Dog owner recounts pit bull attack at St. Helena park
Wednesday, 01 May 2013 13:22

A dog was attacked by two pit bulls at St. Helena Park last Saturday.
photo by Ben Boehl

Adams wants to warn others about danger

by Ben Boehl

    Logan Village resident Kathy Adams and her yellow Labrador retriever Annie used to enjoy going to the new dog park in St. Helena.
    That all changed, Adams said, when Annie was attacked by two pit bulls on April 27. 
    “I want the people of Dundalk to know what happened at the dog park.” Adams said. “I want people to know your dog is not safe.”
    Adams said she and Annie have gone to the dog park frequently since it opened in February. She said the incident occurred while she was playing ball with Annie, when a girl came to the park with her pit bull. Then another owner came to the park with another pit bull. Adams said she asked the owners if their dogs were friendly and Adams noted that the owners said yes.
    Adams recalled that she looked down at Annie as she was suddenly attacked, first by one pit bull and then by a second. The dogs bit on Annie’s back and attacked her ear, she said.
    “I thought she was dead,” Adams said after the attack.
    Traci Hines told The Eagle she witnessed the attack while she was at the dog park with her German shepherd at about 8 a.m. She said she saw the first pit bull attack Annie at her neck and then saw the second dog attack, too.
    “It was the worst thing I’ve seen in my life,” Hines said. “I was screaming. [The pit bull owner] ran and tried to break it up. It was horrible.”
    Fortunately, Adams was able to get Annie to Dundalk Animal Hospital, where emergency surgery was performed. Annie is recovering from her injuries and is expected to be okay, but Adams said the dog has been scared since the attack.
    “She is terrified. She was not afraid of anything,” Adams noted.
    Hines said that after the attack, she called area animal hospitals to try to find Adams and Annie and was able to locate them at Dundalk Animal Hospital.
    According to Adams, police told her that no charges can be filed because the pit bulls did not attack a human.
    Adams did confirm that the owners did pay Annie’s medical bills, but said she is upset because she believes the pit bull owner knew that dog was aggressive.
    “I don’t want the girl to have her dog taken away. I just want to let people know about it,” Adams said. “You’re not safe [at the dog park].”
    Hines added that she used to approve of pit bulls, but after the incident is having second thoughts of having pit bulls in an open space.
    “I’m a dog person, and I’ve never really been anti- pit bull, but I’m wondering if they should be there,” she said.
    St. Helena Neighborhood Association president George Wischhusen said he was aware of the incident.
    “It’s unfortunate. Everything has been going great down there,” Wischhusen said. “Once and a while you hear a dog growling, but nothing like this.”
    Wischhusen wants the park to be open to everyone, but said he feels it is the responsibility of the owner to know if their dog is a danger to other dogs.
    “People have to know that if your dog has an attitude, you don’t need to take your dog there,” he said.
    Because of this incident, Wischhusen said he is looking into locking up the dog park until the grand opening, which is expected to take place in a few weeks.