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.


  1. Yowzers, I usually don’t read the comments, but I just had to see if everyone came out to defend pit bulls. For the record, I’ve known awesome pit bulls and I’ve known scary pit bulls. When I read the story (and it’s a story!), her saying it was a pit bull was painting the picture for me, so I could imagine what happened. Should she not refer to Murphy as a pug? If he was attacked by a lab should she not mention it was a lab? I think that using verbs is what makes us able to picture what happened. It’s like mentioning her ‘iced’ coffee. She’s just describing it. And frankly, her dog was attacked, so if she wants to talk about how horrible that dog is, I totally get it!

    OK, off the soap box. I totally get how frustrating it can be when you feel like something wrong has happened and you try to go through all the proper channels just to be told there is nothing anyone can do. Ugh. We’ve gone through the same thing with our neighbors, throwing parties, speeding up and down the street with little kids playing etc. It can be maddening! I have sympathy!

    1. @Diana: I agree Diana, I don’t think there is anything wrong with the way Tina worded the story. She’s telling the facts, not trashing Pitbulls as a whole. The fact is this dog was a Pitbull.

      1. I totally agree with Diana. I am a huge lover of pits, and have one of the laziest and most lovable ones on the planet. However, any dog off the leash in a residential area not only angers me (for the safety of humans and animals alike), but it worries me after several run-ins with our neighborhood dogs. We’ve gone up against a very aggressive golden retriever on one end of our street, and a very aggressive chihuahua on the other. Anytime we have a run-in with either, I tell my boyfriend “That (enter breed here) just came after Lola again!”. As someone who has to defend her dog’s breed often, I know doing that to others is unfair, but I identify them that way in my story because we don’t know their names.

  2. I would also try locating their insurance company to make them aware. Certainly something they would want to be aware of as well!


    Ok Tina. Buy this. It’s called Pet Corrector in case the link didn’t work. I carry it to the dog park and on walks. It’s only compressed air so you don’t have to be close to the dog to stop it like pepper spray. It works. I’ve stopped many dog attacks with it. It scares the crap out of dogs but doesn’t hurt them. They will not come near you after you spray them.

  4. First time commenting on a blog, but this struck a chord with me. I have a 20-pound dog that gets a daily walk. We have encountered numerous loose dogs, but have never experienced an attack or even any aggressive behavior. However, a dog attack is definitely a fear of mine! I always carry pepper spray, and my husband and I try to walk our dog together for added safety. I’ve also heard that lifting the attacking dog’s back legs off the ground will stop an attack.

    I also wanted to comment on naming the dog’s breed. Although I may agree that pointing out the dog is a pit bull nearly every time was excessive, I think you were not in the wrong to describe the dog in this way. As others have said, a dog’s treatment, training, and other factors (such as being altered) generally are better indicators of how a dog might act versus their breed. Unfortunately, I think a lot of pit bulls end up with owners who *want* them to be tough guard dogs. (Thanks to those who have commented and sound like responsible owners and breed ambassadors!) As strong, muscular dogs with huge bite force, telling us the dog is a pit bull conveys the seriousness of the attack and the need for the subsequent steps you’ve taken for your family’s safety. An aggressive pit bull is much scarier and is going to do more damage than an aggressive toy poodle, for example.

  5. That is SO awful, poor Murphy! It would be one thing if it was a freak incident, but it has happened multiple times. You definitely did the right thing! My husband told me that if dogs are fighting, to grab the dog by the hind legs because they lose all their power. NOT that I want it to EVER happen again, but that piece of info might help you should it happen again. My dog can get into with other dogs at times, so it is good to know in that event. Hope that helps! Hope he is okay

  6. I am so sorry about this horrible pit bull incident! I get so angry when dog owners aren’t responsible. Pit bulls are actually really wonderful dogs – but only when they are trained well. And if you’re going to have one, you have to train it well. Owners who poorly train their pit bulls are the reason that pit bulls get a bad rep and are banned from most apartment buildings! It’s so unfair and so irresponsible – I would do whatever you can to restrain this dog and let the owners know this is unacceptable. They NEED to be more responsible with their dog!

  7. Wow! So sorry to hear about the dog attack. I’m sure it would be terrifying. I know this doesn’t sound as serious (and probably isn’t haha) but a few months ago on an early morning run and my (80 pound) dog and I were attacked by a CAT. I know, right?! It was terrifying and we both came out with plenty of bites and scratches (luckily no rabies). Would never want to experience anything like that again and never could have imagined it’d be so terrifying. Even worse to happen in your own driveway. I hate to imagine a result where the dog is punished here- I think the most ethical thing is to focus on the owners’ roles in their dog’s behaviors. They clearly want their dog to act like that, and clearly act like that dog themselves- disregarding others around them for their own preferences. I agree with others- contacting insurance companies, following the system in place in your town for voicing your concern, and organizing with other neighbors will hopefully get you somewhere, even if it’s a lengthy process to get to a changed behavior from them.

    On another note, can you and Kerrie do best shitty choice for Wendy’s and a coffee drive through? Curios to know what you guys would pick from Wendy’s and from the coffee drive through I’m curious to know what a good option for a coffee drink is when grabbing real food is still a few hours away. Thanks!

  8. A pit bull attacked my cocker spaniel in our driveway one year ago this weekend. Unfortunately the pit bull tore her up pretty good. One bite on her shoulder sliced through the muscle. And then the infection set in. I felt helpless during the attack also. I could not get the other dog off mine. It was being walked on a leash by a young girl that could not control it.

  9. How scary! I am so glad you are all okay. That is terrifying. They need to keep their dog on a leash, especially knowing that there is a history of this. I have never had that experience, but we used to have a neighbor that would let their friendly dog roam the neighborhood. He was very nice, but he would dart out into the street and I was terrified he would end up being hit by a car or something.

  10. I am horrified!!! Poor murph!!!! And you! I would be historical. I get so nervous when I see dogs off leash. I immediately pick up my 7.5 pound min pin fur baby when I see dogs off leash, but what can you do if the attacking dog is big and jumps up. And at 7.5 lbs, he would be toast! I can’t even think about it.

    Please take Murphy to the vet to get checked out. Dog have special defense mechanisms in their skin where their skin will close up around a wound to prevent bleeding, but it can be super nasty deep down and infection can brew. My mom’s dog was bit recently and he needed a drain to get the infection out.

    Good luck! Hope you and your family have some relaxing fun this weekend!

  11. First things first, take Murphy to the vet to be checked out immediately since he may have internal injuries that you cannot see. A few months ago my Mom and our 2 dogs (beagle mix and Australian cattle dog) were attacked by a neighbor’s German shepherd who escaped. When I say attacked I mean the dog tried to to shake my sweet beagle mix by the neck but my Mom intervened and was bitten instead. The shepherd wasn’t done after that the dog but through my Mom’s leather winter boot, breaking a metal buckle in the process, and leather gloves. My Mom screamed and threw full poop bags, the only weapon she had on her, until the owner came out. The owner never even called to check on my Mom and didn’t return any of our calls making sure the dog had a rabies vaccine or to discuss the next steps. My Mom and both dogs are still traumatized by the experience and refuse to walk on that part of our street. We now carry animal safe mace with us at all times. As far as I know the dog still lives at that house but we have heard numerous reports from neighbors who were attacked by the dog or had their pets attacked. We told our vet about it and she was livid saying that we should have requested that the dog be put down but we couldn’t do it because we have also been the owners with a dog people feared. When I was little we had a crazy dog who bit multiple mailmen through our mail slot, one of my oldest brother’s friends, and a gardener, the county wanted to quarantine the dog but my brother’s friend fought to prevent that from happening because the dog was just protecting us. Granted all of that happened to people who were on our property and could be perceived as intruders but it always stuck with me that he still saw the good in our crazy. Sorry that was a super long comment, but basically all you can do is report the incident, carry mace, and report the family every time the dog is off leash and/or not wearing a muzzle. Eventually the owners will probably get sick of paying fines and will give up the dog.

  12. First, i’m glad Murphy is ok, but agree you might want to make sure he doesn’t have any puncture wounds that just didn’t bleed. Second, I kinda have to side eye all the mentions of pit bull here. I feel like if it were a lab or golden retriever you wouldn’t have mentioned the breed of the dog nearly as much, but because pit bulls (which isn’t even actually a breed of dog) get such a bad rap already you kinda hammered on it. Maybe I’m super defensive of it because my dog is half American Staffordshire Terrier and my sister has one, and they are as sweet as can be, but the breed of the dog really has no effect on whether it will attack or not. That’s all due to the owner and this is just adding more negativity to a group of dogs who don’t deserve it or need it.

  13. We had a dog like that in our old neighborhood, the same type of deal so I started carrying mace. Sprayed that dog one time when it tried to attack Nala and it never came near us again. BTW Nala is an EIGHTY-pound Ridgeback, so that’s a dog fight you literally can not break up. Mace was perfect, although Nala did get hit with a little, poor baby. The dog is attacking her and she is trying to play with it, I love my gentle giant but I hate irresponsible owners.

  14. Wow! I’m so sorry to hear that happened but so thankful Murphy is OK! I bet it was scary and definitely understandable to feel nervous to be outside after that. I wish I had any advice but I hope you’re able to figure something out. It’s so sad when families are so careless with their animals.

  15. You can always call the ASPCA who do owner education for dogs that get out a lot or attack. They also help with the process of removing an animal from a home and rehoming them if the owners don’t seem to be taking care of the animal. Also look up shelters for rehoming pitbulls. We have several here in Seattle and they are amazing and are no-kill shelters. Good luck, mama. That’s really scary stuff.

  16. This story makes me so angry and sad! In our old neighborhood we had a neighbor exactly like yours with a very aggressive dog that she always let off the leash or would tie up outside her house (it could reach walkers on the sidewalk) and it attacked multiple people and dogs. We reported her so many times and nothing happened. This was in Dallas that supposedly has a “very strict” leash law. I just don’t understand how people can get away with not leashing their aggressive dogs or any dogs for that matter. You just never know what could set a dog off. Glad Murphy is doing ok and so sorry this happened to you. Have you confronted the owner? What does she say when you ask her to abide by the leash law?

  17. Oh my goodness! Actually the only time my golden retriever was in a similar situation it was also a pit bull AKA a dog with the ability to rip anything to shreads. That is absurd she wouldn’t walk a dog like that with a muzzle, I’ve seen that and totally respect the owner.

  18. We live in Groton, MA and have a similar situation with our neighbors. Their dog (a pit bull) occasionally escapes their house when they open their front door. We are responsible dog owners and installed an electric fence. The first time their dog attacked our dog in our yard the morning of Thanksgiving and we had just had our first child (2 weeks old). My husband had to punch the dog and we had to take ours to a 24 yr pet er. the same thing happened again about a year later.

    The Westford Pet ER communicated with the local police each time and the neighbors dog was quarantined each time for 14 days. Other than having a super akward relationship with our neighbors, nothing has changed. Feel ya!

  19. Several years ago we had a very similar situation in our neighborhood. After many complaints to the tri town animal control, we were able to get on the agenda for the selectmen”s meeting, or perhaps it was a special meeting at town hall. Many neighbors shared their stories and the difficult dog had to be moved from the neighborhood. I do believe there were several attacks involving the dog biting both other dogs and humans.
    The family had a certain amount of time to remove the animal from the home. It was a big relief.
    I’m so sorry for the ordeal that you and your dog experienced.

  20. Look- I’m a pit bull and she is the most loving, well behaved dog I have ever had the luck to have… But I’m not going to shame you for referring a breed to describe an incident. There was ZERO way that there would not be some who would be offended. We are met with a ton of prejudice that is largely unwarranted for the majority.

    We’ve had an incident where a neighbor refuses to contain their rat terrier. This dog was crazy! We have a leash laws and vicious dog laws. It just didn’t work out with these channels. Our neighbors who were also affected gathered complaints and brought them to the city council. The end result was an order to contain or the dog would be impounded. The dogs owners later moved but it worked.

  21. Hi Tina,
    First, I am very happy that your dog is OK. It must have been a very scary situation.

    I do agree that the use of “pit bull” 5 times in a single paragraph and in the title is excessive. As a “pit bull” mama and advocate I feel responsible for defending the breed(s). A “pit bull” is not an actual breed; is a term used to describe a lot of different bully breeds or bully breed mixes (Stafordshire Terrier, American Bull Dog, Bull Terrier, etc.). I don’t think the dog’s breed should be used as a justification for it’s behavior when it is clearly the owners behavior (and past behaviors) that is the issue. Assumptions like this are why “pit bulls” are the dogs most often euthanized in shelters. This breaks my heart which is why I need to speak up when a single dog (and it’s owners) is unfairly used to represent these breeds that have the same propensity for goodness as any other breed.

  22. I’m so sorry for what happened to Murphy. As a pit owner though, I have to say that this is why the breed has bad rap. My pit (a rescue) was beaten and neglected before we got him and is truthfully the sweetest and most loving dog. I personally have been attacked by a beagle and my dog – yes, my big scary pitbull – was bitten by a dachshund. Just goes to show that you can’t determine a dog by their breed… There is alot of ignorance regarding breed-specific legislation, etc, and it doesn’t sound like your neighbors will help that at all.

  23. So sorry this happened to you but am glad that it wasn’t a worse outcome. You 100 percent should go to the vet to make sure there aren’t internal injuries. Our cockapoo was killed when a Bernese mountain dog who was off leash on a hike attacked him. We later found out that this dog had killed another dog and ignored a police order to have him put down. He was put down after our dog was killed, per the police order.
    From what our vet said, once a dog turns aggressive like this, it is just a matter of time until it happens again. I would pursue all measures to make sure that these people do not have their dog around yours, especially not off leash.
    And for anyone ever in this awful position, we were able to get damages for our 8 k(!) vet bill and cost of adopting and vaccinating a new puppy from the owners insurance company. You may have to threaten legal action (we had my uncle, who is a lawyer, wrote a letter) but they were happy to settle once we did that.

  24. That is horrifying. I would definitely bring him to the vet –
    again, poor pug! 🙁 .

    And I’d definitely go down to the police station and talk to the animal control officer.

    That cop was wrong – the law doesn’t apply only if the dog bites you, it applies if it injures you in any way :
    “If any dog shall do any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper, …. shall be liable for such damage.”
    Maybe bring a nice laminated printout of the law for them. Grr.

    So go to your doctor, too, and get a record of your injuries.

    Those owners should have their pit bull taken away.

  25. So upsetting. This happened to me and my dog once, I beat the crap out of the other dog with the end of my dogs leash handle. I picked up my 40lb dog too! We were just out walking on the sidewalk and this dog busted out of his front door. It was awful. It never happened again, I get it, they’re dogs but what these people are doing is dangerous. I really hope you get some help on this matter!

  26. Get the MACE, get the air horn. Regardless of breed, you have an aggressive dog running around the neighborhood. You have to protect yourself. Do not try to pick up a dog by its hind legs. Although interesting advice, you are putting yourself at risk for the dog to turn on you. This dog will not stop until it seriously bites a person or kills another dog. Once that happens, the police will require a euthanasia most likely. It’s unfortunate, because this is a reactive consequence to something that could be prevented now. I’ve seen this more than I’d like to admit-former vet technician. The owners sound like real winners btw.
    I’m not offended by the use of pit bull. I’m a German Shepherd owner and I’m aware that my dog is a weapon due to his size and strength alone, outside of breed reputation.

    I really hope for a positive outcome here. I can’t imagine how helpless you must feel.

  27. Oh my goodness! Our lab was attacked by a bull dog. It was the saddest thing I’ve ever witnessed I had my son on my frontpack and my husband and I were just kicking and kicking the asshole dog! Unfortunately it was our neighbors dog and good friends of ours at the time. They paid for all her vet bills – she had to have several staples. They were completely apologetic but we were nervous to be around that dog again. They were respectful and kept him in all the time!

    I certainly would go to the city if I was in your Shoes. If something happened again and it was your child or someone else’s child it would weigh heavy in your hearts.

    Our cousin had a pit and the neighbors took him to court and he was forced to surrender the dog to have it euthanized. That was years and years ago there are plenty of no kill shelters now.

  28. Tina,

    You are brave to jump in and try to save Murphy! I completely understand the situation. My Dachshund (very friendly …typically known to be mean dogs) was attacked by our neighbors Golden Retriever! Yup, a Golden Retriever! He had her pinned down so fast, I screamed, it took two grown men to get the Golden off my dog. Thankfully both men were outside when it happened. My Dachshund needed stitches in her neck and she was ok after. But, I don’t take any chances with other dogs now, small, large, breed doesn’t matter.
    But, you should definitely purse something, irresponsible owners are so irritating and there is nothing worse then being uncomfortable on your own property and neighborhood.
    I hope something works out.

  29. WOW! WTF eh!!! So, if either my dogs were attacked and had some uncomfortable spots under their skin, I’d skip the photo shoot, lengthy diet protrayed, lolligagging with Any of my friends/family, and take my dog for the obvious help your neglecting in your routine of life.
    Maybe, since you seem to have such a social outlook on life-move out the neighbourhood. Oh no, I guess there’s other animals everywhere that you’ll need to be more observant of while your child and dog are outside.
    I apologize that I noticed more of your social life in this post, than noticing your right to care for your dogs nursing back to health.
    Wish you well on your wonderful diet.
    P.S. I don’t own a pit bull, just staffordshire terriers

  30. Gah! I’d be SUPER PISSED if my dog got attacked while he was on a leash. We haven’t encountered that, but I was out on a walk with Garth one day when passing a neighbor’s house. Their kids and grandparents were outside playing, so we just kinda walked by and watched (it was cute!). All of a sudden I see a blur of a dog running at us, and the mom SCREAMING like she was terrified. Judging by the screaming, I thought the dog was going to attack, so I turned my back to protect/stand between Garth and the other dog, and the neighbor lady comes running out saying, “She’s actually really friendly, but when you see a big black dog running at you….” And all I could think was, “I actually WASN’T scared of your dog until YOU started screaming hysterically for her to stop.”

    Garth is a pointer mix (probably with pit or lab, who knows), so he’s bigger, but he’s a wuss. I think he could hold his own if need be, but he’s really not one to attack or bite or hurt another dog. I just don’t understand why it’s so hard for people to keep their dogs on a leash, or at least ensure they don’t get out. I find it so ridiculous that the police/animal control couldn’t do more for you guys. Especially since the neighbors’ dogs have a history of getting out and attacking. I’d see if you can maybe get some of the other neighbors to petition with you? I hate to see a dog taken from its home, but it sounds like those dogs don’t get the best care as it is.

    I hope Murphy is doing okay! Best of luck getting the situation under control!

  31. I am so sorry about the pit bull incident! I’ve had many similar issues walking my two chihuahuas and have even had to hold them over my head to protect from a neighbor’s aggressive dog that got loose. It’s driven me to carry mace and even consider a taser for dog walks because so many neighbors think their dogs are “nice” enough to be walked off the leash even though it’s against the law here too and just irresponsible and selfish.

  32. I can’t believe that owners are still so stupid and careless to let their dogs free without a leash! If the dog were to God forbid harm a child, or an adult it is a criminal offence and the dog will be euthanized.

  33. I was attacked by a pit bull while walking with my 2 year old daughter. It latched into her stroller tire and the owner ended up getting the dog off but like you, I was pissed. They are strong and thought not all, can be an aggressive breed of dog.

    I called the police. They came and spoke with the owner of the dog and the cop told me that they already had 2 citations. The third time the dog could be euthanized. I didn’t press charges bc of this, but do feel that more people need to report these incidents. I live in Virginia so the laws may be different?

    Good luck. If I were in your shoes j would report everything and maybe see if the homeowner association or a petition could be utilized.

  34. Tina – I’ve been reading your blog for years but have never commented before. This post definitely struck a nerve with me as we had the same type of neighbors and and our Wheaton Terrier was attacked twice by the same German Shepherd from across the street who charged onto our property. The neighbor was a jerk and would let the dog loose intentionally trying to intimidate both the people and animals who would walk by.

    I totally agree with the others and hope you had Murphy checked for any potential internal injuries that may not have been visible. We were very fortunate, because the second time our little guy had serious internal injuries unseen to the human eyes other than what appeared as a “small scratch/cut”. Also, to notify YOUR insurance company of the incident and they should be able to help pursue the neighbors insurer.

    Additionally, pursue with your local selectman, and if possible get some of your neighbors to either attend and/or write letters on your behalf and/or their personal experiences. It unfortunately wasn’t until the second time when my husband also sustained an injury (trying to hold our dog) that we were able to go before the hearing board. (we live in Quincy).

    But with the neighbors help, written statements and in person testimony there were some sanctions issued against the dog/owners. Not to mention they were fined (though minimal) too and I believe if the fines are not paid it can be held against them in other ways too. Fortunately, the neighbors finally moved away.

    Glad to hear Murphy is ok and I wish you all the best.

  35. I own pit bulls and have for over 20 years. Every time I read something like this I get angry. At the pit bulls owner. As the owner of a pit bull, I have a larger responsibility to make sure that no one is ever harmed – my dog included. I make sure my dogs are fully trained and never, ever, ever outside without a leash. Owners like this are part of the problem with the pit bull image. On top of that, I have zero tolerance for idiots and that’s what those neighbors sound like. I’m really sorry you and Murphy had to experience that and I’m really sorry those dogs don’t have a better owner.

  36. I am so sorry this happened to you and your precious Murphy. We have 3 dogs and we love dogs! I walk our dogs on leashes and sometimes in the neighborhood other dogs get ” out”—- When walking the 2 littles the neighbors dog came racing toward us and it w as frightening. I gabbed both and held them up and screamed and screamed ( such screaming from my 2 as well). I have had this happen a couple of times so I carry pepper spray and a whistle, I wear a cross body canine diaper bag with an assortment of stuff. On another occasion I have however grabbed the 2 and raced towards this dog and growled and yelled back at the dog and he turned and went back home, not sure if I encountered a Pit I would do this.
    My sisters story is a scarier story—– 2 Pits came in her yard and attached their small dog and the dog had surgery ( nearly died due to such throat damage ). The police said that since the 2 pits / dog owners had been ticketed with great history— the dogs were removed and they were put to sleep. Sad for all. My sister never leaves her house while walking the dog without baseball bat and phone. Fortunately her neighborhood has gotten strict with securing fences/gates and escapes from dogs from their homes.
    Sad to say but I believe this Pit will be back and therefore I probably wouldn’t be on the front yard without your dog on the leash pepper spray at the ready , bat in hand or the hose/water/sprayer . I have heard as well one of those loud horns on cans can deter a dog. Be careful with this. Take care and hugs to your sweet pug!

  37. Tina that is awful!! When we lived in Ashland my loser downstairs neighbor (remember him??) had a big dog he would let off leash all the time. One day shortly after Riley was born I had put her down in the infant carrier to open the door. THe dog came charging over and stuck his head right in her face. Thankfully nothing happened but it scares the crap out of me. We had a long battle with the condo association and nothing was done (exactly like what you mentioned). I am glad you got some mace – mama bear is in you for a reason and it totally sucks that you feel like you ever would need to use it to protect your dog AND your kid!!! Sorry that is all happening

  38. I’m kind of surprised they couldn’t do anything for you and Murphy! I am also on the south shore and when a neighborhood boxer attacked my golden retriever, it was quarantined! He attacked again soon after and was put down….I felt bad for the dog because honestly the owners are horrible dog owners and have had trouble with each of their dogs……so sorry you had to go thru is frightening!

  39. OMG! I am glad everyone is ok. I think you need to move forward with what you need to do. Who knows, you might have other neighbors speak up as well.

  40. I carry a stun gun when l walk my dogs. I’ve used it several times mostly the sound was enough but once I had to make contact. It worked. Check out damsel in defense and

  41. Write an anonymous note and politely threaten to get whomever involved. No matter what you’ll end up passing them off but it has to be done

  42. This happened to my dog as well my dog as well! My coworker told me she carries wasp spray because it stuns the dog but isn’t as awful as mace, so you still get the same effect without feeling awful about using mace. SO scary!

  43. I am so so sorry My poor little dog has been attacked twice and it is the most awful experience. Thankfully he wasn’t badly injured each time (most likely due to his thick coat and mane) but its scarred both of us. The first time I was pregnant and the second time I had my toddler in the pram.

    The first time it happened I reported it to the local council but as I didn’t have much information there wasn’t anything they could do (in Australia the local councils deal with animal issues). The second time I had more information plus witnesses and the council was brilliant – at my house the next day and took a recorded statement. The dog actually ended up being put down because the owners surrendered it and it couldn’t be rehomed. I felt horrible for the dog but the council Officer basically told me without telling me that it had attacked before.

    I am SHOCKED that no one can do anything!! There are laws and procedures for animal attacks and any reports are taken extremely seriously here. I hope you and Murphy are okay

  44. Oh Tina!! I am so sorry for what you’ve been through – truly awful. I hope the situation improves and the town can do something for you. It’s so awful to feel so unsafe in your own neighborhood.

  45. Poor Murphy! I hope he’s doing alright! I can’t imagine having to go through all of that just to feel safe going for a walk around your neighborhood or letting your toddler play in your own front yard. Ridiculous!

  46. Oh my gosh! That is SO scary! I can’t even imagine. We have two labs and a boxer and my little brother has a pit bull and a bully pit. His dogs are NOTHING like that! I totally blame it on the owner and them being irresponsible with their dogs. We have a 3.5 year old daughter and those pits love on her just like our labs and boxer do. We live in Texas. In our town, the law here about dog attacks, even dogs attacking other dogs regardless of breed, is that the dog gets one chance if an attack is reported. However, with that one chance comes a trip to the pound for 10 days. And then, if the dog attacks again, it gets put down. It’s pretty harsh. But, it takes away things like that happening and makes owers be more responsible with their pets. I hope he’s doing ok…and you guys are too!

  47. Oh no! Poor Murphy! I have a Chihuahua/dachshund mix. One evening he was outside in our fenced-in backyard when my sister heard him start screaming, so she ran out there and there were two dogs attacking him. She was able to scare them off and we had to take him to the emergency vet. He had some deep puncture wounds which they originally thought might had punctured his lungs but thankfully other than a bunch of cuts and punctures he didn’t have any more serious injuries. He had to wear a cone and a shirt for a while to keep him from scratching his wounds but he is now fully healed. It was awful!

    It took us forever to figure out how the dogs got into our backyard but we eventually found a loose fence post that could be pushed to the side to fit through. The dogs that attacked my dog were our neighbor’s dogs, who like your neighbor’s, run loose around the neighborhood all the time! After this incident we talked to them and they agreed to pay for our dog’s vet bills and then re-fenced their backyard with a higher fence to keep their dogs inside. I don’t think the dogs have gotten out since then. I was lucky that we were able to work things out with our neighbors. I hope your neighbors take responsibility or realize they could be in serious trouble if their dogs ever go after people instead of dogs.

  48. HOLY CRAP Tina. That is horrible and SO scary. I would have been a mess. I’m so sorry.

    I have a friend who volunteers at a pit rescue…I’ll ask her how this type of situation is typically handle since I know she’s worked with dogs that were taken from homes with irresponsible owners.

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