A Toronto woman is speaking out after she was brutally attacked by two dogs and left with “life-altering” injuries last week.
Anita Brown spoke to reporters and recounted the incident that has left her forever changed.
“I go down on the ground and I cuddle myself under my jacket and I’m praying. I see my daughter and she keeps me going on that ground with those two dogs on my head and on my side, beating me,” she shared during an interview with Global News, while covered in white bandages.
READ MORE: Toronto police issue safety alert after woman left with life-altering injuries from dog attack
The dogs, described by police as black and white pit bull terriers or a similar breed, bit and ripped her cheek. She also sustained injuries on her arm after falling to the ground and fracturing it.
This all happened last Wednesday evening when Brown said she was waiting by the bus stop just before 9 p.m in the west end. That’s when she saw two dogs sprinting at her before pausing and growling, and later attacking her. They were not on a leash and no owner was around.
After the attack she said she lost feeling in her hand, and feared it was gone, but thankfully she regained feeling in it.
Police have released an image of both the dogs and are appealing to the public to help locate them.
HOW TO SPOT SIGNS OF A POTENTIAL DOG ATTACK
According to celebrity dog trainer Victoria Stilwell, and much like Brown described, the first sign of trouble just before a dog attacks is when it freezes or slows down its movement, this includes a moment of tension, where the dog’s body stiffens.
“A dog that is about to attack will slow down in order to give themselves time to think about if they are going to attack or move away. They are considering the distance they need to cover to accomplish their goal and how they are going to “get in and get out” with the least amount of injury to themselves,” Stilwell writes on her blog, Positively.
She continues by sharing that if a dog’s bark changes in pitch, or growls intensely while baring teeth and drooling, it’s best to follow the next steps ahead.
WHAT TO DO TO AVOID BEING ATTACKED
Stilwell says your best bet is to avoid eye contact and lower your head while turning your gaze away from the dog.
“Turn your body slowly to the side but do not turn your back to the dog. Cross your arms across your chest and remain standing still. Do not speak to or yell at the dog,” she writes.
Once all these steps are completed and the dog has not moved, she says it’s best to slowly back away and do not run.
And if you aren’t too scared, you can try to give the dog a treat or toss an object to the side to distract the dog.
WHAT IF A DOG IS ALREADY ON ME?
During the attack, Brown said she was holding her body close while on the ground, something Stilwell would have given a stamp of approval to.
“If you are on the ground, slowly curl into a ball on your knees with your hands clasped behind your neck protecting your head and throat. Resist the urge to yell or fight back. If a dog has gotten to the point of attack, they are no longer thinking and are just reacting. Therefore, they are going to fight until they feel you are no longer a threat. If you are quiet and calm, you are no longer a threat and they will stop.”
DOES SPRAYING THE DOG WORK?
Many people carry some sort of animal deterrent spray on them at all times, including dog, bear and coyote spray, among others.
However, Stilwell believes this could do more harm than good.
“If the dog is not yet attacking you, spraying him with pepper spray might be the trigger for an explosion. As always, treating aggression with aggression only makes things worse,” she said.
For more tips on how to best protect yourself, click here.