Aggressive dogs running loose in one Virginia community have motivated residents to carry pepper spray and bats in case of an attack.
"It’s not a little pug off its leash who’s barking. They’re seriously aggressive," said Springfield mother Andrea Grandy, whose own parents and child were menaced by the dogs.
The dogs first attacked when Grandy’s parents were leaving the home after a visit. As they put their bags in the car, they realized they were cornered by two dogs. They were unleashed and there was no owner in sight.
A woman across the street came outside and yelled for the dogs, who eventually returned home, Grandy said.
It wasn’t the last scary run-in with the dogs.
Grandy’s mother was on the stoop of the home, leaving for a walk with Grandy's baby. Then, dogs ran out of the woods, across the street, and toward the woman and baby. The woman and baby were unharmed.
After two encounters, though, the family is not taking any chances.
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"We’re keeping pepper spray by the door now," Grandy said.
News4 learned of at least two other people who may have been chased.
According to neighbors, the problem is two pit bulls who charge when not leashed or contained by a fence.
One Springfield man, Bob Landon, said he has met pit bull dogs that don’t scare him.
"A lot of times the pit bulls are very nice, very well trained," Landon said. "That pit bull stigma doesn’t matter to me. It’s just if the dog’s aggressive, I think action needs to be taken care of before something serious does happen."
Dog owners are required by law to leash their pets in public, according to Fairfax County Animal Control.
Animal Control also says people should report incidents with aggressive animals, even after the animals are gone. By reporting problems, the county has a documented history of aggression, Animal Control Sgt. Alena Swartz said.
"I feel like I’m looking over my shoulder twice, which I shouldn’t have to do in this neighborhood," Grandy said.
News4 was unable to contact the owner of the dogs.