Days after a dog groomer at a Cape Cod PetSmart store was mauled by a pit bull mix, the survivor of an earlier attack is speaking out.
Bubba, a pit bull owned by Cliff Gardner, attacked the 22-year-old woman who was grooming him Wednesday at the store in the Hyannis section of Barnstable, Massachusetts. She was hospitalized, and Bubba was put down Friday morning.
But this wasn't Bubba's first attack on a human. In September, Elizabeth Hiatt volunteered to walk She says she volunteered to walk him, and she tried to stop him from attacking another dog. Bubba turned on her.
"He broke both of the arm bones," Hiatt said. "It bit through both of the arm bones."
The road to recovery has not been easy for Hiatt. She attends physical therapy three times a week.
Gardner was ordered to keep the pit bull away from certain areas in Sandwhich. But Wednesday, he brought Bubba into the Hyannis PetSmart wearing a muzzle, asking for him to be groomed. The victim says she asked about the muzzle, and that Gardner said the dog had previously attacked another dog, but was "sweet as can be." Gardner disputes this account.
"When she asked me what he was doing with the muzzle on, I said 'The chief of police requires him to wear the muzzle because he got in a dog fight and he bit a woman," Gardner told NBC Boston Thursday.
Store policy required the muzzle to be removed. PetSmart says the dog would never have been allowed in for services if they knew of his history.
The groomer sustained severe wounds to her arm, wrist and upper body.
Hiatt explained that the attack of PetSmart made her feel "Horror, knowing what she went through, and the fact that they couldn't get Bubba off of her. Horror, because at that point, you don't know whether you're going to live or not."
While Hiatt has forgiven the owner of the dog, her daughter says this week's attack did not have to happen.
"It's just crazy that it happened again," Regan Sherman said. "What happened to my mom was preventable, but certainly what happened to this young woman at PetSmart, it just shouldn’t have happened."