Woman Requires 150 Stitches after Dogs Attack
By Dan Breitwieser, TV 20 News.
It's the first animal attack in Dixie County where the dogs were later taken away from the owner-- against the owner's wishes.
Deputies say in 2007 they bit one man several times. Residents say they have killed various animals throughout the neighborhood.
Thursday afternoon, Saundra Pierce was playing with her granddaughter when she heard her neighbor's dogs go crazy.
"I just heard her scream for them to shut up and get away and then she just started screaming bloody murder," says Pierce.
Pierce grabbed a gun and went to the road where she saw a 22-year-old woman who is mentally handicapped lying on 835th Street in Old Town with bites and scratches all over her body. Another witness saw a pack of a half dozen dogs attack the woman, pulling her down gashing her face and neck, forcing more than 150 stitches. He honked his car horn and the dogs ran off.
"He saved her life, he's a hero," says Pierce. "If he hadn't come along when he did, they would have killed her."
The victim and her family did not want her to be identified. Deputies say she was walking back from the Trading Post convenience store when she was attacked.
"She was very friendly," says Trading Post Manager Sheila Clark. "The sweetest girl I've met around here, she just had a very outgoing personality."
Friday afternoon, the dogs are some of the quietest dogs locked up in the custody of the Dixie County Sheriff's Office. There are nine dogs in all, in addition to a litter of puppies. Some show signs of not getting enough to eat. A witness recognizes the mother of the litter as one of the attackers.
Deputies identify Elizabeth Edgell, 70, along with her daughter Jacqualine, 53, and grandson Matt, 32, as the owners of the dogs. When reached by phone, Elizabeth refused an interview saying no pit bulls were involved and she didn't want to talk about it.
"The owners knew or should have known that those dogs have shown aggressive behavior in the past," says Captain Chad Reed with the Dixie County Sheriff's Office. "She could be charged with allowing those dogs to escape from her home."
Deputies say the same dogs did bit Pierce's husband in 2007. She hopes something happens to both the dogs and her neighbors.
"I hope something happens to them too," says Pierce. "They don't need to get away with this, they've been warned too many times."
The Edgells could each face criminal charges for the dog attack and up to a year in prison for each count.
Dixie County officials are working to have the dogs euthanized.
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