Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pit Bulls

Rachel has been talking about pit bulls lately. Her dog got into a fight with one that sailed over a 6 foot fence to get to them.

I have kept my mouth shut on the issue of Pit Bulls and their danger. I was one of those people that said, "It's how they are raised." because I knew people who had pit bulls that were sweet, funny dogs.
I don't feel that way anymore because I almost lost my sister because of two "sweet, funny" pit bulls.

Last September, two weeks after Crash died. My sister was savagely attacked by two pit bulls in her own driveway.

She was inside her house but her garage door was open. She heard strange noises and her inside dogs were barking at the door that led to the garage.
She opened the door and looked around. The first thing she saw was blood.
She looked further and at the end of her driveway where two pit bulls standing over something bloody and with orange fur. She knew immediately it was her cat, Rocky. The dogs had cornered her cat in the garage, killed him and dragged him out into the street.
The dogs were walking away from her cat's body so she ran out there to see if by some miracle he was still alive.
When she saw that there was no way he could be alive, she cried out.
The dogs heard her and turned and charged her.
Without turning her back to them, she ran back into her driveway but they were on her before she could do anything.
They were lunging for her arms and hands and trying to knock her down.
She was so terrified that she didn't notice they were tearing pieces of her flesh from her upper arms.
She backed herself into her garage but they had her cornered.
Her husband had a huge metal shop fan that he would turn on while he was working on his hobby, motorcycles, so she crouched down and tried to hide behind it but the dogs would grab her arms, trying to pull her out from behind the fan.
Even though traumatized, she had the sudden idea of turning the fan on. It was so loud that her own dogs and cats were afraid of it.
It worked. As soon as she flipped the switch, the sound of the fan startled the dogs and they ran into the driveway.
She took this opportunity to run to the door and hit the garage door opener/closer.

She then called 911, my mom and Sister #2.
She was hysterical. My mom couldn't understand what she was saying, she was just screaming and screaming.
Mom was at work and my sister was about 3 miles away and they both made it to Sister #1's house before the ambulance and police did.

On the way, Mom called Sister #3 and then she called me.

What Mom and Sister #2 saw when they got there will haunt them forever. Sister #1 was in shock and covered in blood. They had never seen so much blood. Sister #2 said her eyes were wild and her pupils were fully dilated.
Luckily, the ambulance arrived soon after and I actually beat the ambulance to the ER.
I didn't know the details of what happened, just that she had been attacked by pit bulls. Suddenly, everything I had ever heard on the news about these attacks came flooding back and the only thing I could remember were all the people who had been killed and I prayed the entire way there.

She was lucky. The dogs never got her face or her throat. She was able to remain standing during the attack but they ripped up her right upper arm, tearing tissue and muscle away from bone and she'll be forever disfigured. They also broke her left wrist. It was considered a compound fracture because they ripped the skin, exposing the broken bone.
That is how unbelievably strong these dogs are. One of them grabbed her wrist and broke it with it's jaws!
She had to have multiple surgeries and had a cast up to her armpit for months because it just wouldn't heal.

The story of the pit bulls was what has become a cliche. The woman who owned the house was keeping them for her ex. She didn't know they got out and claimed it was the first time.
Animal control said that they had picked the dogs up before, so no, it wasn't the first time. They had a history of getting out.

The story was immediately picked up by news stations and the newspapers and that began months long debates over the dangers of pit bulls. People fought about it day after day in the letters to the editor section of the local paper...all because of my sister.

The CBS affiliate interviewed a neighbor of the pit bull owner and he said "I let my 4yr old nephew play with those dogs all the time. They were really sweet."

All my sister said was, "I'm glad it was me, then, because there wouldn't be anything left of that 4 yr old."

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