Baltimore News Pit Bull Attack Killed Buford’s Girlfriend

15 Nov
Pit Bull Attack Baltimore

In an effort to save Birdie, I let the pit bull attack me.

I’m very sad.

Today I watched as Buford ran across a 2.5 acre field. He is doing remarkably well, and I have a new video to post in a bit, but I can’t get with life in general. We are all suffering from a horrible tragedy in our family.  None of this is good for Buford. My family and I are in extreme mourning because his little girlfriend, and the true love of my life, Birdie, has been attacked and ultimately killed by a pit bull who busted his way into our yard.   Buford went though the whole event and I ultimately got the pit bull to attack me in an attempt to save Birdie.

Killed by Pit Bull

Killed by a Pit Bull Who Jumped into our yard.

About My Birdie Girl..

I should tell you that Birdie was acquired when I made a 2000 mile round trip to South Carolina to get her, as she had been used for breeding.  She was retired out from the kennel and lived her life in a small confined area. Birdie was not used to the sound of a TV, radio, car rides or things you and I take for granted. I adopted her at 5 years old and when I did, she needed a life saving  hernia operation.  It was hard taking her out of her element, giving her the operation, and getting her to trust me.  Just two weeks ago she finally came around, meaning, trusted me.  It took us a year and a half to make this impact on her. She was hard to train and very shy and skiddish. She was by all accounts and purposes a stuffed animal, or one of those Paris Hilton type dogs.  She was, our little misfit and we loved her so.

pit bull attack

A stay pit bull not picked up by Baltimore City made sure that Birdie would have no more birthdays

Then came an unfortunate series of events that would ultimately take Birdie’s life.

First let me say I’m not against the pit bull breed and I work with the SPCA to raise money for all dogs.  Some of my friends and neighbors own this breed dog and I have no problem with them IF THEY ARE PROPERLY CARED FOR.  However, geographically speaking, I live in Baltimore City. Far too often these dogs are set loose to run the streets, and are starving.  There seem to be more geographically in our area as many were used in dog fights or underground activities. You see more of these dogs running the city loose within a few mile radius than you could imagine.  As of late, I’ve counted five running the neighborhood.

So, unbeknownst to me the neighbor (Andrew, I haven’t even met him) had called 311 to report a pit bull hanging on his porch at 9am this tragic day. He lives seven doors up. The operator asked if the dog was showing signs of aggression, etc.  No. The dog was sort of hanging around on his porch. Andrew did mention the starvation  and scratching (blood on it’s face, scratches from fights) were mentioned. At this point the dog should have been moved up the priority list for pick up, in accordance with the scripting on the Animal Control dialogue,  but it was not.  The 311 operator tried to ask my neighbor to tie up the dog. He said he would, but they said they were backlogged and couldn’t come out for three days up to 72 hours. My neighbor wasn’t going to leave the dog tied to his house for three days.  Again, handled wrong, that should not have been an issue if the dog had scratches and signs of starvation. Either the fact he would restrain him one day, or the scratches or starving, all three triggers would have been enough in a 311 call to get Animal Control out, if the call was handled properly.  The call was not forwarded to 311 as an active threat, it was considered a dropped stray call.

Now, the public doesn’t know any of this or how things work at 311 or Animal Control. I only know this after a detailed discussion with that department’s Director after my dog died from this incident.  My big issue is that in the city you have to call 311 which is a non emergency service, to take a report of a stray and is set to ask key questions. You say you need animal control and you think you have them, but it’s only a 311 operator (supposedly trained) to take the calls. As of now a stray pit bull is not treated any differently than a stray cat, meaning if you do not respond properly to scripted questions, these dogs will be left to roam the streets.  Stray pit bulls are not considered dangerous.   I would think the larger breed dogs, like pit bulls, rottweilers, etc would be a bit more aggressive if left on the street long enough without food. However, the City considers them in the same stray catergory as a stray cat, poodle, or beagle.  I understand the City is overworked and underpaid, and they can’t respond to every stray call due to the fact the animals move around. However, there is no set tracking in place if ten of us on the street call about the same dog.  There just isn’t. It’s by your street address, and unless you have a dedicated person tracking calls over the course of two weeks how will one know?

So this neighbor who also owns a pit bull mix and has a two year old didn’t feel comfortable taking the dog himself to the shelter, but he wanted to get the dog off the street. He then started a Facebook campaign.  His friend from 20 minutes away came to pick up the dog later that day since they said “animal control would not take it.”  By the time his friend arrived, the dog had already attacked Birdie and I.

Had his friend arrived a few hours earlier.

But he didn’t.

Had animal control responded to the call, but they didn’t because the 311 operator never sent the properly coded message through.

Poor Little Birdie.

We didn’t know any of this when we were enjoying our Sunday.

Pit Bull Kills

Birdie Girl is gone and my heart is broken.

What Took 5 Minutes Seemed Like Forever.

And so it was on this beautifully sunny day, we heard the neighbor’s dogs (also a pit bull – name is Blue) going nutso. That stray pit had jumped into his yard, attacking his smaller breeds, but luckily Blue is a hyper puppy pit bull mix and quite protective, scared the stray pit bull away.   At the time I didn’t know all this. I just heard the barking and went to my back door.

Pit Bull Attack

How did the pit bull get into my yard? I was traumatized.

Buford ran into the house and his little friend Schnitzel was barking incessantly. Blue, the pit bull behind us, was barking and howling.   I looked outside and Birdie was running through the yard. Unbeknownst to me, a pit bull was on my deck where I could not see him, getting ready to eat her.   I called her in but she looked at me, and did not come in. I went into the living room and mentioned to my husband how strange Birdie was acting running circles in the yard.

Apparently, her instinct set in and she was running fear. I can only imagine now what she was thinking at that point.

Apparently at this very moment my next door neighbor Jen and Rob picked up the phone to call me to say a pit bull was on my porch. None of us got that far as I heard Birdie scream.  I ran outside and down the deck steps to see what was a pit bull under my deck mangling Birdie. I started screaming and by this time Rob had jumped the fence to help me.  He was starved and covered in blood, hers and another dog’s.

PIt Bull Attack

The Pit Bull breached an area of the grotto by the barbeque stone pit. He would have had to jump four feet up and over the stones to get into my yard. The privacy fence did not go behind the grotto. A serious breach of security.

During all of this I could not figure out how the pit bull had gotten into my yard. He had apparently bashed his head through a small portion of lattice in the one area of my yard that is considered part of a grotto area.  The grotto area has a stone bbq pit that is four foot high. So the pit bull would have had to jump in and over at least a four foot jump.  In the spring and summer this grotto is covered top to bottom with Ivy, and visibility is zero.

I had cut down the ivy a few weeks ago.  Usually I leave it until Spring.

The hole was not there!

PIt Bull Attack

The pit bull drug birdie up under my deck to kill her. I had to think quick.

The whole event may have taken five minutes but I felt like it took a century I screamed to tell my husband to lock the doggie door and stay inside with Buford, then instinctively I grabbed a pooper scooper (it was the only thing close) and by now the pit bull had drug Birdie under my deck, behind some more lattice that frames my deck.  I can’t even remember how but I know my heart was thumping so hard, and I somehow grabbed the right far part of the framing on the lattice and ripped it off. I don’t know how I became so strong but it happened. I think God must have helped me do that.  Then I smashed in the lattice and so that I could get halfway in and reach down to try to get her. Half my body was under the deck and the rest out. My head and the pit bulls’ were face to face.

Buford was in the house barking and he knew both Birdie and I were going through an attack.

When I looked at the stray, he had red welts or marks on his face and his eyes were blackened glazed over. He was in bad shape. Some may have been from the fight with Blue the other pit bull behind our yard, but later I found out from Andrew he had scratches on him already. I thought for a minute, that surely I  was looking into the eyes of Satan. There was no dog looking at me. It was a monster who had breached into my yard.

Now, let me add in here, you cannot shoot a dog who is attacking you or shoot anything in Baltimore City in your own yard. You must wait for the authorities to handle it.

So,  I remember taking the pooper scooper and  smacking his face to get him to attack me and drop her. It was my only hope. “You are killing my baby” I screamed “You will not kill her today” I screamed. My neighbor jumped the fence Superman style and grabbed a shovel and soon I got the pit bull to lunge at me and he left his hold off her. I grabbed her sweater and drug her close enough to me and I turned my back to him,so that he could attack my left shoulder, I am not sure if it was his teeth or his claws but he jumped on me just then I smacked him in the face with the pooper scooper pulled the lattice back out to block him in and had somehow managed to get  Birdie on this side of the lattice. The dog would have to backtrack for 10 seconds to get out from under my deck so that would give me time to run into the house.

My neighbor was guarding me so I could run in and by this time my husband had run out.  I ran into the house and put Birdie in the bathtub so I could call 911 then run out the door.   I instinctively thought of the bathtub so that she could not move from out of it in case she had injuries.  She was not moving very much we were both in shock.  We were both bloody and I don’t remember making it to the pet ER. I do remember flashers on and going 90 mph on the side of the highway.  I kept telling her, that she wasn’t going to die that day.

Meanwhile, the cops had come to my house and gone, joking they wouldn’t be going into the backyard because they wouldn’t shoot a dog that day. My husband didn’t find it funny and  called me at the ER and said that the dog was going spastic in the back yard and that he was fearful the pit bull would get in through the doggie door to kill Buford. He took Buford out front and put him into our car he was that shaken up.  The cops were going to report it to animal control.

Birdies Arm Pit Bull Attack

This is one of Birdie’s injuries from the Pit Bull Attack. This is up under her arm. He had punctured her in places the vets said were not in key areas, however, as you can see extensive bruising and tissue damage was evident.

Meanwhile as I’m in the PET ER they x-rayed her and did nothing more than shave her and send her home saying that she was only PUNCTURED under her arm and that she dodged a major bullet. They claimed I had saved her in time and nothing was fractured or broken on the xrays. I was amazed by that I had to say. I looked at the xrays and asked how could they tell there was nothing wrong because I saw him crunching on her? They explained how there was no puncture wounds showing in the body as far as letting oxygen out blah blah so they said there was no major damage blah bah or you could see holes in the xrays blah blah so I didn’t understand and I was trying to process all this. “Birdie dodged a major bullet she is expected to make a full recovery…”

Unfortunately while I was till there animal control had taken over 3 hours from my initial 911 call to get the dog out of my backyard, so I continued calling anyone who would listen and get this dog out of my yard. The following day was Veterans Day and most of the city was closed. There was no way in hell that dog was being contained. My husband said when they finally did come, the animal control officer said, “Where is this big bad dog I’m supposed to take?”

In their defense, they responded TWO HOURS AFTER THE COPS TOLD THEM.   However, they were snarky with comments when they did come.  I called the news to report how upset I was about this attack. They came out to investigate.   Of course the initial story was about how the dark broke into my yard and how I saved her life.

The next day however, Birdie was bleeding out bad and I took her to the regular vets. They said she should have been shaved all over in order to heel from her punctures, and they found another puncture in her groin.  They basically concurred that she would be fine, and that she just needed to be shaved in order to heal.

Never once did either place actually tell me that Birdie could be suffering serious internal injuries.  I guess I should have known because I seen her in his mouth. But still, I thought I had saved her in time or at least that’s what they said. But each day it seemed to get worse. Let me just be clear I am not sure I did the right thing by trying to save her as she was in huge amounts of pain and suffering. It seemed quick enough and a success, but it doesn’t take long for a strong dog to crush a smaller dog and as much as it pains me to say this I often wonder had I been ten seconds longer would she not have suffered so?

You can see from her shaved photos on the news link that Birdie was not good.  She was on antibiotics and pain meds, but Birdie was not the same. You could tell she was traumatized by  the attack. Hell, I was traumatized. I was so traumatized I didn’t even clean my scratches out or get them looked at. Woops.  I forgot about them. Day three I had bruising on my chest too.  I didn’t even remember.  When she came home from the vets that day she wanted to go outside and lay. I tried to hold her but she would squirm out of my arms. She reminded me of a sick animal , the kind that go and curl up somewhere to die.  I thought it was just the pain meds talking.

Day three , Birdie is now extensively bruised  and I feel her body contorting in my arms as we lay sleeping at 4:30 am. I see her body flailing she’s having a seizure. How can this be. She made it this far.   My gut was wrenching and in that moment I knew.  The scary part for me is when I held her in my arms and see her brain or whatever is under her brow expanding and contracting.  It looked as if he brain was hemorrhaging and it scared the hell out of me. Now,  I had a cat with diabetes once, but never did he seizure like this. I held her and tried to keep her calm as I run out the door to the ER yet again.  For a moment I sat her down to see if she could move. She could not. She flopped over.  As I picked her up I felt her pee and poop on me and she had gone limp from her neck to her tail.  I knew in my heart, this very minute, I would lose her.

But she held on.  I talked to her the whole way again ; my best friend was awake and he went too.

I get there and they tell me that she could have suffered a glucose seizure.  They suggested doing this or that , anything may be able to save her in a few hours she may snap out of it.  In my heart I knew something was majorly wrong and I thought she stroked out and was paralyzed. My heart told me she wasn’t going to make it, she looked at me and I knew, she was in more pain than I could ever imagine.  I wanted to put her down. My best friend told me to try, he talked me out of putting her down, he said she came this far, and if I didn’t try I’d never know. I admitted her into ER against my gut.

I went home. As soon as I got there. They called.  Birdie has taken a turn for the worse.  Trust your gut. It’s always right.

I went back up, again speeding and in shock.  I did not want her to suffer.  They let me in the back which they never do.  They thought she was in a coma. I went back to say goodbye. She raised her head, looked at me and let out a tiny “yip, yip”. She said goodbye to me and knew I was there.

The doctor looked like he was going to cry.

————————————————-

Birdie Pit Bull Killed Her

Birdie will be missed so much. I am in so much anguish over this.

I have been unable to function for the past week.  I went to a grief counselor. Today I found out I don’t have rabies and won’t need the shots.  However,  instead of being happy, I still feel as though my heart has been ripped out.  Birdie is gone due to an unfortunate turn of human events.

– I cut down my ivy early making visibility into my yard hugely possible

-the dog not being cared for by a human was roaming the streets

-311 not doing their job or coding the call properly

-animal control not responding or not getting the call

– the dog coming into my yard in the one weakest area of my fence

– the guy wanting to adopt him from facebook came just a little too late

  • The dog’s owner never came forward.
  • The pit bull was euthanized.
  • There is no legal recourse for me.
  • There is no justice for Birdie.
  • I can’t stomach to be at my house. I’ve been hiding in Pennsylvania for a week.
  • The situation cost me over $2200  in vet bills yet I still lost my dog.  ( I should add I would have spent anything to save her.)
  • Would the city change their policies if Birdie would have been inside and the dog went for the neighbor’s child?

Here is the official WBAL11 news link when we thought Birdie would make it.  I have been unable to pull myself together to do the follow up story. I think I should, at least to spread the caution word out to citizens who think reporting a stray dog will get them off the street, because it won’t.

I feel at a loss for words right now.  I have to give it up to the greater power and try to be at peace, but it’s hard.  I’m one of those “Why did this happen” sort of people. The only thing I can think of is to educate the public on the system, as broken as it is. I know I need to be strong, especially because Buford is depressed.   I am hoping the grief counselor can help me some more.

======================

Buford’s Current Status: Healthy but depressed.

======================================

Related reading: Pit Bull Conspiracy

 

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4 Responses to “Baltimore News Pit Bull Attack Killed Buford’s Girlfriend”

  1. Blog Update! November 15, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Reblogged this on Ira Mency and commented:

    Pit bull stray calls are treated the same way as a stray cat in the city of Baltimore, although most of these dogs are starved and looking / hunting for food.

  2. WTH November 17, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    I can’t believe this. I am so sorry for your loss.

  3. rational_human January 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    pit bulls don’t belong in civilization, period.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pork Back Fat for the Cancer Dog Diet | Basset Hound Cancer Alternative Treatment Case - February 15, 2014

    […] and keeping his weight on. His mood is 250% better because we’ve tracked down and adopted Birdie’s daughters Kendall and Nala. Kendall is 3.5 and Nala is 4, they have different fathers but Birdie […]

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