Please share any advice or safety measures that might assist in avoiding dog attacks. (Spent all morning in the E.R. after being chased and bitten by (literally a pack of pit-bulls). I am very fortunate that I survived and the injuries were mostly confined to the lower back portion of my left thigh, but there are still are numerous, painful puncture wounds and one deep, long slash that penetrated well into my hamstring muscle. Animal Control did respond and all four dogs were located (belonging to the same owner). None are up to date on their vaccinations, so I may be facing the series of rabies shots. (Hopefully not, if all the dogs are healthy following the mandatory 10-day quarantine). Anyway, this attack happened on main street in a well populated area, so it makes me wonder if there are truly any secure locations to exercise anymore. I have been walking and running the same route for years with few disruptions. Honestly, had I been carrying any protection, I doubt I would have been able to access it because the attack just came on so quickly. Also, my headphones were full-blast and, of course, I could not hear them coming. Any suggestions for the future are greatly appreciated.
That is terrible, my only suggestion would be to get a 25 caliber Beretta Bobcat, it only weighs 13 oz. It is a damn shame that people can't have the freedom to go outside their homes without being mauled by dogs. At least you live in a town where animal control will respond. Where I live (the dog poop capital of the world) Midland, TX one would be very lucky to get a response. I carry a wooden stick with me when I run but that only offers protection from one dog, more than one and I would surely be killed. I am considering getting a gun but where I live one has to go to classes and get a license just to exercise his constitutional right to bear arms.
Jasko123 Hope your Ok. That's awful news. Hope you'll recover quickly. It really could of been much worse. I would like to know what they intend to do to the owner and the four pitbulls.
2012 Races: Tony from Florida
Jan.7,2012 Walt Disney World Half Marathon Orlando FL 02:09:14 PR
Oct 7 2012 Chicago Marathon Chicago Illinois 05:17:43
Feb 10, 2012 Rock N Roll Half Marathon St Petersburg FL
Started running at 58 ( Nov 23rd 2010)
Half Marathon Results
Oct 31,2011 Fl Halloween Halfathron 02:18:22
Sept 4, 2011 Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll Virgina Beach Half Marathon 02:28:20
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Hope you recover quickly both physically and mentally. I do not have the answer. Good luck
Best I can think of is some of the pepper sprays that they sell for runners--the ones that strap to your hands or wrist for instant use. Haven't had the need to try but I'm told a spray in the eyes and nose is as effective against dogs as it is against muggers. This kind of thing- http://www.runsafety.com/
Hope you recover quickly and completely, and that you don't have to pay a dime for it.
Not sure what container you could use, but my mother used to say that when she used to train for bike racing she would carry a special water bottle of ammonia, one spray in the face and they won't come back again.
My sympathy Jasko. I was bitten by a dog Thanksgiving morning while on my run. Fortunately, my bite only left a couple of cuts where the fangs penetrated and the hamstring was sore and bruised for a wk. I was on a country road, saw the dog come out barking, stopped in my tracks, he came up behind me, stopped and then grabbed my leg and finally went back over to his porch and laid down. I had to come back that same way on my return, so stopped before getting there and walked past. The dog decided to stay on the porch this time. The dog's owner said he would destroy the dog as he had been running livestock too.
I've always been a dog lover and pretty much unafraid of them, but I admit that this experience and reading about yours, has me a lot more leary. We runners have to be fully aware of our surroundings, whether they are dogs, impared drivers, or thugs.
I hope you recover quickly and don't let this incident negatively affect your running.
Marie from Tennessee
Training for Disney 2013 Goofy Challenge.....Yes, I'm certifiably CRAZY!
61 year olds must be out of their minds to run a half marathon followed by a full the next day!
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"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1
Thank you all for your kind advice and suggestions. I am going to evaluate carrying some sort of protection again, even if it is cumbersome or too obvious in the neighborhood. I also finally ordered the Road I.D. wristband (should have done this years ago).
This situation was so different because I was attacked from behind in (what I thought) was a safe, comfortable environment. Still, I am so blessed to have survived. I just kept moving even though they were biting, clawing, circling and attempting to trip me for a full city block. I just prayed for my survival and they finally retreated, so I am very blessed that the situation was not far worse or fatal. I believe had I stopped and tried to continue the fight, they would have succeeded in dragging me to the ground and I would have been finished.
The good news is the owner if facing numerous fines/violations in excess of $1,500 and all the dogs are off the steets now. I hate to suggest this, but they really should be euthanized because they are aggressive and a real danger to public safety. I dearly love animals and have three dogs of my own, but the risk is just too great with these dogs. I am informed that I will have to pursue legal methods to be compensated for medical bills, however, I am just too grateful to think about that right now.
My recovery is going well and my only small complaint is the anti-biotics. They make me tired and nauseated, but I know they are important.
Again, I so appreciate all the concern and caring knowledge.
I used to live close to a river. And those of you who live near rivers know that roads can be kinda crazy because of the smaller number of bridges to get across. All this is to say, when I went running -- in order to get out to some good road I had really only one option.
Unfortunately, that one road option forced me to run past a farm house that sat about 2-tenths of a mile off the road. Their doberman used to sit in front of the house. Because of the openess of the big lawn in front of the house he would often see me coming and would wait for me to go by, or if he saw me later -- he would race down the driveway to get me. I used to be able to hold him off by yelling, ocassionally kicking, and sometimes charging back at him.
But one day I found a broken fan belt from a trailer truck on side the road.. Cut, the belt formed a formidable whip. I used to carry it with me past the house, and drop it off at the base of a road-side sign just past the farm house. On my way back I'd pick it up, and drop it off at the base of another road-side sign on the way home. It would be there for the next run.
When I let that fan-belt swing around the dog was a little more than nervous. He would still charge to the road, but when I let the fan belt fall open out of my hand -- he learned to stop.
Dog Owners and Responsibility.
Isn't that what they call an oxymoron?
I won't say much more, but dog owners are right up there with idiotic NFL fans for me. I guess I'd rather have to tolerate the Idiot NFL types since they don't invade my space as much as the moronic inconsiderate dog owners.
Last winter I was bit by a dog twice - once on my left hand and once on my left forearm. It happened so fast. Unfortunately I didn't get the owner's information but in hindsight, I definitely should have.
I think any runner who has an encounter like this where he's bitten should immediately get the dog owner's contact information so you can follow up if necessary.
Plus, wearing something like Road ID is always a good idea in case the worst happens.
Thank you all for sharing your experiences and ideas for better protection in the future. I certainly do need to become more aware of my surroundings and pay closer attention to particular areas that might pose a risk. Honestly, this incident was a real wake-up call for me to understand that safety has to be a top priority every time I go out the door. It seems that dog attacks are more prevelant than I realized, and it is so important to have better preparation for the unexpected (even in a familiar environment).
Someone suggested to me that dogs can sense fear and are more likely to become aggressive if they perceive weakness. I know we have all come across many animals on our running routes, and usually I either avoid or ignore them, depending on the circumstances. Typically, these are harmless encounters, but I am not certain what I could have done differently regarding this situation because I was ambushed from behind with no warning. Still, I know now that being alert is a key factor and I really appreciate all your concern and wonderful comments.
Not a dang thing you can do about an ambush. When I was 18, a black lab I knew of for years (lived about 4 houses down the road from us), one day decided I shouldn't be running on the road, and came up from behind me, unseen and unprovoked, and took a hunk of flesh out of my ***. What can you do to prepare for and prevent such an event? Absolutely nothing.
I know what you mean about the unexpected surprise. Perhaps being more alert in this particular situation would only have served to add to the horror, so maybe it was a blessing that I did not hear or see the attack coming. Sometimes I wonder whether animals or their owners are the most unpredicatable.
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