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Police Officer Attacked By Pit Bulls: 'I Just Wanted To Survive'

A Pittsburgh police officer recounted how she fought to save herself, her daughter and her pets when they were attacked by three pit bulls last week.

“I just wanted to survive,” Christine Luffey told Channel 11 News on Wednesday. “I wanted to live. I wanted, most importantly, for my daughter to live.”

Luffey, a 17-year police officer who specializes in animal abuse cases, said she was walking with her 5-year-old daughter, Katrina, and her dogs, along Methyl Street in the city’s Beechview neighborhood at about 8 p.m. Friday when three 60-pound pit bulls jumped a fence and began to attack.

"They were on us in seconds. There was no way for us to escape," Luffey said. "I fought viciously. I punched, I kicked. I even remember wrestling them on the ground.”

The dogs’ owner came out and pulled them off one by one, she said. Luffey's beagle was bitten nine times; her Chihuahua, six times, she said.

Katrina was unharmed, though the officer said her daughter “is very traumatized.”

"She doesn't ever want to walk in our neighborhood again and let me ask you this: Where are we supposed to go?" Luffey said.

The pit bulls’ owner, Keisha Kenney, was given 11 citations by Pittsburgh Animal Control, including three each for having dangerous dogs and not having city dog licenses.

On Tuesday, Luffey addressed City Council members about the attack.

Luffey said the city should bring back the spay and neuter program. She also called for Pittsburgh Animal Control to put another truck on the road to respond to such emergencies.

"We're doing the best we can to try to educate residents. I would love to have more vehicles around the clock, but that's not going to prevent accidents from happening," said Gerald Akrie, an Animal Control supervisor.

He said the owners are to blame.

"Let's not look at the dogs. Let's look at the owner. Those dogs are reflecting that owner's temperament," Akrie said. "It's not just pit bulls, it's any dog."

Luffey said she does not want a ban on pit bulls.

“I want some good to come of (the attack),” she said. “I do believe there’s a silver lining to every cloud. I will continue to fight for animals.”

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