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A concerned dog owner shares this incident report:

I live on Commercial Street in the North End and my dog was attacked by a large black pitbull in Greenough Lane around 9 p.m. on Saturday July 16th.

It was completely unprovoked. The pitbull was off-leash and tackled / viciously bit into my dog’s neck as he screamed …. a heartbreaking sound I’ll never forget. It all happened so fast. The owner was a mid-30’s caucasian bald man, who grabbed his dog and fled the scene without providing any information. A travesty.

My dog had emergency stitches and anesthesia at Back Bay Vet (they’re amazing). Unfortunately, he’s quarantined from other dogs for 45 days (all summer!) because we don’t know if the other dog was vaccinated.

A police report was filed and animal control was contacted. Please all North End residents and dog lovers be alert.

Thank you,
Concerned Dog Owner

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for sharing. I am a small dog owner living on Commercial St. So sorry for your pup and you, that is scarey and unacceptable!! Thank goodness your dog will be OK, despite quarantine. Will be on the lookout and hope we can find the owner and dog responsible. He should fess up and pay for your vet bill.

    • Pit owners are rarely responsible for the damages their dogs do to people and animals. Most will grab their pit and run regardless of the severity of the attack. Those of us who are pushing for BSL nationwide for pit bulls have a name for such…we call it “dine and dash”. It is shameful and oh so prevalent in pit owners.

    • As the victim’s owner, I’d like to say a few things:

      To the North End Community: my heartfelt gratitude is extended for the empathy and support that our family has received. Our little man is a trooper and will be OK (and showered by us with extra love and attention). Our focus is his mental health and to re-socialize him with dogs after the 45-day quarantine so he’s not scared of them.

      To the Offender: A well-socialized and well-trained pit bull can be one of the most delightful, intelligent, and gentle dogs imaginable. Owning a pit bull (or any other large dog) should not be taken lightly and it’s the guardian’s responsibility to socialize their dog at an early age to eliminate aggression and follow breed-neutral laws …. such as Thou Shall Not Off-Leash Thy Large Animal at Night in a Dark Area, etc.

      It’s all about awareness and accountability. Let’s try to focus our attention on the reckless owner (and as a result an aggressive animal in the community) rather than banning any particular breed of dog. It’s not fair to the majority of wonderful dog owners in the North End to stereotype against their loved fur children.

      • Andy. Wonderful, unbiased and intelligent response. I applaud you. Thank you for letting us know that your little trooper is okay. And amazing that you express forgiveness to the pitbull. I agree 100% with every word you wrote. I have worked with dogs and am fully aware that oft times, the fault lies with the owner….not training the dog…..not leashing the dog…. or just not being aware of what the dog needs. Great post.

      • Thank you for your comment Andy. I appreciate your response very much. I pray your little guy will recover 100% both physically and emotionally. I have 3 rescued pit bulls and I take extreme caution at all times. I would never want something to happen to any person or animal including them. Unfortunately two of my 3 were adults when I adopted them so with them socializing at a young age was not possible. they are very friendly and have never given me reason for concern, but I still keep their environment very controlled. They meet other dogs side by side on a walk before they are able to run around my yard freely with their new friends. The owner of this dog roaming off leash is irresponsible and should be held accountable if at all possible. Again I truly hope your dog has a speedy recovery

  2. Poor pup. He’ll be okay. The question is, why would a pitbull be off leash? The dog owners are responsible for their dogs going on the attack, Be better pup.

    • Or really, why would ANY dog be off leash outside of the designated dog park? I am a small dog owner and it drives me crazy how many owners have their larger dogs off leash at Christopher Columbus Park and in the neighborhood.

    • If you take your pup to a dog park that allows pit bulls, your pup is at extreme risk of being killed. Google “dogs killed by pit bull” and see for yourself. THOUSANDS of normal breed pet dogs are killed each year in the USA in dog parks or on the street or even in the normal breed dog owner’s own yard or home. Hard to believe, I realize, but true, and I am only attempting to educate normal breed pet owners of the danger and potential heartbreak they may suffer by lack of knowledge of the fighting/gripping breed dogs. Please take care. I cannot stand to read of another normal breed dog (or cat) being mutilated to death by a pit bull or two.

  3. I am so sorry for the trauma you both have suffered. If EVERYONE would simply keep their dogs on leash, these incidents would be more easily avoided. I realize that enforcing leash laws isn’t a top priority for Boston’s finest, but it would be so much easier for all if dogs were kept on leash. I am perfectly willing to take responsibility for my own dog – but I don’t think it is reasonable to ask that those of us who keep our dogs on leash be permanently on guard against off leash dogs, who may or may not be friendly. There is simply no “need” to let your dog be off leash in the city.

  4. My heart goes out to the owner and the dog this should not have happened. All dogs belong on a leash small or large no matter how well behaved they are. Its a law I see too many dogs off a leash. I lost my dog Sam from being attacked by a bitt bull. I will never forget the screams from my dog and the expense that occurred to save him. Sam was never the same nor have I been the same. I hope you find this guy he needs to take responsibility. His dog will do it again. Marie Simboli

  5. I have commented on the lack of enforcement on dog owners who seem to think that CCP is a dog park for years.The Pit Bull that attacked the pup should be euthanized because this wont be the last time [he has tasted blood],next time it could be a child.The owner needs to face the music and come forward.

      • Heather, you need a dose of common sense.The “empathy” is reserved for the dog who was attacked & it’s owner who is going to have to pay probably thousands [that’s what I paid when my leashed poodle was attacked and nearly killed by an unleashed pit bull in Revere] My dog suffered throughout the final years of his life because of the injuries he sustained in the attack. I have zero empathy for a dog that’s obviously dangerous and a threat and an irresponsible owner.

  6. It’s terrible what happened to your dog. I can only imagine if it were a child. Any pit bull owner who lets his dog walk around without a leash probably can’t read, so this message is missing it’s true mark. That being said, I have kids in the NE and I will be sure to keep my eyes open for this guy. He’ll be found.

  7. If someone knows who this is, I feel like the person needs to be spoken to and held accountable.  I do not think it is out of the question to approach anyone fitting this description.  There are only a couple of pitbulls in the neighborhood and of those, only 1 or 2 are seemingly aggressive.  Please do not be shy people and let’s try to find this person.

    • I also believe there is a surveillance camera in the school across the street. Possible to check the camera and catch guy in the act of fleeing. Hold him accountable. Please. Talking about leash rules here will not fix this situation.

  8. I am very sorry that this happened to your dog and you. I own a small dog an strongly believe that dogs need to be on a leash. I wish both of you a strong recovery.

  9. We at RUFF share the concerns of off-leash and aggressive dog behavior. We are saddened to hear that this situation happened. Yet we are thankful that the victimized dog is going to be okay. We are aware that this situation could have been much worse. As many of you know, we advocate for responsible dog ownership. The owner of this Pit Bull is an example of not just irresponsible dog ownership but also simply bad neighborly behavior.

    We have been working tirelessly for over a year now to bring a legal, safe, off-leash dog park to the North End. With the help and support of the neighborhood and the City of Boston this goal is almost realized. It is discouraging to hear of owners like this.We hope the Pitt Bull owner reads these comments and comes forward to make this right for the attacked dog and his or her family.

    In response, RUFF will plan to step up walking patrols in the Greenough Lane/Commercial street area and continue to remind people to about leashing their dogs and curbing aggressive dog behavior. Also, at no point is aggressive dog behavior tolerable. There are numerous dog trainers who can work with owners and their dogs to rehabilitate their dogs. RUFF is happy to provide names of those trainers. However, first and foremost, your dog must be leashed. If you see a dog off leash, it is your right to tell the other owner to leash up. It’s the law.

  10. Council Bluffs, Iowa.

    Pit bulls are not only problematic in large cities; they threaten mid-sized cities and small towns as well. Located in the heartland, Council Bluffs, Iowa has about 60,000 citizens.
    After a series of devastating attacks, beginning in 2003, Council Bluffs joined over 600 U.S. cities and began regulating pit bulls.

    The results of the Council Bluffs pit bull ban, which began January 1, 2005, show the positive effects such legislation can have on public safety in just a few years time:1.
    Council Bluffs: Pit Bull Bite Statistics.

    Year Pit Bull Bites % of All Bites.
    2004 29 23%.
    2005 12 10% (year ban enacted).
    2006 6 4%.
    2007 2 2%.
    2008 0 0%.
    2009 0 0%.
    2010 1 1%.
    2011 0 0%.

  11. I may have seen the same guy & dog heading into the north end from Charlestown. I saw him running with the pitbull off leash & picked my dogs up. The dog stopped 20 yards shy of me in the crosswalk at the end of Endicott street & left a nice pile of crap in the middle of the crosswalk. The owner paused for him to do his business & kept running. Keep an eye out for them heading over the bridge & keep them both out of our neighborhood.

    • Thank you anonymous for passing along information about this irresponsible owner. All North End residents should be equally as vigilant with respect to this culprit and any other inconsiderate behavior by reporting what you see, with as much detail about the owner and dog, to info@ruffboston.org, and we will do our best to reach out to the offenders and educate them on their responsibilities.

    • Thanks Anonymous. The closest match is a black American Staffordshire Terrier with cropped ears and a white belly. Does that description match?

  12. I am so sorry that you and your dog had this terrible experience. Thank you for sharing. I’m hoping the aggressive dog and irresponsible owner will be found.

  13. Hello,

    If someone knows the name of the person who wrote this please have them reach out to me. This Pitbull has attacked my dog twice. The second time my dog wasn’t so lucky. Vicious attacked. Bite down to bone with lots of stiches. The pittbull has attacked 4 other dogs other that I am aware off. I have all the info on the owner of the Pitbull. Please call or email me. brodieahall@yahoo.com. 781-915-8040

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