Woman in Bronson recovering after being mauled by neighbor’s dog

One neighbor says she does not believe pitbulls are naturally aggressive and that owners and the authorities are responsible
One neighbor says she does not believe pitbulls are naturally aggressive and that owners and the authorities are responsible
Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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BRONSON, Fla. (WCJB) - Carol Fletcher is recovering after she was mauled by a neighbor’s dog last Thursday.

Fletcher was coming home with a friend’s puppy she was watching when the dog got out and attacked them.

“I jumped on the big dog so he wouldn’t take the puppy away and my daughter grabbed the puppy and the dog got my hand,” said Fletcher, “and my face and my daughter’s arm.

“The owner came over and he tried to get the dog off and he couldn’t get him off and he pulled him,” said Fletcher, “and that’s what ripped my hand and the puppy’s ear.”

A member of Fletcher’s family shot and killed the dog in order to stop the attack.

Fletcher said she is doing “okay” but she has a long recovery ahead of her.

She also said the puppy is alive and in good spirits, though it lost part of its ear.

Neighbors say that that dog was not the only dog living in that home and there have been problems there for years.

“I have reports going back whenever Irma came through,” said Marty Morgan, “their dogs--the same ones that attacked Ms. Carol--tried to attack my daughter right in my yard.”

“Dogs are always running loose,” said Deb Owens, “trying to dig in...these animals are hungry. I’ve called multiple times. I’ve been attacked, my truck has been attacked driving past their house.”

Owens said the dogs were at her house the day of the attack and often come by and go after her livestock.

Another neighbor said they had previously attacked their goats and they had to shoot in their direction to get them to run away.

All of the neighbors said animal control has been called many times on these dogs and their response has been the same.

“This has been going on [since] way back,” said Morgan. “I’ve made reports, there have been more reports out here from other people...it’s always ‘our hands are tied.’‘”

Morgan and Owens both said animal control has instructed them to shoot the dogs, but neither was sure they could do so even in that situation.

Owens has worked in veterinary medicine her whole career and feels it is not her responsibility to handle the dogs.

“You’re wanting me to do your job because you’re making me feel like it’s an inconvenience to come out and help us,” Owens said about Levy County Animal Services.

Another neighbor of Fletcher’s said she does not believe that pitbulls are a naturally aggressive breed.

“These dogs are [only] as aggressive and mean as their owners make them,” said Sharon Pedersen . “They are some of the most loving, caring [dogs]. Yes, protective, but not protective in a bad way...they are great, great animals.”

Pedersen pointed it is not the dog’s fault when something like this happens.

“Levy County Animal Control,” she said, “they’re responsible for this. They do not do their jobs.”

Owens said she will be at the next county commission meeting and would like to see action to prevent more attacks like this in the future.

“I think there needs to be stricter laws on people that own these type of dogs,” said Owens, “and if you have one or two calls on them something needs to be done.”

TV20 reached out to Animal Services but did not hear back.

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