Dangerous Bull Mastiff On Pipeline Road

Peter Heimdahl
Los Alamos

Last Sunday I was hiking up Pipeline Road and a mountain biker coming down stopped to talk. He said he was just attacked by a large and very aggressive dog, probably a Bull Mastiff. The owner was unable to control the dog (the dog only had a leather collar, not a pinch collar) and the dog broke away from the owner’s grip and pursued the biker, who fortunately was able to out pedal the dog. The biker was quite frightened and warned me not to go up the road.

I waited and soon I could see in the distance a man and dog making their way down the road. I decided to retreat and take a detour using the very steep trail behind the water tank above the Quemazon neighborhood, figuring that the dog would be long gone by the time I reconnected to Pipeline Road.

But as I was about halfway up the water tank trail, suddenly the man and Mastiff appeared, coming my way. I yelled up to the man and asked him if that is the dog that chased the biker. He nonchalantly said yes, but that the dog is under control now. He repeatedly assured me that I could safely pass by as he and the dog stood aside. I proceeded and as I approached I could see that the owner was loosely holding the leash with one hand. I asked him to use two hands.

I warily walked by … close up it was clear what a stout and formidable dog this was … probably 120 pounds with a massive head, a monstrous jaw, and it glared at me menacingly. Then to my horror, the dog gave out a murderous growl and charged me. The owner struggled to contain him as I scrambled to get away and I could see out of the corner of my eye that the wildly thrashing dog was biting his owner in an attempt to get loose. Fortunately the force of gravity on this very steep trail worked in the owner’s favor and he was able to pull the dog down the hill.

When I reached a safe distance, I looked back. The two were now down on the flat area by the water tank. The owner was savagely kicking the mastiff and whipping him with the leash. I felt sick to my stomach.

I have never been so scared of an animal in my life. I love dogs. I have occasionally encountered moderately aggressive dogs, but usually my hiking pole easily fends them off. In this case my pole would have been as worthless as a toothpick.

I sincerely believe this dog would have killed me if he had gotten loose. What was this owner thinking by bringing an extremely vicious dog in public without even a choke chain? I don’t know who the owner is, but he is middle aged and I believe he has some kind of an European accent. I think this dog needs to be destroyed before he eventually kills or horribly maims someone. And that this dreadfully irresponsible (and criminally inhumane) owner should be in jail.

This stock photo resembles the dog in question, but the dog in question has a much larger head.

Editor’s note: The Animal Control Division of the Los Alamos Police Department has been made aware of this situation and is launching an investigation.