A 52 year old woman was bitten by a Pit-Bull just after Christmas while jogging on Stannard Ave in Branford.

According to reports filed on the incident, Margaret O’Brien, a regular runner who takes similar routes through the area multiple times per week, was bitten by a Brindle Terrier Mix multiple times. The dog’s owner had been out walking and was using a leash, but let the leash go when they returned to their property, and just prior to the runner passing by the property.

Reports filed vary between calling the dog simply a “pit-bull” and a Brindle Terrier Mix.

According to the report filed by the Cosgrove Animal Shelter, the dog, named “Duncan,” was up-to-date on vaccinations. The dog was not registered with the town.

The animal control officer, according to the report, wrote that “Duncan is quarantined to the home at 92 Stannard Ave, on a strict confinement until 01/10/15. This is the first bite on record for Duncan.”

The officer gave the dog’s owner, Yoshi Sonoda, two weeks to get the dog licensed with the town.

The victim was taken by ambulance to Yale New Haven Hospital. She was also assisted at the scene by a helpful neighbor who was a medic.

Dog bites in Branford and North Branford, areas covered by the Cosgrove Animal Shelter, are not rare. Laura Burban, director of the shelter, estimates that the department responds to about one per month.

But how those are addressed differ based on circumstance. For example, an incident last year on Harbor Street saw an elderly woman attacked in the street by a pit-bull. The dog was taken to the animal shelter, and later put down.

In this case, the dog was left with the owner and to be kept in the home for 2 weeks.

The difference, according to Burban, is based on the circumstances. For example, while the Animal Control report does not specify where the bite took place beyond an address, there are conflicting reports from witnesses as to whether the bite took place just over the property line or not. Burban states it is common for runners to step onto private property to avoid passing vehicles or to tie ones shoes, and entering the property may provoke the dog.

Also a factor is the ability to control the dog. In this instance, the dog, after multiple bites, was able to be controlled and taken into the home. In the Harbor Street incident, the dog could not be controlled, and was taken into custody.


(8) comments


The dog owner should be beaten with a switch.


hmmn Mrs. Pepe was NOT just attacked but she DIED..she was viciously attacked by a pit bull from the Branford Shelter.....these pit bulls are horrendous...you can tell me day and night how sweet they are but the bottom line...one woman dead and another woman attacked....only blocks from one another...the shelter needs NOT to protect these species of dogs...they ARE vicious...end of memo...


This breed is too intense one hears of way too many attacks from pit bull terriers.



Peter Black

Connecticut towns cannot pass breed specific ordinances such as Pit Bull bans or regulation. This issue must be addressed in the General Assembly. Our General Assembly overwhelmingly supports pit bulls. See http://www.dogsbite.org/pdf/how-to-pass-a-pit-bull-ordinance.pdf

Peter Black

http://www.nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/blog/connecticut-joins-state-ranks-preempting-breed-specific-laws/ The link I meant to post, showing overwhelming support for pit bulls by our state legislators.


I hope that Ms. O'Brien is recovering well from her injuries and I am thankful that no young child was involved. Perhaps this dog owner should be required to fence in his/her property because this neighborhood is heavily traveled.....by runners, walkers, young families heading to the beach or park, dog walkers, etc. What if another pedestrian stops to "let a car pass or to tie their shoelace?" In addition, Stannard Ave. desperately needs sidewalks. It has long been a safety issue.


The story says that the dog was already on a leash, and that the owner had led go of the end.
how difficult would it have been for the owner merely to slip the loop of the leash over something, thereby keeping the dog restrained?
a very small amount of foresight from the owner could have forestalled this entire incident.

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