Woman Attacked by Dog In New Haven Speaks Out

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mary Jane Giardi was walking in Wooster Square park a week ago Sunday, when a Pit Bull broke free from its owners leash and viciously mauled her. Mary Jane says while her injuries still cause her pain, she blames the owners not the dog. (Published Monday, Sep 9, 2013)

    Mary Jane Giardi is recovering after a dog attack in New Haven put her in the hospital for three days.

    A pit bull attacked her in the middle of Wooster Park last week.

    "The dog charges me and knocks me to the ground," Giardi said.

    The dog is not to blame, she said, but its owners are.

    "And all of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, a dog was coming from the left," Giardi said. 

    It was too sudden for her to react.

    "And I'm lying there and it comes over and takes two bites out of my arm," she said.

    Giardi said she feels lucky a nurse was nearby.

    "My wound was so deep I knew had to do something immediately, so he came over with clean towels," Giardi said.

    Her husband, John Colebaug, was surprised when his wife came home.

    "The last thing you expect is she comes through the door drenched in the blood," he said.

    They rushed to the hospital, where doctors told them that Mary Jane's infection could have been worse if she hadn't come in soon.

    Later, they called police and found out the dog did not have a rabies shot. On top of that, it wasn't licensed.

    "It's just amazing to me that I trusted that person who had them on a leash," Giardi said.

    "And that's human error. That's not caring enough about your animal to take care of it," said Peter Webster of the Wooster Square Block Watch Group, who said he's seen the dog and its owner and doesn't go near it.

    Colebaug said the dog has tried to attack their poodle before.

    "If it had been a child or someone more elderly or frail or whatever … who knows?" Colebaugh said.

    Giardi spent three days in the hospital and now has a nurse coming to help her every day to make sure the wound heals properly.

    "I hope I'm not just a statistic. I hope that this leads to something," Giardi said.

    As of Monday night, animal control still had the dogs locked away.

    If there is a prior police record for the dog, Mary Jane and her husband tell us it will be returned to its owner with just a misdemeanor.

    If the dog has been in trouble before it could be a crime.