Florence resident surrenders pit bull accused of attacking woman

FLORENCE, Ala. –  A dog accused of attacking a Florence woman has been surrendered by its owner who is facing possible criminal charges under the state’s new “Emily’s Law”. A second dog involved in the same attack has disappeared along with its owner.

Rose Holt

Chris Mitchell sat quietly in Florence Municipal Court Tuesday morning awaiting a “dangerous dog hearing”. Mitchell is one of two dog owners whose pit bulls escaped their backyard and attacked neighbor Rose Holt.

“Every time she would make a sound or move they would attack her again. They had just eaten her all over her body; it was just horrible,” stated the victim's husband David Holt.

Holt insisted on being at the hearing Tuesday morning. As the day wore on Chris Mitchell made the decision to surrender his female pit bull to Florence Animal Control. As part of “Emily’s Law”, the case stops on the municipal court level once the animal is euthanized with the owner’s consent.

Chris Mitchell

“Certainly the DA can take any matters into his own review and decide if there is enough to go forward with a grand jury, but again that is speculation. But under my reading of the statue, I don’t see there is any further criminal matters that can come from this,” explained Mitchell’s attorney John McGee.

A failure to quarantine arrest warrant has been issued for Charles Mitchell. He is the owner of the male pit bull who is accused of attacking Rose Holt. Animal Control Officers say Charles Mitchell took custody of the dog and said he was taking it to a vet for quarantine. They say he never followed through and may be staying in the Madison County area.

Chris Mitchell did receive two ordinance violations with the City of Florence for allowing the dog being euthanized to roam and being vicious. The court date for those violations is set for August.

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