A woman working for the Grand Rapids Post Office was hospitalized on Friday after being attacked by two pit bulls. The Grand Rapids Police Department have reported that the attack took place at around 9:41 a.m. in the 200 block of Garfield Avenue SW, WoodTV reports. According to the police, the two dogs escaped from the yard fence and mauled at the postal worker until they were restrained by their owner. The victim was reportedly out of surgery by Friday night and had a broken arm and multiple stitches.
A spokesperson for the Kent County Health Department identified the breed of the dogs as American Staffordshire Terriers, one of several breeds commonly referred to as pit bulls. The dogs were confiscated following the incident and are under the custody of Kent County Animal Control. The owners of the dogs, who are said to have been cooperative, could still face prosecution.
One of the victim’s coworkers described the incident as a terrifying experience.
“I know her hand’s bitten up really bad, her arm’s bitten up pretty good, maybe her chin.”
The coworker also pointed out how attacks such as these were pretty common for postal workers.
“We go up to those houses and I’m afraid my life is going to change sometimes. It’s a pretty common thing, it happens quite a bit.”
“I’m a big boy, I’m 6-foot-5, 245 pounds and I can’t defend myself, maybe against one, but if there’s two, it’s really scary. I’ve been attacked at least seven, eight times.”
Dog attacks on postal workers are already a popular cliche in the media. But the deadly reality of the situation is that attacks such as this are on the rise. According to a recent report by the United States Postal Service, dog attacks on postal workers in the U.S. rose to 6,755 last year, 206 more than the previous year.
Pit bulls were created by breeding bulldogs and terriers together. They were meant to be fighting dogs for blood sport, and as such were selectively bred to be aggressive and vicious. Today, a few hundred years later, such games are illegal, but the breed lives on and with a bad reputation. Many people argue that pit bulls are not vicious breeds by birth and it is the owners of these dogs that lead them into becoming vicious. While it is true with any large/working breed of dogs that an inexperienced owner can lead it to becoming aggressive and vicious, incidents of aggression from pit bulls are more commonly reported than with other breeds, possibly owing to a bad reputation.
The United Kennel Club, the second oldest Kennel Club in the United States and possibly the world’s largest performance dog registry, describes the characteristics of the American pit bull terrier as the following.
“The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed’s natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work.”
While many pit bulls are gentle and happy family dogs, incidents such as these have led to several countries around the world and some states in the U.S. to impose restrictions and in some cases outright bans on the ownership of the breed.
[Featured Image by Audrey Lohkamp/Shutterstock]