Or drive somewhere safe to walk.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Get O. of those air horn alarms.

Or go to a park with a leash law.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

These dogs are turning into some kind of status symbol. "Look how tough I am" They should all be muzzled at least!!! When I am out walking with my dd and I see a dog coming (any dog actually) I move in front of her so she is not near them. I have also taught her to not touch any dogs with out checking with me first. We have heard of too many innocent babies and kids getting attacked it is SOOOO not worth it. I hate when people see me move my dd out of the way and they say "Oh my dog won't hurt her" all defensive. Well i'm sorry, I don't know you or your dog and i don't take chances!! My nephew was at a playpark with his mom and he was at the bottom of the slide and one of those pitbulls ran up to him out of nowhere and bit him in his side. It was awful and the owner actually tried to run away but all these dad's who were at the park ran after him and caught him and he was arrested for letting his dog run around unleashed at a kids playpark.
I wouldn't stop walking but I would protect my child by crossing the street if I saw someone coming with a dog.

BTW I am not a dog hater I just have a thing about those ones and there owners. :-)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

Hi D.,

There is a leash law where I live so I'm generally not afraid. However, my husband works outside and he actually had a pitbull break through through a locked storm door (glass) and start chewing on his leg. Luckily it was a puppy (a year old) and he (my husband is a big man at 6'7") managed to pin it down until the owner arrived through the broken glass. Carrying a gun is fine but with the legalities these days who knows what would happen if you shot someone's dog. Look at what happened to Sen Soles for shooting an intruder...he's been indicted. Call the police and ask them what would be the consequences if you were attacked.

Rottweilers, I've heard, actually grit their teeth and hold their breath when they attack so pepper spray is not going to help. I think your best bet is to take this issue before the city council. You can't be the only one that feels this way. Some cities ban aggressive breeds. Some cities fine and even imprison owners who don't take control of their dogs. Atlanta does seem to be overun with them.

Wish I could help more.

God bless!


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I agree with Katie B.. You should be carrying Pepper spray anyway when you are walking or running for just in case. This spray works on animals as well as humans.

If you have your cell phone, this is also a time, to call 911 if you feel threatened.

Check laws in your state and community about carrying a loaded weapon around.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I had a neighbor with a rotweiler that wouldn't keep control of it. It chased my chickes into my garage. I heard the squawking and barking and went out to the garage with my loaded 22 rifle. When I opened the door the dog came at me. I dropped him n his tracks with a bullet in the head.

Before this happened, I went over to talk to the neighbor to warn her that her dog was chasing my chickens. She told me that if I did something about it to NOT tell her. So when I killed her dog I put him on top of a brush pile I was going to burn and lit it. 6 hours later there was no more brush and no more dog. When the neighbor came over to see if I knew where her dog was, I followed her instructions and said, I hadn't seen her dog for several days. (True) She missed her AKC rotweiller I guess, because her other dogs quit coming by too.

For your problem, I see the owner of the dog and tell her you have prepaid legal and if their dog bothered you again, you will let the lawyers sue and you will be going after punitive damages and equity. That should solve the dog getting out problem.

Good luck to you and yours.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

our rural neighborhood is TERRIBLE for loose dogs. honestly, i think half the people who live here must have moved here so they could say 'well, we're in the country so my dawg can roam at will.' most of them are just annoying, but there is a pack of dobies and one awful enormous newfoundland who are downright vicious. thanks to them i now always run with pepper spray.
i don't let them dictate where i will walk and run, but i resent having to be on the defensive on my own roads when i do it.
asshat irresponsible dog owners suck. they're also usually the first ones declaring loudly 'my poopsie would never hurt anyone! it was all the bitee's fault!'

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

Do you have a car? Drive to a park were animals are forbidden or must be on leash. Then walk there.
About the 22 you only have to use it once on a single pit bull for all the owners to keep theirs tied up or inside.
My husband and I bought a small farm. My daughter and I loved goats so we went and bought some. My husband got me a few sheep. The second year the sheep produced young. We had a dog attack from some of the free dogs city dwellers who move to the country keep without any responsibility. My husband shot two of the dogs dead at 5:15 in the morning.
We would not have known but about 15 of our friends were camping on the land overnight so they could help us put up fences that morning. They woke us.
I went to the local market and told all the clerk's what he had done.
We never saw another dog walking free anywhere for years after that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I'm very sorry you feel so unsafe to walk in your own neighborhood!! I would be upset as well. Although I do not agree with your statement that ALL pitbulls are vicious and need to be banned from the United States. Animals are just that no matter the age, no matter the breed, no matter what ...they are indeed animals and any animal has its own aggressive nature when pushed. I have never ever owned a pitbull but I understand the love of a particular breed because I am partial to Dalmatians. ;()) I think the Pit Bulls get a bad rap and most cases aren't even given a chance. There used to be a show I watched called pitbulls and parolee's. She is a woman that takes in these poor animals that everyone wants to seem to just throw away and rehabs them but in the twist of things she also "hires" parolee's to help her take care of all these dogs because she feels like they too have been tossed aside by society and gives them the chance no one else ever would have. Your statement is by far a perfect example of what the media wants to portray and not educating and its very very sad and even more sad outcome for these poor dogs. I don't mean to call you un-educated by any means that is not what I'm saying at all -It bothers me that so many people can throw these statements around about these dogs and not truly understand that it's not the "breed" it is the irresponsible owners!!! Just like bee's- hornets/wasp tend to be an agressive type bee however other bee's such as a bumblebee can still sting you BUT they are not aggressive like a hornet or wasp would be. Does that make sense? I'm not trying to compare a dog to a bee by any means but there are just some dogs that tend to be more agressive than others but with the proper environment they can flourish....with a not so proper environment then they can become the monsters that their name has labeled them as-which in turn isn't their fault it's their owners or the environment they have been exposed to which in turn is lack of responsability on a humans part. Any dog can be taught to be aggressive and ruin their spirit.......it's the owners that should walk with their tails in between their legs and hang their heads down in shame.....not those poor dogs. That being said if you have seen the dog or know of the dog's owner -report them. Perhaps instead of going alone for your walks you could form like a mommy walk group or something not saying that the dog wouldn't and couldn't attack someone in the group but it would be less likely and at least there would be a group and someone could be in charge of having some form of protection to protect the group. Most importantly keep on Animal Control until they DO something about it. Usually when a dog attacks.... Animal Control is automatically involved so I don't understand why this situation isn't being taken care of especially when people have been hurt???? I would go up the chain line if need be-regardless of the breed.....it's the irresponsible owners!!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

carry a stick with you, i see that a lot. And i agree with you, those dogs have been bred through the years to be fighters. It comes more natural. I of course think that there can definitely be good pit bulls, but living things revert too easily back to their instincts in a blink. I wouldnt own one.

and please if you do decide to take a gun, learn how to properly aim it and shoot it at your local range first.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

If this has been concentrated to a particular area, then I would find a park with a walking trail and drive there first. If it's your whole town, then I'd stop.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Can you drive to a different place to walk; riverwalk, park, paved nature trail? I would not put yourself or your baby in danger. Could carry pepper spray with you, smaller and lighter then the 22 :)

A friend of mine runs daily and along her run there is a dog, a pit bull, that is tied up but did get off once and followed her. The dog at first did not seem to be a problem but is started to follow far from home, my friend can run 8 -12 miles a day. So she tried to look at the tags but it snipped at her, she ran back to the house where the dog was seen at and thankfully the dog stayed put this time. After she told her hubby what happened he got her a held hand key chain pepper spray to run with.

Any dog attack should be reported and usually the dog is taken away or put down. So the ones that are attacking should not be an issue. Find out what the law is for your neighborhood about dogs and the breds of dogs. There usually are different laws like; the dog if not on a lease/chain it has to be a fenced in area, if kept outdoors for any length of time chained up most have a shelter from the elements, some places have strict rules on the breed of dog that can be owned in that neighborhood... any of these NOT followed you can call animal control (but you do have to see it and know which house).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Get in the car with the baby and the stroller, and drive somewhere that is a great place to walk. A walking trail, a huge park, another neighborhood, etc. Have your walk then drive home. My neighborhood doesn't have a lot dangers, but its a short street, surrounded by 3 very busy main streets. I like to walk away from a ton of traffic so I just go to another location.
Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I'm all for not living in fear, but I'm also for not putting my infant in danger to make a point. I would drive to another area if there are known dangerous dogs in yours. It is not worth the chance either of you will be injured. Go mall walking instead. When I was a kid, I changed my bike route because someone's nasty little dog would jump up and bite your legs, so I'd say this no matter the size of the dog.

I think your neighbors are the core of the issue and it's a shame they've trained their dogs to attack people. I have friends whose pit bull is so "vicious" she won't react when the toddler jumps on her. She just rolls over. The owner and breeding really do matter.

I would report it any time the dogs menaced me (if they attack kids getting out of the car they likely will bark at people in a car) or my family or were out and about with no leash, etc. The ones that attacked the other people are likely long gone now, but if the owners get more...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I'm sorry to add this late, and sorry if it offends anyone, but what's wrong with taking your gun or baseball bat on a walk too? Nothing wrong with self-defense against a bad-minded animal that should be behind a fence or on a leash.

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answers from Washington DC on

Report, report, report to police and animal control EVERY time you see any loose dog regardless of breed. I'd call them even before going out and ask them what is being done in the area to stop these attacks. Carry pepper spray as other say. Also carry something long like an umbrella with you -- thrust it at an attacking dog for the dog to bite at before it bites at an arm etc.

The fact there have been actual attacks documented in your area is very troubling. Frankly until it was known to be under control I would walk in another area or even inside a mall.

Having a gun on your own property is one thing, but I can't imagine carrying a gun while out walking on public streets and in parks with a child. If you had the gun on you and stumbled, what if it went off? What if you did shoot an attacking dog? The owner likely would sue you, even if you were in the right, and you would be tied up in legal fights and money fights. If you shot a gun and a bullet hit someone's home they could sue and the police would probably charge you as well. If you shot it at a dog and didn't realize another child was nearby -- imagine it. What are your area's laws on carrying guns? Does your husband know all that or does he just say, carry it?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fargo on

D., I would recommend physically going down to your police station to ask them what they are doing about the problem. I called the police on my sister's neighbor after his pitbull charged my young niece and infant son while we were getting out of our car. The police never arrived, so I WENT to the police station and found that they just filed my call and didn't cite the owner for not leashing the dog.
The mailman had actually been attacked by the dog, and refused to deliver mail on that street.

So, get reassurance from your police department. If there have been prior attacks, the dogs should have been removed and/or put down. I don't recommend taking a gun on a neighborhood walk. What if you accidentally shot someone? You would feel absolutely horrible.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

I was born in Miami and they made the pitbull bred illegal because of the incidents that you are describing. There were so many attacks that was done by pitbulls that it was dangerous to go walking.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Is there another direction that you can walk? I agree with you. Having a gun with you while with your child isn't such a good idea. Is there anyway that you can speak with the neighbors about the dogs? You shouldn't have to be confined in your own neighborhood. But I would rather be safe than sorry.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I'd take the gun and shoot the dogs. Shoot enough of them and your problem will be solved. I would not stop walking.

1 mom found this helpful
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