Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Letter: Disturbing incident in Gallows Hill Park
To the editor:
I'm trying to follow up on an incident that took place on Tuesday, Oct. 6, on the lower part of Gallows Hill Park in Salem.
I was walking down the path with my dog, a 5-year-old male Corgi, and was attacked by two pit bulls.
I screamed for help and two ladies came. My ex-husband, who was there watching a cross-country meet with my 11-year-old son, called Salem police, and they dispatched a car.
The officer took down my information and filed a report. He also went into the woods looking for the owner of the two pit bulls.
The owner of the dogs couldn't control them and got dragged up the hill! They were so strong they pulled off his shirt by dragging him along the concrete, all while trying to get to my dog. The officer also said he'd fax a copy of the report to the dog control officer and advised me to take my dog to the vet. (what a shame the dogs didn't drag him into an oncoming train)
My dog had hunks of fur torn out, blood on his fur and what looked like a tooth in his stomach. The cross-country team was still running up the same hills where my dog had just been attacked. (I believe it's part of their route).
There were other children playing in the basketball court, in the skateboard section and just running around.
The two women who tried to help said they've seen the pit bull owner in the area many times. I didn't get his name. I think he was in his late 40s or early 50s, with salt-and-pepper hair, and weighed about 180 pounds.
The vet told me my dog's stomach was bruised from being bit and that if he knew the owner, he would've quarantined the two pit bulls for 10 days. He also said he'd fax a copy of his report to the dog control officer.
The vet bill alone is $180 so far.
My son usually walks with me but I was lucky he was with his father at the time of the attack. How can I protect my son, my dog and myself in the future? This happened at 4 p.m. in broad daylight with hundreds of people in the park. I walk my dog four times a day there and have done so for 13 years. This is the first time something like this has happened.
What if those dogs attacked my son, another child or another dog? How can I protect myself? What kind of force can I use? Can I carry a bat? Should I buy pepper spray? Or both?
What kind of force am I allowed to use to protect my son, myself and my dog from another attacking dog?