Last Tuesday morning I was out for my daily run on the Pupukea Forest Preserve road with my 5 year old neutered border collie, which I have enjoyed doing for years.
Near the end of my run, I saw five unleashed pit bulls charging towards me. In an attempt to avoid them, I pulled my leashed dog as far up the embankment on the side as possible.
Two hunters appeared. I yelled at them to control their dogs. One shouted that they “won’t bite”, just as all five pit bulls viciously attacked my dog. I jumped away, fearing I’d get caught in the middle of this attack. I was terrified, screaming at them to get control of their dogs as my dog ran for his life being chased down a 50’ embankment. I continued screaming at the hunters to stop their dogs.
I have never heard such a horrible sound in my life coming from my dog as he was being ripped apart. One hunter slid down with a large branch in hand, beating his dogs, taking at least 3 minutes before it had any effect. “Carry my dog up, carry him up!”, I screamed, then I saw my dog about 15’ away slowly trying to climb out, barely able to walk, covered in his own blood. They offered no help or apology as I struggled to carry him to safety.
I was terrified that he would bleed to death before I could get him to the vet, who told me he was very lucky to be alive. The back of his neck was ripped open, there were many open wounds all over him requiring stitches. The area under his front right leg was the worst. It took 30 stitches to repair the ripped out muscle and tissue, with nerve damage a real concern.
Sadly this story appears to be common in Hawaii, but I never thought it would happen to me, especially in a popular open space where many people walk their dogs daily, and which is well posted with No Hunting signs during the week. The pleasure of enjoying this beautiful area has been forever taken away from me. With this letter I hope to warn others of the danger of illegal and irresponsible hunters and dogs that attack both people and pets.
I want something to be done about it. In 2009, the Hawaii State Legislature attempted to pass a law banning inherently dangerous dogs, specifically pit bulls, and some communities in the State have attempted to ban pig hunting dogs. I think it is time to reconsider such laws. The practice of using dogs to hunt pigs is a particularly cruel and inhumane blood-sport, to the pigs, the hunting dogs, and any innocent person or animal they might encounter. There have been countless incidents of humans and pets in Hawaii killed or maimed by pit bulls and hunting dogs.
• December, 2011, a pit bull viciously attacked and maimed a woman who was walking her pet pomeranian in Aina Haina;
• August, 2011, a man walking his dog in Leilani on the Big Island was attacked by a pack of dogs led by a pit bull;
• January, 2010, two people in Papakolea were hospitalized after being attacked by a pitbull; March, 2010, two pit bulls killed a dog in Nankuli, the same pit bull had killed two other dogs five years earlier;
• In February, 2009, a woman walking with her baby was attacked in Kailua by a pit bull, on the same day two other women were injured in separate pit bull attacks in Kapolei and Kalihi and were hospitalized in serious condition;
• In October, the same year, a pit bull attacked and killed a baby girl as she slept in her Waianae home; similarly an 18 month old toddler was killed by a pit bull in Puna in 2001;
• January 2009, a pit bull attacked and injured a police detective during a confrontation. which some say led to the proposed ban.