Omaha, NE - Wendy Blevins, the mother of Charlotte, has given DogsBite.org permission to post her letter that she sent to Mayor Mike Fahey. Charlotte was violently attacked by a pit bull back in June and suffered severe scalp injury as a result. Wendy has urged Fahey and his committee to design a pit bull law that would prevent future tragedies like Charlotte. So far, they have not.
Dear Mayor Mike Fahey
By Wendy Blevins
August 19, 2008
"My name is Wendy Blevins and on June 25th of this year my life changed forever. I know you have heard from the media, witnesses, and police reports what happened but you have not heard my story. I'm asking if you would please take a few minuets and read my side. I would just like you to feel what my daughter and I went through on that day, before you weigh in on the Pitbull issue. Here is my story.
On June 25th I had gone to my friend Carly's home to let my daughter play with her son Cade. It was such a nice day that we decided to go for a walk. About a month earlier I had gotten my daughter a Red Radio Flyer Wagon and I keep it in the trunk of the car because she LOVES it so much and you never know when you may need to, like that day, go for a walk. So we strapped the kids into the wagon, it was one that had seats and actual belts to hold the kids in, and we were off.
We had only made it to the second block when as we were crossing the street we saw two women and a yes that's right a PITBULL!!! Carly (my friend) and I both came to a dead stop in the middle of the street and blocked the children in the wagon with our bodies. Just taking a few steps one way or the other to stand in between the dog and our children. That's when the dog just backed his head out of his collar and began walking, yes walking to us like any other curious dog would. As he started his walk the owner said "oh shit" and we knew. We knew something was going to go really wrong. The dog got to about 4ft from us and just lunged.
The dog (Duke) grabbed a hold of the left side of Cades chest right over his little heart and did a thrashing motion and pulled the wagon over on its side. Carly was the closest to her son at that time and reached in to get Cade from the wagon but he was belted in. In her attempt she was bitten on the hand. As the dog moved from Carly back to Cade I jumped in the middle. I blocked this dog from further biting him, but in doing so I left my baby girl wide open. The dog just turned from me and grabbed a hold of my baby. I could not get between them fast enough.
The dog went right for her head. He managed to get her whole head in his mouth, but by the grace of God his teeth only caught on the back side of her head. Leaving only bruises on her face. As this dog pulled on my daughters head I watched her scalp get ripped away. Its odd the things that go through your head during these moments. "THIS IS NOT HAPPENING, NO, NO, NO, HER HEAD, HER HEAD, ITS GONE, OH MY GOD, ITS GONE, STOP, STOP, STOP, THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING, THIS IS NOT HAPPENING TO US!!!"
The dog took a "breather",he let go for a split second to get a better grip the next time it seemed, and went back to pull the rest off. It all happened so fast, and at the same time it just kept going on and on. I threw my body over hers just as he was biting her shoulder. It seemed at that moment he was set on getting her out of the wagon. I managed to push/pull him away to the point where I could attempt getting my daughter out of the wagon. But as we all know she was strapped in and I was unable to release the belt.
The dog just kept trying to go back for more, more of my daughter, but with me blocking her I guess he decided I was just as good. He bit into my neck twice, missing my main artery by a fraction of an inch. This was another moment I remember thinking so very clear. "IS HE GOING TO BITE AND LET GO? OR WILL HE BITE AND RIP IT ALL OUT? THIS IS GOING TO HURT." That's what I thought. My hands were also bitten along with over my right eye.
After biting me a few times the dog paused a moment as he walked around the back side of the wagon. I jumped to my feet and followed. At this moment Carly was attempting to get Cade from the wagon and the dog was headed right for them. I guess the best way to describe it is, I threw myself onto the dogs backside and took a hold of the nape of his neck fighting with him to keep him from going back for the children and Carly. There was so much blood coming from my neck at this time. It was just spraying on the dogs back as I fought with him. I held the dog yelling to Carly, "GET THE KIDS, GET THE KIDS AND GO, GO, GET THE KIDS NOW, RUN, GO!!!" She got the children free handing my daughter to the dog owners mother as she struggled to calm Cade.
As I held the dog looking up to see what was happening with the children I see the owner about 3ft in front of me with the leash. I'm yelling to her to get her dog, get the leash on her dog. As she slipped the leash over his neck I realized it was going to be a matter of seconds before he was free again. This collar was not going to hold him. I looked up, saw the children were free of the wagon and I went for it. I let go of the dog, ran to my daughter grabbed her from the woman and ran for our lives! I jumped a small fence with my daughter limp in my arms and covered in blood. I began banging on a house with no answer. My thought at this moment was "WERE GOING TO DIE! HES GOING TO COME AROUND THE HOUSE, AND WERE GOING TO DIE!" I went to another house where a man answered and helped. Carly ran around to the back of the house and came inside. We waited for help to arrive.
The EMT's showed up and yet we were still waiting. We waited for them to come around the house and surround us as we walked to the ambulance. We feared for our lives. Not knowing where the dog was. But aware that he had gotten loose again. As I walked out of the mans house I looked down at my babies head and thought "HOW, HOW ARE THEY GOING TO FIX THIS? ITS SO BIG!"
Charlotte's left ear was partially detached, split in half and punctured. She lost 1/3 of her scalp and has undergone 3 surgeries so far and will need 4-6 more to stretch her scalp in order for her to be able to grow hair. Cade and Carly are doing as well as can be expected. I myself still don't have full function of my left arm. The dog had bitten me on the left side of my neck and his bite effected both the muscles and nerves.
I truly feel had those kids not been strapped in we would have lost one or both of them. I feel the dog would have taken off with them. So even though the straps stopped us from grabbing the children and running away, they also protected there lower bodies by keeping them in the wagon itself and it didn't allow this dog to just grab and run. This little red wagon may have been the only thing that saved our children.
What if, what if there would not have been a wagon? Or the power of two mothers fighting for there children's lives. Instead of playing with my daughter would I be planning a funeral. Would there be two funerals? Not everyone in Omaha is protected by motherly love and a wagon. Please look at this as an insider. What if it was your daughter, grand-daughter, son, grand-son, niece, nephew, someone you love.
I understand the views of the Pitbull owners, I do. Two of my cousins have owned Pitbulls since they were puppies so I have also been around them. I was a zookeeper for 4 years and own 1 dog, 1 cat, 1 turtle and 2 rats. I love animals and wish no harm on them. But I wish, hope and pray more, that NO ONE, NO ONE, has to ever suffer what my family, my baby girl has had to go through. And will have to go through for the next 5-6 years. I truly feel after seeing first hand the unpredictability, unprovoked aggression, and the desire to KILL of this breed a ban is the only option.
I know there are many, many things to consider before making a decision dealing with all this but I have faith in my city and the men and women put together to represent it. I just ask that you please remember this letter before you vote.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this."
06/28/08: Coverage of the Omaha Pit Bull Attack - DogsBite.org