Photo by Sue Watson
A few of the dogs are pictured locked in a pen at the sheriff’s department.

Photo courtesy of sheriff’s department
One of the dogs is pictured at the scene of the incident last week.

Pit bulls attack 82-year-old woman

Residents on Whip­poorwill Road were horrified last week by the attack on one of their community members by pit bulls.

Sheriff Kenny Dickerson said a call to 911 reported the incident taking place around 8:30 a.m. August 22 at 163 Whippoorwill Road. The victim, who was attacked by from five to seven dogs, was an 82-year-old who frequently took her daily walk on the road.

Officer Shane Goode was first on the scene and reported the woman lying in the middle of the road and suffering from what appeared to be bites.

He saw she was badly injured, Dickerson said.

“She was walking down the road when five to six brown and tan colored canines from the residence at 163 Whippoorwill Road attacked her,” the sheriff said.

Investigator Jason Mills arrived on the scene and took statements from other parties, he said. Animal control arrived on the scene and all dogs were captured and transported to the animal pound at the Marshall County jail.

Dickerson said the owner of some of the animals arrived on the scene and assisted with the capture of the dogs.

The victim was transported to the Regional One Medical Center and remained in the hospital as of Friday at noon.

The animals must be kept 14 days to watch for rabies. Justice court will process the seizures and hold a hearing on the disposition of the dogs, according to Dickerson.

The owners must be notified of the hearing, he said.

Maj. David Cook said vicious dogs affect communities over the entire county.

“I worry about the victim and her recovery,” he said.

Witnesses said the victim had been severely bitten on the scalp and she was bitten on the neck, and one arm was severely lacerated.

“It’s such an issue out here,” said Mary Hammer, who also lives on Whippoorwill Road.

She said she was met in her driveway by several pit bulls and she had to wait until they left to get out of her car. The next time it happened she called the police.

Hammer said pit bulls have been banned by the city of Miami, Fla.

“There needs to be a clear understanding that you can shoot them on someone’s property,” she said.

Aaron Butler, who also lives on Whippoorwill Road, was upset there was not a more direct response from officers.

“I said, ‘What can you do, shoot them?’ ” he said. “They do have a leash law, the officer said, and then walked away.”

Butler said he has seen packs of pit bulls  in the road. He hit two dogs first struck by an oncoming vehicle and thrown into his vehicle, damaging his car, he said.

Hammer continued, “You think you are safe walking out in nature. The kids have to walk to the school bus right there (where the pit bulls are). People need a sign in their yard. It is just a matter of time before there is another attack.”

Supervisor Ronnie Joe Bennett agreed something needs to be done about vicious dogs that are not under the control of their keeper. He said Potts Camp has outlawed them.

The county’s animal control ordinance is explicit about the keeping of vicious animals and exotic animals, including vicious dogs.

Some of the provisions of Section 6 of the animal control ordinance, include:

• special provisions whereby a person can keep, posses, harbor, maintain or own a vicious animal or exotic animal. They must be securely confined indoors or in a secure enclosure on the premises of the owner or person harboring the animal.

• owners must not permit the vicious animal to go beyond the premises of such person unless securely restrained under the direct control of the person. The person must be 18 years of age who restrains the animal.

• the animal must be muzzled at all times in a muzzle designed to prevent the animal from biting a person or other animal.

• no vicious animal may be kept on a porch or patio or within any part of a house or structure in such a manner that would allow the animal to leave the building on its own.

• owners or keepers or harborers of animals that fit the definition of vicious shall display in a prominent place on their premises a sign easily readable by the public, warning of the presence of the animal.

• the vicious animal shall be microchipped for identification.

• the owner shall be required to register such animals with the Animal Control Department. The registration must go with the animal if it is transferred to another party.

• no vicious animal is allowed to be kept within 100 yards of a school, daycare, or other facility designed primarily to provide services to children.

• the owner or keeper shall notify Animal Control within 24 hours if the vicious animal is loose, unconfined, has attacked another animal or human or is otherwise missing.

Members of the Whippoorwill Road community have asked to be put on the September 6 meeting agenda of the board of supervisors to voice their concerns about pit bulls.

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388
www.southreporter.com

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