Silver Lake poodle named Chipotle recovering from pit bull attack

Chipotle. Photo coutesy David Casas.

David Casas of Silver Lake had brought his two children and the family dog – Chipotle, a 25-pound poodle mix – to a new section of Elysian Park on Riverside Drive  last weekend when he noticed another dog owner playing with an unleashed dog nearby. The man and his dog -a pit bull puppy about twice the size of Chipotle – began walking back to their car near the play area where Casas had tied Chipotle to a bench.  As Casas walked over to his dog, who sometimes gets spooked by larger dogs, the grey pit bull in a blue harness headed in the direction of Chipotle. Casas describes what happened next:

 Before I got a chance to grab my dog’s leash, the Pit ran towards my dog and they both greeted each other like normal dogs usually do.  Then out of nowhere the Pit grabbed my dog by the neck and let go fairly quickly.  The man then grabbed his dog and proceeded to leave and just told me that the bite looked harmless and to just put Neosporin on it. I yelled at the man, but he either didn’t hear me or ignored me.

The man drove off with his pit bull.  Casas drove Chipotle to the veterinarian, who discovered that the harmless looking bite was more serious than it looked.

Wound left by pit bull. Photo coutesy David Casas

“The vet found extensive damage to the neck and shoulder muscles of my dog,” Casas said in an email. “The initial wound was small with very little blood, but the vet explained to me that Pits usually cause much damage internally.”

Casas contacted Animal Control and gave them the license plate and description of the vehicle, a white sedan, that was driven by the pit bull owner.

Nearly a week after the attack, Chipotle, who is going to be left with a large scar, is jumping around and eating properly. The dog appears “happy” but Casas fears Chipotle might be traumatized the next time he is taken for a walk.

“I know there have been many issues in Elysian Park regarding unleashed dogs,” said Casas. “I simply want to warn people because there are many irresponsible dog owners who think it’s OK to leave a big dog run free.”


  1. Who is more Evil? The Pit Bulls or their owners?

    • As a canine lover and a pitbull owner (who has been attached twice by off-leash dogs while she was leashed), this is the bottom line: LEASH YOUR GODDAMN DOGS or go to an off-leash dog park.

    • Re: who is more evil, the pit owners or the pits?

      The pit mongers are! Pit mongers are breeders, owners, anyone who promotes the breeding of pits or the poor-quality-ownership of pits.

      This pit in this article is actually a very “good” pit, as he did exactly what pit bulls were created to do: without warning, without reason, without trying to avoid a fight, attack another, do damage quickly. Pits that maul are HAPPY, as it is instinct. Beagles are happy when acting on their instinct to chase rabbits, barking and sniffing.

      Instinct means training not required, so pits do not need to be abused or trained to attack. The amount of instinct can vary from dog to dog, and training can modify behavior, but instinct is inside and there is no way to anticipate when instinct will come to the surface and cause an inherited behavior to occur. Your pit bull may not have attacked (yet), but that would be like saying “my beagle hasn’t run around the neighborhood chasing rabbits (yet). Her instinct to maul simply hasn’t happened to come to the surface to meet an opportunity yet.

      Pit mongers show us every day that they DO NOT CARE about others and/or they fail to realize the pit’s escaping, mauling, and killing abilities and instincts. Pit mongers prove they do not care about other dogs, as they brag that “Pits are the gladiator, the warrior of the dog world.” “Dog aggression is what makes a pit a pit.” “Pits were never bred to be human aggressive, only dog aggressive.” To those of us who care about dog welfare, these are horrible characteristics in any dog, but especially in a dog with the size and jaw structure of THE fighting dog. Dog fighters could use any dog or combination of dogs, but which one do all dog fighters use, from coast to coast in the USA? Yup, THE pit bull.
      According to the pit mongers, dog attacks, suffering and deaths are an acceptable result of pit infestation in our communities. Proof is their failure to offer any sympathy to the owners of the victims/ the human victims. In fact, they usually place the blame on the injured passerby dog/human or visiting child. Even when the pit escapes, breaks into the neighbor’s home and kills the neighbor’s dog, there is rarely an apology, just lies and misdirection.

      Even if no human was ever injured, no elderly neighbor attacked at her mailbox, no child pulled off the swingset at the park, no one who truly cares about dog welfare would want to continue breeding these dog-mauling-expert dogs.
      Pits are often acquired for reasons other than companionship. Many are acquired as weapons, as status symbols, for dog fighting, or as providers of vicarious power and aggression for their owners. This results in pit bulls suffering disproportionately from severe abuse, horrendous neglect, abandonment, young brutal death or euthanasia due to their terrible overpopulation.
      Oddly, this current crisis is found to be totally acceptable by pit mongers/ pit breeders, as they refuse to offer or consider any true solutions to this breed specific problem.
      Pit overpopulation is a direct result of many/most pit owners failing to care about their pit’s welfare, and therefore NOT spaying/neutering even where it is offered at no charge. Most dogs that escape and attack are intact.

      It is never the dog’s fault, as dogs do not have morals, do not understand human laws, and dogs control no aspect of their lives. God did not create the pit bull, cruel humans did.

      Since pit mongers don’t care and pits can’t help to reduce the crisis themselves, that leaves it to Society to take steps to reduce these attacks, attacks that we all KNOW will happen again and again.

      Don’t ban the breed, but do ban their breeding. Free, mandatory enforced spay/neuter microchipping (FMESNM) of all pits, pit mixes, all dog aggressive dogs. No responsible pit owner is punished, as his dogs are already spays/neuters. If a lab mix is misidentified, no problem, she gets a free spay. Breeders of other dogs: know who is buying your pups and for what purpose. Spay/neuter your pups before sale, to prevent their selective breeding for increasing reactivity and dog aggression. If you fail and over the decades your breed becomes the next “pit bull”, your breed is added to the FMESNM Law.

      The pit mongers who resist this breed specific solution for an obviously breed specific crisis only care about themselves, do not care about dog or human welfare, don’t even care about pits,, and consequently do not “get a vote”.

      • I stopped reading after you wrote that pits were created to attack other dogs. Do some research, please, and you’ll know that pits were created to be ‘nanny dogs’ – good family dogs. PLEASE don’t go around spreading misinformation – this is why people continue to breed Pits as fighting dogs.

      • debbie, your lack of basic knowledge about dogs is shocking given how much you wrote. you are doing a disservice to dogs everywhere with this kind of crap.

      • This is a different Josh. Debbie, you have a great imagination and apparently too much time on your hands. Millions of well behaved Pit Bulls prove you wrong.

        Any dog can bite and hang on, both are instincts all dogs have.

        There are thousands of Pit Bulls currently being used as “Therapy Dogs”.

        Instead of making up theories and accusing people incorrectly as mongers, you could use your valuable time to learn some history and some facts. Start by looking up “Cesar Millan”.

        You are wasting your own time trying to spread wrong or made up information.

      • Debbie, You are a morons moron. I would be more concerned with you reproducing. Get your facts straight -then get a life.

      • Debbie, you should admit that you’ve made a wildly reckless and misinformed statement.

        Pitbulls are not bred to attack other dogs; they are just as peaceful and abiding as other dogs, it’s their owners who are at fault if or when violence occurs. Attributing such reckless characteristic to a dog does a disservice to dogs and other non-feebleminded dog owners. Get your facts straight and stop professing to be an expert. I really dislike it when so-called “animal lovers” put all of their own s—t onto their dogs. Dogs are more compassionate and sensitive than we are. In fact, I’d guarantee you’d do more harm to my neck than the average pitbull.

    • Neither. People who allow their dogs off leash, those who take no responsibility for the actions of their dogs…those two camps (not always mutually exclusive) are the worst of all.

  2. It’s not just big dogs. I was walking my pitt – who was on a leash – in Highland Park and a small to mid-sized mutt ran up behind us and bit right into my dog who did not provoke him. My dog also has a scar from the event, though it wasn’t as serious as Chipotle’s bite. After I intervened and kicked the other dog away from my dog before something worse happened, the owner came walking up and merely walked away. He smiled nervously and didn’t.say.a.word. It wasn’t until later that I noticed the bleeding on my dog.

    I’ve had MORE problems with irresponsible owners of small dogs than I have with big dogs. So, no matter what size the dog is, owners REALLY need to take responsibility for them, but I find that MANY dog owners just don’t care.

    • Daily pits are breeding with other dogs and so creating dogs that have the centuries of dog aggression but will not look like a pit. Most dogs will bite but immediately let go, as their instinct is to make the “intruder” leave. The pit’s goal is the mauling, that’s why many/most will not let go of the victim. Proof is the need for the dogmen dog breeders of the pits to invent a tool called a breakstick, so they could pry open the pit’s clenched jaws. Ban the breeding of all pits, pit mixes, all dog aggressive dogs. Let the mauling instincts gradually become extinct. Everybody sane and compassionate wins, all dogs win too, especially the pit bulls themselves.

      • Seriously, you’re just plain wrong.

      • This is a different Josh. Debbie, you have a great imagination and apparently too much time on your hands. Millions of well behaved Pit Bulls prove you wrong.

        Any dog can bite and hang on, both are instincts all dogs have.

        There are thousands of Pit Bulls currently being used as “Therapy Dogs”.

        Instead of making up theories and accusing people incorrectly as mongers, you could use your valuable time to learn some history and some real facts. Start by looking up “Cesar Millan”.

        You are wasting your own time trying to spread wrong or made up information.

      • Take a minute from coo coo fantasy world and learn about what can be accomplished from not only a pitt, but a Pitt of Michael Vick’s that was trained to fight. http://www.facebook.com/HectorThePitBull .

      • A great book of FACTUAL accounts. http://www.thelostdogsbook.com

      • this post does not hold well to scrutiny. your vendetta against pits and their rampant interbreeding sounds an awful lot like a canine form of ethnic cleansing.

        you state that most dogs bite and let go but a pit’s intention is to hang on and maul. yet the dog that bit chipotle was a pit and quickly let go. (?)

        dog fighters carrying breaksticks is not “proof” at all that pits are inherently vicious. only that those particular owners intend for their dogs to fight. pits also have no “clenching” mechanism or particular jaw structure, their jaw strength comes solely from the size of their head and the muscles. big head = strong jaw, same with any other large breed.

        how can you ban the breeding of pit mixes?? does that make ANY sense?

        the statistics suggest that a majority of attacks are by pit bulls, but this is due mostly to false reporting by people who aren’t sure of the breed or mix responsible. any powerful dog with a square jaw is automatically identified as a “pit” because that is what’s currently in vogue. dobies, german shepards, rottweilers have all been singled out before, any breed could be next.

        if you were truly the compassionate dog lover you say you are then you would know plenty of sweet, loving, harmless pits. 80% of your neighbors own one.

  3. Bites will happen from dogs of any size. The difference is that bites from pits, especially (as well as some other large breeds) are much more damaging. By analogy, it’s not nice to be attacked, but if the attack is with a butter knife (a small dog) it’s a lot better than an attack with a machete.

    Speak from someone who has a mid size dog who was attacked by a pit and ended up with 13 stitches on her face. Pits can be sweet, but when they bite…the results are devastating. So many people are in denial about that — as I’m sure the owner of the dog that attacked Chipotle was.

    Glad Chipotle is doing better!

    • Excellent post!

    • Millions of well behaved Pit Bulls prove you wrong.

      Any dog can bite and hang on, both are instincts all dogs have.

      There are thousands of Pit Bulls currently being used as “Therapy Dogs”.

      Instead of making up theories and accusing people incorrectly as mongers, you could use your valuable time to learn some history and some real facts. Start by looking up “Cesar Millan”.

      You are wasting your own time trying to spread wrong or made up information.

  4. I’m so sorry this happened to Chipotle and am glad to hear that he is bouncing back. I hope the owner of the off leash dog is identified and gets their ass handed to them. Jackasses.

    Why, why, why are people so damn arrogant as to leave their dogs off leash???? I’ve got friends who do it and I am very verbal about how I feel about it. They don’t have control over their dogs, though they continually say they do. I’ve seen it first hand on many occasions. I hear it in Elysian Park weekly…dogs fighting, people screaming, the screams and the sound of dog fights echoing through the park for all to hear. IT MAKES ME SICK.

    LEASH YOUR GODDAMN DOGS or go to an off-leash dog park.

    • i walk in elysian park literally everyday for the last year and a half and i’ve never once heard this so called screaming and fighting echoing through the park

      • Then you must walk at a different time of day than I do or have hearing problems. I hear it frequently. FYI, spartypants, I’ve been walking my dogs in the park daily much longer than a year and a half.

  5. The offleash stuff at Elysian and elsewhere is freaking nuts and simply not fair. People need to be responsible with their dogs and keep them on leash. We do, but I’m tired of having my small, friendly dog attacked/harassed by people who think they have the right to let their dog go anywhere.

    Also, this can go the other way. I know someone who was walking their dog onleash, when another dog ran up to it (off leash of course). The leashed dog then bit and tore the ear off the unleashed dog. Just because you think your dog is friendly and can be offleash, doesn’t mean all the other dogs are.

    If the city wants to make some money, patrol and fine the offleashers at Elysian.

    • What squared said…all of it.

      The city could make enough money ticketing offleashers in Elysian Park to fund several jobs.

    • as the owner of a dog who doesn’t like other dogs, i completely agree!!! while my dog barely has teeth and would never bite another animal, she is still annoyed with ‘friendly off leash dogs’ that come over harassing her to play when she just wants to go on a walk. this happens all the time when we walk in elysian park to the point that i don’t even walk her there much anymore!! amongst people, we call it “personal space”.

  6. People always say, “It’s the owner, not the breed,” in defense of pit bulls, imploring people not to hate pit bulls.


    I don’t hate pit bulls. Just like I don’t hate tigers. But I sure as hell don’t think people should be allowed to keep them as pets without stringent licensing/various other red tape/etc.

    And agreed: KEEP YOUR DOGS ON LEASH.

    My ~25 lb. dogs have been ripped apart on two separate occasions by pit bulls; once his intestines were close to perforating and the other time her nose was ripped nearly off, requiring 17 stitches.

    • Why do you allow your 25 lbs dogs to be vulnerable to other dog’s attacks?
      Are you a responsible dog owner when it comes to protecting your dog?

      • Josh – clearly you don’t have/walk a dog?
        There isn’t much I can do to stop a guy’s unleashed Rottweiler from charging us from across the street except perhaps teach my dog to use a toilet… How do you figure it’s the victim’s fault?

        • I walk my two large dogs every day, on leash. Over the past ten years of walking in the neighborhood, we have been chased and viscously attacked by both large and small dogs off leash, many times.

          Obviously, those off leash dogs are owned by UNresponsible owners, which makes it my responsibility to defend myself and my dogs.

          It is unfortunate that some dog owners can’t hang to the leash, or their dog sneaks out and runs away, or they don’t make sure the front gate is latched, or stray dogs that are left to their own. It’s a big city, anything can happen.

          I’m not blaming the victim and I don’t know the situation. Regardless, it is your responsibility to protect your dogs from whatever dangers are present.

          I have trained my dogs to be non-aggressive with other dogs, I carry a walking stick, and mace.

          I hope you can enjoy your dog walks safely.

      • That’s a pretty messed up way of looking at the world. It’s like saying only bullies and jocks should be allowed to attend school, since meeker kids might get beat up. The responsible thing is for dog owners to leash their dogs. Go to the fenced dog park if you want your dog off leash.

    • so many people own pits because their are so many that need to be rescued. make people jump through hoops in order to rescue the dog and fewer people will, i.e. more of them on the street or euthanized. so how does the red tape help?

      • also marta, pit bulls are outlawed in ohio, the state where a man was allowed to keep dozens of exotic animals including tigers, your favorite. these rare animals were turned loose and all had to be killed. take it as an example of misdirected regulation aimed at otherwise responsible and compassionate dog owners. rather than punishing people who want to rescue these dogs, or the dogs themselves, we should be focusing on the people who are illicitly breeding them in large numbers and mistreating them.

  7. Oh, and of course, the off-leash pit bull owners fled the scene, leaving thousands in medical bills in their wake.

  8. I avoid elysian park these days specifically because of the a-holes who let their dogs off leash there.

    The aggressive dogs are one thing but the dog shit left by the off-leashers is another.

    You would think the city of chicken-shit-ticket-writing-cops where you can get a ticket for not having a front license plate, they’d be licking their chops for this easy revenue.

  9. There is so much ignorance in this post and these comments and I was going to post a rebuttal with actual facts but what’s the point? Clearly people like Debbie are going to be hysterical about this issue in the face of actual fact and science and no amount of knowledge will change that.

    Glad Chipotle is okay.

  10. I am in agreement with Squared on two points: ticket off leash dogs & cops will make their monthly quotas. Also, on lead dogs can be dangerous to off lead dogs. My dog can be dog-aggressive (never people aggressive). When other dogs run up on him off leash, he can be defensive AND aggressive. That’s on the owner of the off leash dog. Their fault. My dog is NEVER off leash. Leash your dogs or go to a dog park, ffs.

  11. I hope that the owner can be found through the license number. They could be sued for the vet bill!

  12. I second Angie’s post. And really wish people would learn to keep their dogs on leash in public areas, as responsible owners do.

    I hope Chipotle is healing and feeling better.

  13. For all you haters of pit bulls that claim they are vicious killing machines that once attacking let nothing live .. This story kind of blows your theory out of the water eh? 1 puncture wound? It “let go quickly” etc, etc. Get a life! any DOG COULD HAVE DONE THIS! And please tell me they have a better breed expert than a poodle owner??

  14. It is against the law for a dog to be unleashed in Elysian Park.
    The relevant municipal code is posted on at least four signs
    adjacent to the popular fire trail which is enjoyed by hundreds of
    people and dogs daily.
    Despite the signage, many dog owners do not leash their pets,
    creating the security and sanitation issues noted in these posts.
    Last week, I reminded two neighbors that they were in violation of
    the law, and the indignant response was “No one leashes their dog here.”
    If the community is unable to abide by a law which protects the health
    safety of dogs and owners alike, then, yes, more vigorous enforcement
    is necessary, and perhaps more prominent signage:

  15. I had an unleashed dog and he took liberties to bark at all the fenced dogs. In the dog world there is always the top dog. My dog was caught in the neck bite by a larger dog. My dog did the “cry uncle” bark and was let go.

    When done by an experienced dog a neck bite hold is not that damaging. Poor chipotle was harmed by an inexperienced pit. The leash thing is contributary to the issue of dog incidents. I suppose demonizing one group against another is part of the alpha dog thing. Anyone without patience should not be a dog owner.

    • “chipotle was harmed by an inexperienced pit”. As opposed to what?

      No, Chipotle was harmed by an unleashed dog…who was UNLEASHED BY THE IGNORANT CHOICE OF IT’S OWNER!

  16. Just get me out of here already. I’m sick of L.A. Bike wars, dog wars, hipster/long term and more authentic residents wars . . .

    • It will sort itself out over the years, all issues. But will be happy to see you leave. Complainers and people who stereotype are bad news.

  17. Just in case anyone in a position to actually address this issue chances upon this post and reads the comments, please add my name to the list of people who have quit taking our dogs to Elysian Park because of off-leash dogs. It’s completely out of control.

  18. I want to kick unleashed dogs. Is there a number we can call to get police here in Elysian.

  19. 1-877-ASK-LAPD

  20. I recommend calling the LA city park ranger communications office to complain about off leash dogs and the dog feces left behind by owners. They will come and issue citations. I have found if you stress that owners let their dogs off leash, don’t pick up feces and allow aggressive behavior, they will respond quickly.

    Leashing dogs and picking up their waste is the law in all public parks including Elysian Park.



    Located at Park Ranger Headquarters, Park Ranger Communications is staffed 6:45 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. to provide callers with a central contact and dispatch center for routine and emergency needs. Phone number is (323) 644-6661.

    The Office of Public Safety Communications is 24 hours and officers will respond to calls at Griffith Park and all other City parks. The 24-hour number is (213) 978-4670.

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