David and his cavapoo "Kali" were viciously attacked by a loose pit bull in Bensenville, Illinois.
Bensenville, IL - Just after the New Year, David, who is heard on this video trying to save the life of his dog, sent in his account of the attack that occurred on September 29, 2022. The video is chilling because of what you can hear but cannot fully see as he attempts to "extricate Kali (and later, myself) from the jaws of the pit bull." Kali suffered severe and crushing injuries in the violent attack. The only option was humane euthanasia. David said he relives parts of the horrific attack every day.
I recently finalized a settlement with the owners of a pit bull that attacked me and my 23-month old cavapoo on Sept. 29, 2022. Now that the litigation is over, I want to share my video (neighbor's doorbell camera) of that day when my dog, Kali, and I were viciously attacked, ultimately resulting in her being euthanized.
Kali suffered from hydrocephalus, a condition where spinal fluid builds up in the brain, resulting in seizures to relieve the pressure. Although we tried to regulate her condition with medications, it is difficult to say whether we were successful or not. We do know that her condition caused a great deal of developmental retardation. However, she made great strides during her time with us and was definitely loved and capable of showing affection to her family.
Because of her limited development, it was necessary, for whomever was walking her, to constantly keep interacting with her and focusing her attention on the path ahead. Therefore, I was not able to peruse my surroundings that day and the pit bull was able to dart across the street and attack us from behind before I could act to defend us.
I won't go into the details of the struggle, as they are evident from the video. However, thanks to a couple of passersby, I was finally able to extricate Kali (and later, myself) from the jaws of the pit bull. I rushed home and immediately drove Kali to our local vet. Upon examination of her wounds (her left hindquarters had been ripped open, exposing flesh and bone), it was determined that her hip had been crushed in the initial bite. Due to her condition, our vet felt that the only humane thing to do was to euthanize her, as she would not be able to withstand going under anesthesia required for the surgery (not to mention the rehabilitation).
Not a day goes by that I don't relive September 29th and wonder what I might have done differently to save our good little girl. She will forever be in our hearts, but so will the awful way her all-too-short life came to an abrupt end - at the careless hands of a pit bull owner and his animal capable of violent destruction and death.
Kali's death did inspire me to help our local village government re-write the Dangerous Animal Code. The relevant sections are in Bensenville Code Title 4, Chapter 6, Sections 4-6-1. I hope it can serve as a model for others.
It is haunting to listen to the guttural cries during the struggle. David told us that while he held his dog "like a football" in one arm, he swung his fists at the pit bull. He punched the pit bull in the face repeatedly, but it was like "hitting a brick wall." His hand and knuckles swelled up to double the size afterward. The skin on his hand and fist peeled off after the swelling subsided. The dog also knocked him to his knees during the struggle; so his knees were scabbed up from scraping the sidewalk.
His wife and daughter also took turns walking Kali. He said it could have been either of them that day instead of himself, a thought that plagues him.
The video came from a neighbor's doorbell camera across the street from the attack. After David obtained the video, he emailed it to the Village President. He was contacted the next day to meet with the president. This is when David first faced the antiquated village code. Through the process that followed, he worked with village officials to strengthen the definitions of dangerous and vicious animals, increase penalties for dogs at large, and to prohibit the keeping of "vicious" animals.
The pit bull's owner was issued a $750 dollar citation. The man had just moved to the area. Through research, David and his wife learned this was not the dog's first offense. At the owner’s old home, his pit bull bolted into a yard and attacked a woman's small terrier. There was no major damage, but the woman made a statement to police to ensure the incident "was on the record." This provided David's case with more evidence. The owner had knowledge his dog had attacked another dog in the past.
DuPage County Animal Services (DCAS) -- the county's sole public animal shelter and control agency -- determined the pit bull to be "dangerous," which is not a death sentence in the state, but has some additional requirements, including mandatory spay/neuter. However, David was told the dog was put down a few weeks after the attack. He never saw any proof of euthanasia documents, but he hasn't seen the dog since either. The pit bull was originally from northwest Indiana, about 40 miles away.
Though his family does not walk by the former pit bull owner's home anymore, he doesn't believe the man has acquired another dog. He does believe the new village code will help future victims. But it still relies on people reporting incidents, like the owner of the terrier, to start a documented paper trail. David said that from start to finish, the process took just over a year. He added that, "closure doesn't work." It's best to move on and hold in our hearts the good memories our family had with Kali.
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