Pit Bull Attacks Leave NYC Dog Owners On Edge

Some Aren't Taking Any Chances, Carrying Kitchen Knives

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — For more and more dog owners in the East Village, the pit bull has become the pet of choice – but that trend is frightening owners of other breeds.

In fact, some of those pet owners told CBS 2’s John Metaxas that they’re now carrying weapons to protect themselves and their animals.

“I’m a peaceful, loving guy, you know, and I love animals, but I’m simply not going to let my dog be killed,” dog owner John Juback said.

Juback said these days, he goes out armed when he walks his dog.

“It’s just a kitchen knife, nothing more than that,” he said.

Juback said he feels that he needs to after he and his terrier mix, Jesse, were attacked by a pit bull in the dog run in Tompkins Square Park.

“In a second, the dog went for Jesse’s throat – he got his skin under his jowl,” Juback said. “I was very lightly bitten in the face, but it drew blood, and I had to get a rabies shot.”

Some dog owners said it can be hard to tell the difference between play and aggression, and that pit bull attacks have been happening with disturbing frequency lately.

“I’ve seen people being bitten,” Eileen Bertin said.

“Biting other dogs and holding onto ears to the point of blood, and a lot of people had to come and separate the dogs,” Paul Melcher said.

Others, though, say don’t blame the breed.

“I’ve seen pit bull fights – they are nasty,” dog owner Brian Hedenberg said. “But that doesn’t mean the pit bull is bad. It might just need some love and affection.”

Most dog owners would never consider carrying a weapon, but Juback said he will defend himself.

“God forbid my dog is ever attacked by any vicious, uncontrollable dog – I’m not simply going to stand there,” he said.

Everyone agrees, though, that it’s up to dog owners to be responsible.

The Parks Department said it has assigned officers to monitor the dog run to minimize conflicts.

On Saturday morning, an expert is being called in to talk to owners about how to train their dogs – and how to handle a dog fight.

More from John Metaxas
  • http://www.dog-toy.co.uk/dogproducts/?product=58 Dog Training Discs

    Oo Fantastic topic, I own six Whippets and two Bloodhounds, there so much fun.

  • htes

    Pit bull owners must be tired. They have to spend time each day posting on their breeds latest attacks. Ever start to think you might be wrong, and that your breed sucks?

  • Turkey

    Pit bulls are genetically programmed to want to fight other dogs, it doesn’t matter how they are raised. Now this doesn’t mean every pit bull will want to fight all the time, but no responsible pit bull owner would ever bring a pit bull to a dog park. This whole situation would be completely avoidable if pit bull owners got educated and became responsible. Where are the pit bull rescue groups and the ASPCA? Why are they not educating pit bull owners how to properly take care of their dogs?

    • BullyBob

      Turkey… I cannot speak for all rescues or shelters but we tell people from our shelter not to take a pit bull to a dog park.. I do not agree that they are genetically programed to want to fight.. if you read about Mike Vick’s dogs you will realize a lot of them lost there lives because they did not want to fight. I have had multiple pit bulls in my house and they do not fight.However once they fight you can pretty much bet that they are going to end the fight. The articles sd. someone was going to help with education..

      • Turkey

        You own pit bulls are you still don’t understand their genetics? That’s called an irresponsible owner. Just like telling people not to bring their dogs to a dog park but not doing anything else to educate the pit bull owning population is an irresponsbile pit bull advocacy program.

        As for the Vick dogs, I doubt you were there and know personally why these dogs were killed. But experience will tell us that fighting dogs are culled when they won’t fight reliably or they lose. It is a fantasy to think all these pit bull won’t fight given the right trigger. Keep in mind that a few months ago a Vick pit broke out of his cage and tore into another cage, killed a pit bull, broke into a second cage and nearly killed that dog. All that money and years of rehab can’t change genetics.

        The point here is there shouldn’t be any pit bulls in dog parks, yet all across this country owners are bringing pit bulls to dog parks and ruining it for the rest of us. They either don’t know any better, think their dog is different, or simply don’t care. That shows you how much of a failure pit bull advocacy has been.

  • BullyBob

    I own 2 pit bull type dogs and volunteer at a shelter where I work with pit bull type dogs. They are a great breed of dogs but you need to know what you are doing. You should know how to break up a fight, whether a break stick, or twisting a martingale collar like a turnquet. Personally I never never take my dogs to a dog park and when we adopt a pit bull at the shelter we tell the humans not to take the dog to a dog park. I have owned as many as 3 pit bulls at one time and they play rough. You need to know what triggers your dog.

  • Honey

    Folks should carry a break stick. Could be used as a club or a tool in helping break free of the attacking dogs jaws. Remember it’s not the dog fault but the irresponsible owner.

  • Johnny

    Carrying a kitchen knife is criminal possession of a weapon. You’re not allowed to defend yourself in this urban utopia.

  • BossCal

    It’s also the way you raise and treat your dogs.

  • BossCal

    I own two female dogs, a pitbull and a chihuahua. My pit is the most loving dog you could ever find and my little chihuahua is the vicious one. I have a sample on YouTube under mrocsidakota, check it out. Then tell me who is nasty.

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