Pit bull attack leaves dog injured, owner traumatized
PRINCETON — Carla Beaber of Princeton was out walking her dog last Saturday morning when she encountered two pit bull terriers that pulled away from their owner on Cherry Street and attacked Bella, Beaber’s 10-year-old Labrador/cocker spaniel mix.
Beaber said her dog attempted to defend herself, but was overpowered by the strength of the pit bulls. One was a female who had just had puppies. The other was a male.
The attack happened so fast, but Beaber remembers the sight of the male pit bull grabbing onto Bella’s neck and shaking her back and forth.
“I don’t think it was to let her know they were boss. I think they were trying to kill her for how hard they had a hold of her neck,” she said.
Beaber and the owner of the pit bulls tried pulling the dogs apart with no luck. But thankfully, two other men came to the scene and were able to help separate all three dogs.
Immediately following the incident, Beaber said, she called her husband, Kevin, to tell him what had happened. Kevin was at home just up the street and quickly came down to pick up his wife and Bella. And together, they rushed the dog to their veterinarian’s office.
Bella was treated for a gash on the left side of her head. Her eye had been injured, and she had a puncture wound on her muzzle. Luckily, none of the injuries were life-threatening.
Beaber received minor injuries herself, including bruises on her legs and leash burns on her hands from attempting to pull the dogs apart.
She said she should have gone to the hospital to be checked, but was traumatized from seeing her dog attacked so violently that she just wanted to stay at Bella’s side.
After the incident, the Beabers became angry at what had happened. They said they didn’t understand why the owner of the pit bulls had chosen to let his dogs out, knowing he would not be able to control the animals. Both pit bulls had been on their leashes, but were easily able break loose, according to Beaber.
They decided to get the Princeton Police Department involved and were in contact with Princeton Animal Control Officer Nancy Bland.
According to Bland, these kinds of incidents occur often in Princeton. She reminded that residents need to keep their animals controlled at all times. Residents in violation can be cited for having a dog running at large.
“This is not the breed of the dog. ... It could have been any dog,” she said, referring to the dogs being a pit bull breed, which is commonly considered to be an aggressive breed.
“Animals are like kids. You can’t turn your back on them. You may have your kid’s hand going out the door and down the steps to get in the car, and one day they may bolt around the car. It’s just how accidents happen. And this was an accident.”
Bland said residents can use invisible fences and special collars, and post signs in their yards to avoid these sorts of accidents from happening.
“As long as the batteries are good in the collars and fences, it’s a good solution to letting your dog out and standing there with it without a leash,” she said.
“But these things do require batteries, and those do run out, so owners need to be responsible for keeping up on them.”
Another thing Bland reminds pet owners to do is make sure their pets are up to date on their vaccinations. If an incident occurs, the owner will be required to show a record of the rabies vaccination and a tag registration. If the owner cannot provide the information, vaccinations must be done within 48 hours of the incident.
Bland said if the animal is picked up and taken to animal control, and the owner cannot prove current vaccinations, the animal will not be released until 15 minutes before a scheduled vet appointment to bring the animal up to date on its vaccinations.
As for Beaber, she is finally back out walking with Bella again. However, she said, she will be choosing a new walking route to avoid the pit bulls on her block.
The Beabers say their incident could have been a lot worse, but hope their story reminds pet owners to take necessary steps to ensure their animals are controlled in the yard or on their leash. They also caution walkers and bikers to beware of loose pets in the neighborhoods.