#Dogwalking can be a dangerous job. Many people may not think so, but I’m about to share with you a recent event that may change your thinking.
What happened to a client of mine and her owner while simply taking their evening walk together, has since propelled me to speak about the topic of dog attacks.
As a #dogwalker, it has also caused me to reconsider and upgrade my inadequate defense arsenal consisting of my own two hands, legs and pepper spray.
On March 2nd around 5pm, my friend and their sweet one year old White #GoldenRetriever were blindsided from behind by two vicious off leash #pitbulls. This news has been incredibly sad to digest to say the least. Fortunately a good samaritan passing by in a car stopped immediately and jumped into action potentially saving the dogs life.
Here is a photo of her injuries:
One expensive $1,600 dollar vet bill later, the owner of the pit bulls was not only identified the next day but also aware of the attack the day it happened via text message confirmation from another party present during the incident. To this day the owner still has not reached out personally to apologize or compensate them for the bill they received.
Fortunately our neighborhood #Kahoots store caught wind of this tragic story and empathetically acted immediately to help relieve their financial burden in FULL.
Another positive, my client is currently working on a full physical recovery. The emotional scarring for all involved however, will likely be long term.
FACT: #Dogattacks happen every day.
Before we get into safety tips, it’s worth reminding everyone about the obligations of dog ownership. If you own a dog and it attacks someone or another dog, you are OBLIGATED and financially responsible for those actions.
What You May Not Know:
In this incident, two humans were also injured during this attack, yet #AnimalControl is doing little to prevent the incident from happening again due to their “protocols.” It is shocking how incident details and whether or not a human was actually bitten determines the manner in which the attacking dogs are dealt with. I am frustrated to learn little will be done in this case other than a fine. The dogs currently remain free to carry on.
All the more reason to learn about protection and what YOU can do should you experience it.
So what can YOU do in the event of a dog attack?
Over the course of my 10 years dog walking, I have been attacked three times, and approached by MANY off leash dogs.
In all instances I was able to actively scan so I could see them coming and prepare to defend myself and my client’s dogs resulting in no injuries. I have been lucky.
Sometimes this is not always possible or your time to respond is limited.
Tips on Safety and Walking Your Dog
Always Carry Protection
Don’t Use Distractions While Walking
Always Maintain 360 Degree Awareness of Your Surroundings
Familiarize Yourself with Aggressive Breeds or Dogs in Your Area
Avoid Walking in Those Areas
Carry Treats With You to Use as a Deterrent if the Situation is Safe to Do So
Watch the Dogs Body Language to Determine if an Attack is Eminent
Find a Physical Barrier if attacked
Vocally Attempt to Redirect the Dog
DO NOT RUN or Make Eye Contact with the Dog
Protection comes in many forms. As I mentioned previously I have chosen an upgrade to my arsenal. I would of chosen a baton style but certain states have certain laws and so this was the next best thing.
I have chosen a tactical flashlight/stun gun. It has blinding light capabilities, metal pronged teeth for DNA collection and outputs 10 million volts.
Here is a sneak peek:
It can be found here along with many other defense and security items:
Cheetah Elite Rechargable Flashlight/Stun Gun
Whatever you choose is up to you in terms of protection. Personally I would only use this device in the event it was absolutely necessary, and a matter of survival for my clients or myself. I’m confident in its ability to deescalate an attack while providing protection for my clients.
I hope these tips and blog are helpful, and that none of you ever have to experience this unfortunate situation.
Stay SAFE out there!