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Sedley woman still recovering from attack

Published 1:08pm Saturday, April 5, 2014

SEDLEY—A Sedley woman said she’s still recovering from a pit bull’s attack that caused her to not only break a bone, but also be out of work for nearly three months.

Heather Hoffman of Sedley has worn a cast since mid-January. A bone in her right knee broke while fending off a pit bull attacking her dog. When she recovers, Hoffman said, she’ll work to get leash laws enacted in Southampton County. -- STEPHEN H. COWLES | TIDEWATER NEWS
Heather Hoffman of Sedley has worn a cast since mid-January. A bone in her right knee broke while fending off a pit bull attacking her dog. When she recovers, Hoffman said, she’ll work to get leash laws enacted in Southampton County. — STEPHEN H. COWLES | TIDEWATER NEWS

Heather Hoffman, 45, said she was taking her dog for a walk to the ballpark in Sedley on Jan. 15.

“A pit bull came out and jumped on my golden retriever. Lucky got between me and the other dog to protect me. The leash wrapped around my legs,” said Hoffman. In the twisting and turning, the tibia bone in her right knee snapped and broke.

“I yelled and shouted, and a young man in his 20s came out of a house — I assume he was the owner. He helped get his dog off of us, and called 911 because I was unable to walk,” she added.

Through all of this, Hoffman said, the pit bull had not actually bitten either Lucky or herself.

“My dog’s fine. Thank God. He’s fantastic. I’ll never ever take the dog for a walk in the park again. That’s really sad if you think about it.”

After consulting later with an attorney, she learned that the dog’s owner has no job or insurance.

“There’s nothing I can get,” said Hoffman about financial compensation.

A certified nurse’s aide at the Village at Woods Edge, she said she’s scheduled to return for light clerical duty in mid-April, and back to work on May 1.

Meanwhile, Hoffman said, her economic situation has been strained.

“I’ve had to borrow money to live, and contact Social Services for help. I’m on food stamps,” she said. “There were no repercussions and it’s not fair.”

But no less importance is Hoffman’s concern that such an event could occur again.

“The police have their report, but there’s nothing to stop this from happening to someone else,” she said. “I’m not asking for the dog to be put down.”

Once she’s fully on her feet, she said she intends to approach the Southampton County Board of Supervisors about creating leash laws to prevent any such future incidents.

“Can we make a law for dogs to be kept in their yards or on leashes? So lucky that it wasn’t a child that was attacked,” Hoffman said.

  • dng2jak

    I wouldn’t be so quick to jump on a leash law…sounds to me like the leash was your main problem.

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  • Kmart3008

    @Foxtrotter56, I totally agree with you. I was reading the article and feeling some type of way. It is unfortunate that she was hurt however, by her own admission neither she or her dog was bitten. Pitbull dogs have bad reputations but it seems to me if the dog was vicious things would have ended alot differently.

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  • sgeary

    The county has several codes that would be able to be enforced in this matter. Here is a link you may find helpful.
    http://library.municode.com/index.aspx?clientId=12337

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  • ROBERT GREEN

    I would have put that dog down the minute it came running at me. People need to be responsible for their dogs and this means keeping them under control. Not running free.

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  • foxtrotter56

    So, let me get this straight — the dog never really attacked either you nor the dog. Sounds like to me she is just looking to get some money!!!

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