The Time Murphy Was Attacked By A Pit Bull

Hi, guys! Happy Friday! Boy, do I have a story for you. I’m still feeling pretty shaken-up and helpless after it. Ughhh, story below…

So, our morning started out like most days. I woke up, fed Murphy, and ate my breakfast, which was overnight oats made with ground pumpkin seeds, SFH Churro protein powder, banana slices, collagen, unsweetened almond milk, and a big old scoop of sunflower butter.

After breakfast, Murphy and I went out for our morning walk together. On our way home (we were actually in our driveway), I heard our neighbor yell something. I turned around, and I immediately saw her pit bull running towards Murphy and me. This dog is known for attacking other dogs in the neighborhood (yes, this has happened multiple times before), so I quickly picked up Murphy to protect him. As soon as I got him in my arms, the pit bull lunged at us, grabbed Murphy in his mouth, and pulled him to the ground. I immediately went into “Mama bear mode” and started to fight off the pit bull the best I could. The dog was so strong and had quite the grip on Murphy. I just kept yelling “no, no, no” and tried to break them apart. It was quite the scuffle, and I honestly thought Murphy was going to be ripped to shreds. The pit bull was so rough with him! Murphy didn’t have any major injures, but his fur is kind of weird on one side of his body, so I think there might be some inflammation there. Man, it was so scary. Thankfully, my neighbor was able to get her dog off Murphy before it really hurt him, but, holy cow, it was a stressful situation. And the poor dog had surgery the day before! I felt so horrible for him. And, of course, I was PISSED at my neighbor. Let me explain…

Like I mentioned above, this is not the first incident with her pit bull. In fact, multiple people in our neighborhood have reported her and her family for being irresponsible dog owners. We have a leash law in our town, and their dogs (they have three) are constantly off-leash roaming the neighborhood. The other two dogs mostly keep to themselves and just poop in our yard, which obviously makes us mental, but they got into a fight with a different dog (being walked by its owner) right after Murphy was attacked. WTF, right? Apparently, our neighbors don’t think the laws apply to them. And, truthfully, letting their dogs out, off-leash, an hour after Murphy being attacked is so obnoxious and just goes to show you what type of people live next door to us.

So, after everything happened, I came inside and told Mal. He immediately called the police, so I could file a report. The policeman, who arrived to our home, was really nice, but it didn’t seem like there was much he could do. He said a “crime hadn’t been committed.” Apparently, if the dog bit a person, we’d have a case. He did, though, put me in touch with the animal control officer in our town, who, again, was very nice, but there wasn’t all that much he could do. The animal control officer said he could give the family a fine of $25, which seems kind of silly, considering it’s not a lot of money, and I doubt they’d pay it. He also said he would put in a request to require that the pit bull be muzzled whenever it’s outside. But, unfortunately, like the leash law, it’s hard to enforce. Plus, like what happen yesterday, the dog escaped from the house, so I’m not sure the requirement would even work.

Obviously, Mal and I are not comfortable with these options, considering we live right next-door and have a three-year-old that often plays outside. We ended up calling the town manager, who said we could write a letter to request a hearing with the town selectmen. At the hearing, if we had a strong enough case, the town could potentially require that the dog be removed from the house. It’s a long shot, but it doesn’t seem like we have a ton of options. Has anyone gone through a similar situation? Anyone know what our other options we might be? I’m not usually someone who makes a big deal about things, but I’m truly scared to be outside with Murphy (and, obviously, Quinn). I’m thinking about carrying mace for my walks with Murphy and when Quinn plays outside, which is horrible to think about. I can’t believe how unsafe I feel in my own neighborhood and yard. So, yea, that’s how Thursday started.

Just as I finished giving my statement to the police officer, Kerrie arrived at my house to pick me up to drive down to the Cape for a video shoot. She brought me Starbucks!

About an hour later, we arrived at the Cape to make some promo videos for our Post-Summer Slim Down and other meal plans we’re launching this fall. If you don’t already follow Designed to Fit Nutrition on Facebook, be sure to like us, so you can see our videos! (I’m laughing so hard because the stool that I’m sitting on is super wiggly!)

Once we wrapped up the videos, we stopped at Subway for lunch and to make the next edition of “Best Shitty Choice.” FYI: These videos are on our Facebook page as well as our YouTube channel. We visit eating establishments that typically don’t offer the healthiest choices and share our top picks.

When I got home, I immediately gave Murphy all sorts of pug love. He’s had a rough couple of days.

Then, Mal and I headed out together to take Murphy for a walk and protect him from the aggressive pit bull.


Wearing: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew // Align Crops (I want these in every color!) // Brooks Revel Sneakers

After our walk, I made myself a little snack – guacamole with carrot sticks and the most amazing BBQ Quinoa Chia Chips from CVS. Seriously, keep an eye out for these babies and try them if you see them!

After that, Mal and I headed to Whole Foods to buy a few things for dinner at our friends’ house. They just had a new baby, so we didn’t want to show up empty-handed.

Then, we picked up Qman from preschool and drove to their house. We had drinks and apps and got to meet their new baby girl! 🙂

I love pub cheese in a weird way and ate a bunch of it!

For dinner, I had Caesar salad with grilled chicken and bacon ranch potato salad on the side. (Sorry for the sub-par photo. I had already started eating when I thought to take a pic.)

We spent a few hours at our friends’ house and then headed home. Mal had his Fantasy Football Draft, so he went out with friends and I put Quinn to bed. When Qman was in bed, I put on a face mask (working on my post-summer pigmentation) and enjoyed a bowl of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios.

After that, Murphy and I headed upstairs to snuggle in bed. I worked for a couple of hours before hitting the hay. What a day.

The end.

152 Comments

  1. I am late to this story but my stomach sunk when I read what happened. I am a two pug house and live around the corner from 2 massive pits (they are just big muscular dogs…very much unlike a pug! :)), one is a big old love bug and the other is learning to be a love bug but is newer rescued member of their family.

    One day the family’s dog walker was ‘switching’ leashes from the love bug pit to the newer pit and didn’t have a good grasp and she came bolting across the street at me and the two pugs. Luckily, the owners & dog walker hustled across the street and nothing happened except some aggressive sniffs – BUT IT WAS TERRIFYING. I know exactly the adrenaline you felt and how long it took to shake it.

    I am so sorry this happened to Murphy and that you have bad dog owners as neighbors…there is nothing that drives me crazier than bad dog parents. Thankful everyone is ok!!!!

  2. Hey 🙂

    You should call Animal Control and have the pit bull be deemed “dangerous.”
    The police are absolutely incorrect.

    Just to be clear. I’m a pit bull mommy and I am completed against BSL. My pittie is the sweetest, gentlest, loveliest pup in the world. <3 I love him to pieces. I adopted him less than a year ago and wouldn't hesitate for a second to do anything for him. I totally understand that dog-mom-mode. Because my pittie is so large, a lot of dogs want to challenge him. If another dog starts a fight, I know my pup can take him, but it is my job as his owner/dog mom to protect him from himself and from falling under the "aggressive pit bull" reputation. Unfortunately, my dog's previous owner taught him to hunt small animals, so ever though he is great with people and other dogs, and even though I love him, I know he is a danger towards cats. Therefore, I NEVER LET HIM OFF LEASH and he is always muzzled when we go outside.

    I hate restricting him, but it's tough love. When I adopted him that meant his needs come before my own. Just because I want an off-leash dog, doesn't mean I can just let him off leash.

    1) These owners are freaking irresponsible! They need to be protecting their pit bulls from any aggression the dogs may have learned.
    2) I've had to deal with Animal Control because of my dog's behavior and I know for a fact that a dog attacking another animal has consequences, especially if the "attacked animal" was a domestic, in-house pet on leash and on your property.

    I am only saying this because having the dog deemed dangerous forces the owners to start taking better care of their dog (i.e. leashes, muzzles, signs, etc.) It is very hard to enforce that rule, but if the dogs are required to be leashed and muzzled by law, then any time they are not you can call the police and the can be fined between $500 and $1000. After a few calls and fines they'll start to get the drill. Pit bulls get euthanized all the time because of terrible freaking owners. I don't want that to happen to those poor babies who clearly have bad parents.

    My suggestion: Call animal control again. Blame the owner, not the dog. You may be able to get the city to order the owners to get behavior training!

    It looks like MA is really thorough with not allowing dangerous dogs to be labeled based on breed, and that the state protects the dogs from ethinization.

    Read up on 16-1.9B.2 Dangerous Dogs:
    http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Massachusetts/boston/chapterxviprohibitionspenaltiesandpermit?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:boston_ma$anc=0-0-0-1449

    "Once a dog has been deemed dangerous by the Hearing Authority of the Animal Care and Control Unit of the Inspectional Services Department, while on the owner's or keeper's property, said dangerous dog must be securely confined indoors or in a securely enclosed and locked pen or structure of a type meeting standards established by the Hearing Authority of the Animal Care and Control Unit, suitable to prevent the entry of young children, and designed to prevent the animal from escaping. Such pen or structure must have a minimum dimension of five feet (5') by ten feet (10') and must be securely enclosed. If it has no bottom secured to the sides, the sides must be imbedded in the ground no less than two feet (2'). The enclosure must also provide protection from the elements for the dog.
    The owner or keeper shall display a sign or signs on his or her premises facing out from all sides of the premises warning that there is a dangerous dog on the property and location and design of which shall be determined by the Hearing Authority of the Animal Care and Control Unit. This sign should be visible and capable of being read from a public way or within twenty feet (20') of its placement. In addition, the owner shall conspicuously display a sign with a symbol warning those who cannot read of the presence of a dangerous dog.
    The Hearing Authority of the Animal Care and Control Unit may permit a dangerous dog to be off the owner's or keeper's premises if it is muzzled and restrained by a leash or chain approved by the Hearing Authority of the Animal Care and Control Unit not exceeding three feet (3') in length and, is under the control of an adult, able-bodied person. The muzzle must be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration, but must prevent it from biting any person or animal. No dog designated as dangerous shall be permitted at public festivals, carnivals, parades, or similar events, without an event specific waiver from the Hearing Authority of the Animal Care and Control Unit.

    The owner or keeper of any dangerous dog who fails to comply with the requirements set forth in paragraph (b) shall be subject to a fine of five hundred ($500.00) dollars for a first offense, a fine of one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars for any subsequent offenses, and all provisions set forth in M.G.L. c 140, §157(h)."

  3. Did this ever get resolved? I randomly thought of this today. Hope no news is good news and the dog hasn’t gotten out again! So irresponsible of them.

    1. The pit bull attacked a couple more dogs in the neighborhood and then the owners FINALLY fenced in their yard. I still carry mace on all my walks with Murphy.

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