LOWELL (CBS) – A Lowell woman was rushed to the hospital after she was attacked by a pit bull on Monday.

Police said that 25-year-old Nicole Hawkins was walking on Church Street when the dog attacked her and latched onto her arm.

A police officer had to pepper spray the dog in order to get it off of Hawkins.

She is being treated at the hospital.

Police are now trying to figure out if the dog’s owner will face any charges.

Comments (25)
  1. indiemusicgirl says:

    So sad. I feel bad for the woman but this is another bad rap for the breed. People who don’t want to take the time to properly train their a dog shouldn’t be allowed to own them.

  2. Dennis says:

    A pitbull attack, you say? In Lowell of all places?

  3. Petetm says:

    Not for anything but is there any other breed that needs to be trained NOT to attack? I’ve had a lot of dogs so far in my life time and not one of then did I have to train not to attack someone.

    1. Beth says:

      Are Pit Bull Attacks Sudden and Unprovoked?
      It is important to look at the underlying factors of an attack. The media repeatedly fails to do so. Often, the owner describes an attack as unprovoked, but you read further, and the reporter describes the home as having “guard dog” signs.

      Dogs maintained outside the home (on chains, in kennels or in yards) and/or dogs obtained for negative functions (guarding, fighting, protection, breeding for financial gain) are not family pets; they are what are sometimes referred to as “resident dogs.” Acknowledging the environment in which they live and the function for which they are maintained is vital to understanding their behavior and, when the situation arises, their aggression. Resident dogs cannot be expected to exhibit the same behaviors and level of sociability as family dogs. The simple reason why we see pit bulls involved in more attacks now (though not nearly as many as the media would have one believe) is there are more of them being kept as “resident dogs” vs. family pets.

      To give a statistic, 75% of Austin’s tethering calls are related to pit bulls, and 22% of its stray dog calls are related to pit bulls. (Source: City of Austin, 2008). The higher the abuse of a particular breed of dog, the more likely it is going to exhibit aggression. Studies have found that a tethered dog is 2.8 times more likely to attack. So, it is reasonable to presume that the breed suffering the most abuse will exhibit the most problems. This historically correlates with breeds that have suffered abuse (i.e., been used as “resident dogs”) in the past, such as Rottweilers in the 90s, Dobermans in the 80s, and German Shepherds in the 70s. Correspondingly, historically, during periods of time when pit bulls were popular family pets, and were not being used in record numbers as “resident dogs,” their attack statistics were extremely low.

  4. DeeGee says:

    The owner should be locked up, and the dog should be adopted out. These are the owners that get these dogs to give them status. They think people will respect or like them if they own one of these dogs. I see them all the time. Then the dog is abused instead of trained, not fed properly and barely goes to the vet, just enough to get tags for the dog. If the owners get a hefty fine if their dog bites someone, or if they find an animal abused living in squalor then maybe they won’t get a dog. Pet owners like that don’t deserve any pet, or children. They don’t care if the dog is taken and put down, and they don’t have any money so if you sue them big deal. Fine them. Put them in jail, make them pick up trash on the street, some penalty, better yet cut their welfare. Dumbarses.

  5. dms says:

    These people own pit bulls only to intimidate others. Perfect breed for pimps, drug dealers and other delinquents. I hope the owner will face criminal charges.

    1. Dennis says:

      Pimps, drug dealers and delinquents, you say? In Lowell, of all places?

    2. amy says:

      i have a pitbull because they are very lovable and perfect when brought up right… so you calling me a pimp, drug dealer or delinquint? Not all pitbulls are like that…. come meet mine, she has changed the hearts of many already

      1. AsKat says:

        Thanks, but no thanks! Lovable today, might eat your face or more tomorrow. When will people understand that wild animals that are aggressive by nature, are not to be trusted when domesticated. Pythons, alligators, lions, tigers, primates, are not pets! And neither are Pit Bulls. I’d much rather trust a wolf.

      2. Derek says:

        I didn’t know pitbulls where wild… Could you clue me in on where i might find a pack of wild pitbulls roaming around, other then New Orleans. I would really love to go observe them in their natural habitat…

      3. Beth says:

        To ASKAT

        Since the late 1800s, pit bulls have been popular family pets. Famous historical figures like Helen Keller (her service dog), Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and John Steinbeck all owned them. The dog featured in “The Little Rascals” was a pit bull; pit bulls were the only dogs to grace the cover of Time Magazine three times. Popular advertisements of the early 1900s also featured pit bull type dogs, including Buster Brown Shoes, Wells Fargo, and Eveready (now Energizer) Batteries. A pit bull was the original mascot for the University of Texas Longhorns!

        Pit bulls also served our country during World War I; at least one, Sergeant Stubby, gained fame for saving lives, lifting morale, and warning U.S. soldiers about an enemy attack. He served in 17 battles and was awarded nearly a dozen medals, including the Purple Heart. Stubby was the first dog to be given a rank in the U.S. Army (Sergeant). The American Pit Bull Terrier represented the U.S. on war posters of the time—“neutral, but not afraid.”

        As the century progressed, however, new efforts by animal advocates put an increased focus on the cruel and illegal activity of dog fighting. The inadvertent and unfortunate side effect of this new movement was that some people began to seek out pit bulls for illicit purposes. This began a cyclical process whereby the media began to cover only negative stories about the dog, ignoring the over 99% of pit bulls living in happy, fulfilling homes. The dogs themselves had not changed, but public perception of them had.

        Today, advocates, rescuers, and pit bull owners work extremely hard to restore the image of the pit bull as an All-American family dog, like the hero Stubby. Hundreds of thousands of Americans’ families are made whole by a beloved pet pit bull. Famous stars like Michael J. Fox, Jessica Alba, Jon Stewart, Brad Pitt, Cesar Millan, Jessica Biel, Madonna, Pink, and Alicia Silverstone also own and love pit bulls.
        It appears the news media is more interested in putting stories out that “sell” than reporting stories that are even-handed or are always in the public’s best interest. For example, between 1990-1998, when the nation’s murder rate declined by 20%, the number of murder stories on network newscasts increased by 600% (excluding stories about O.J. Simpson). As a result, public perception was that murder was on the rise. In response to polling, people stated that the reason they believed murder was on the rise was not personal experience, but rather what they saw in the “news.”

        The pit bull phenomenon is very similar. Consider the following study performed by the National Canine Research Council: In August of 2007, four serious dog attacks were tracked. The attacks involved four different breeds (only one involved a pit bull). All of the attacks were severe, ranging from a fatal head and neck injury to severe hospitalizations (the fatality was not caused by the pit bull). The two hospitalizations and the fatality were reported only by local newspapers either one or two times. In contrast, the pit bull attack was reported over 230 times in national and international newspapers and in major television networks, including CNN, MSNBC and FOX. This severe bias has a devastating effect on public perception and takes a toll on public safety.

  6. CEO says:

    The question is, why wasn’t the dog leashed/restrained in the first place? A city like Lowell must have such a law on the books.

    1. amy says:

      the dog was on its own property and the woman invaided the dogs space… the woman is a dumba**

      1. AshKat says:

        My opion – you’ve got the wrong “dumba”. Who says she invaded the dog’s “space?” Apparently she was walking on a public street and the dog attacked. Do you think she jumped into the dog’s yard so she could be attacked? Just for fun, maybe? For heaven’s sake, try to imagine how it feels to be eaten while you’re watching. Or even worse, watching a dog eat a child – and they do, don’t deny it! There are so many safe and reliable pets out there, why do you feel justified in supporting a breed that is proven to be unstable and bred and trained to be aggressive? Sure puzzles me!

      2. Derek says:

        Hey AshKat, can you show me in your extensive research where pitbulls have been proven to be unstable, its people like you that fear monger and give my dog a bad name, just because you only read about pitbulls attacking does NOT mean they’re the only ones doing it, i dare you to type in any breed name and attacks into google and you will find a myriad of attacks for many different breeds. My dog is very well trained and is more safe to be around then my neighbors basenji (unless your a squirrel, then your f’d), and he hasn’t been clipped so other males in the neighborhood don’t like him too much, but when any of them go after him he doesn’t retaliate, he just turns his body so he won’t get bit in the face. So wheres the aggression in my dog i ask?

    2. AshKat says:

      Read again, Derek. I said, “…wild animals ..aggresive by nature, are not to be trusted… …..are not pets! AND NEITHER ARE PIT BULLS.” Did not say anywhere that Pit Bulls are wild. You’re so cute, I’ll bet you are a Pit Bull owner.

  7. johnny says:

    Automatic, a dog is not a human.

    K I L L the D O G before he kills a child…

    He did attack, too late… KILL THE DOG

  8. Anna says:

    In Canada, it’s automatic. For this kind of event, a dog is put “to sleep”

    1. AshKat says:

      Once again, the Canadians have the answer. Even better, if we can prevent the attack in the first place.

    1. AshKat says:

      Poor YOU! :( Think!

  9. Derek says:

    1st of all this article doesnt go into nearly enough detail, this attack supposedly happened in the dog owners fenced in yard, there is an attack dog sign on the gate leading into the yard and the “victim” opened the gate and was walking to the door. the owner says she cant own a gun so she has a dog for protection. And this “victim” is really the only one to blame in this whole situation and i feel bad for the dog owner… 2nd, all you people making opinions should really do more to find out what happened then just reading a 4 sentence article, and shame on CBS for posting such a shoddy article

    1. AshKat says:

      Oh, that makes a BIG difference! Shoot the woman! And praise the dog. And all the other Pit Bulls that have attacked, injured, and killed babies, kids, and women and men all over the world. Cudos to CBS for airing it but they should post the many, many more incidents that you can’t deny. A word of warning, don’t go into a gate, or down a street, or around a corner. You could be the next “victim” of an innocent dog. I surely hope not.

      1. Derek says:

        Well you are obviosly severely uneducated and have no idea what your talking about, she aledgedly opened a strangers gate and walked to the door after seeing the beware of dog sign and hearing the dog barking. This was obviously trained to do what it did, and it seems like it did a good job :) Now if i’m wrong and the dog did break out of the yard then i take that back, but it still wouldn’t be the dogs fault, the idiot owner who didn’t properly secure it is at fault. And everybody condeming the breed as a whole you are all idiots, show me any breed out there that hasn’t attacked a person, i get attacked by my frineds pomeranian every time i walk in his house, should we get rid of them too, cuz from what i,ve experienced they bite more then pitbulls, they just do less damage…

  10. AshKat says:

    I learned long ago that it’s useless to argue with close minded, opinionated people – or fence posts. Good luck with your dog. I hope you never have to regret keeping a dog bred to be an attack dog, when there are so many others of reliable natures who need a good home. End of comments.

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