SECTION, Ala. – A Jackson County family is speaking out after a dog attack in December resulted in the death of a loved one.
Deputies found 24-year-old Emily Colvin dead in her front yard after she was attacked by five dogs.
Her death changed the way the Alabama court system intends to punish owners for vicious dog attacks in the future. Lawmakers passed ‘Emily’s Law’. Under the law, owners of dogs that seriously injure or kill a person could face harsh fines or even prison time.
Her family says they’re glad state and court officials are finally taking dog attacks seriously, but it doesn’t replace what they lost.
“It’s been hard obviously living without Emily,” said Rose Frazier, Emily’s aunt.
Emily’s family said her death is the most challenging experience they’ve lived through. They’ve been in and out of court since Emily’s death fighting for justice.
“There have to be consequences so that people with animals like this don’t infringe on our rights,” said Brian Frazier, Colvin’s uncle.
The Jackson County court system held a hearing in January that led to the euthanization of the dogs involved in the attack. On April 4, a grand jury indicted Melody and Brian Graden, the owners of the dogs. They were each charged with one count of criminally negligent homicide and four counts of failing to immunize a dog for rabies.
“We can say that we’re glad the grand jury elected to indict,” said Brian.
“We’re hoping that people won’t have to do what we did,” said Rose. “We shouldn’t have to fight to have the dogs put down. You know that should have been an automatic given.”