ARAB, Ala. (WHNT) — A woman is recovering after being attacked by multiple of her son’s dogs and now area residents are asking for a change in the protocol surrounding what the city does about dogs in these situations.
“I was on the phone with my husband and I said there is something going on,” Witness Tracy Clark says.
Clark was driving past an Arab residence near Highway 69 on Friday when she saw people standing outside. “I just slowed down and they just kept pointing at this yard, and you couldn’t really tell at first what was going on, you could just see a pile of dogs.”
When Clark looked closer, what she saw horrified her. “I realized they were attacking a person.”
Clark says there were at least ten dogs attacking the elderly woman in the back yard of the home. “There was blood all over her body, and every once in a while she would cry out for help,” Clark says.
Eventually another passerby stopped and managed to help the woman and scare off the dogs until an ambulance and police arrived.
Arab Police weren’t able to go on camera Sunday but they did tell WHNT News 19 officers contacted the health department as protocol requires. Officers say following protocol, those dogs have to be kept in their owner’s home or a veterinarian’s office for ten days for a quarantine period.
If the dogs were strays, the police department would quarantine the dogs. Because the dogs have an owner, they are allowed to be kept strictly inside the home or a licensed veterinarian’s office and will be monitored. After that period the health department will take appropriate action depending on what is found during the quarantine period. If the dogs are found to be not a threat and free of rabies, then they will be allowed to go back with their owner.
Clark says she understands the protocol involved and why the police department acted as they did, but she says she’s speaking out because she and other neighbors and residents want to see it change. “I don’t see how it can be the law to allow vicious animals immediately after an attack to remain on location,” Clark says.
She says it would be heartbreaking to put the dogs down. After what she witnessed, she believes the rules surrounding the situation aren’t right. “It’s just dangerous to the neighbors, to the community to the neighborhood, and if it is the law the law needs to be changed,” Clark says.
Neighbors say they have had problems with the dogs in the past and saw one of the dogs involved in the attack loose in the neighborhood Saturday. Arab Police say they have never been contacted about the dogs prior to Friday.
Clark says she and other residents plan to contact city officials about potential changes to the protocol in these situations.