Dispute grows over dogs that attacked elderly woman - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dispute grows over dogs that attacked elderly woman

Animal Control fights to put down dogs (Source: WALB) Animal Control fights to put down dogs (Source: WALB)
Dogs are now at Moultrie Humane Society (Source: WALB) Dogs are now at Moultrie Humane Society (Source: WALB)
Dogs attacked woman in her eighties (Source: WALB) Dogs attacked woman in her eighties (Source: WALB)
Dogs await court date (Source: WALB) Dogs await court date (Source: WALB)
erry Mitchell, Director of Animal Control (Source: WALB) erry Mitchell, Director of Animal Control (Source: WALB)
COLQUITT CO., GA (WALB) -

Three dogs were on the loose in a neighborhood near Beaty Road last week. Law enforcement said it ended up with Mary Ellison, who's in her mid-eighties, knocked to the ground and mauled.

Now, the county is working to put down those dogs.

"These dogs are dangerous," Terry Mitchell, Director of Animal Control, said. "I feel like they don't belong back out in society." 

Mitchell said the pet owners are intent on getting the dogs back. 

"I don't know how it's going to go, but we're going to do our part to make sure they aren't in the community," Mitchell said.

A court hearing will determine the fate of the animals. Mitchell said the severity of the attack will make this bite case different from others.

He said the laws in most of the county aren't very restrictive. 

"It's different than the city where there is a leash law," Mitchell said. "There's no ifs, ands or buts about it. The dogs have to be contained."

Mitchell said people can own as many dogs as they want outside of city limits in non-residential areas, which is the vast majority of his jurisdiction. That's something animal control officer John Croft said becomes an issue if owners aren't responsible. 

"They may know prior that their dog has a little temper," Croft said. "Even if they don't think their dog does, it can be over-protective of its own property."

Croft said the people are ultimately at fault, despite the dogs getting the blame. 

Mary Ellison remains hospitalized in Tallahassee, but officials said she is in good condition.

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