Dogcatcher attacked by pit bull

Published 3:42 pm Friday, June 25, 2010

On Friday morning, the City of Bainbridge’s Animal Control Officer was attacked by a pit bull, which in turn was shot and killed after it charged a police officer.

Bainbridge Public Safety officers cited a woman who claimed the dogs were violating city animal ordinances, and took three other pit bulls into custody.

The attack happened at about 10 a.m., next door to 706 School Court, within sight of Potter Street Elementary School.

Email newsletter signup

Animal Control Officer Debra Chambliss had responded to School Court after neighbors called 911, stating the dogs were being aggressive and not allowing them to walk outside their home.

When BPS Officer Terry Pait arrived, he saw Chambliss lying in the driveway of the neighbors’ home, with a pit bull biting her leg.

Neighbors shooed the attacking dog and other pit bulls who had come over from 706 School Court away from Chambliss with a rake and broom. Officer Pait said he went looking for the attacking dog when the dog came out from behind a tree and charged him, leading him to shoot it.

While the Emergency Medical Service tended to Chambliss’ injuries, two Public Works employees rounded up three other pit bulls, which were running loose, as well as another dog that was chained on the front porch of 706 School Court.

Vincent Inlow of Public Works described how, with one of the dogs’ caretakers holding the dogs at bay, he was able to restrain the dogs using a dogcatcher’s tool and put them in the truck Chambliss uses for her work.

Chambliss was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital.

According to BPS officers, Shanna Senior, the daughter-in-law of the resident of 706 School Court, was cited for violation of the city’s leash law, failing to vaccinate a dog for rabies and for possession of a vicious animal.

Capt. Fred Black said the Decatur County Environmental Health Department was going to test the deceased pit bull for rabies.

According to BPS Chief Investigator Frank Green, officers were looking into whether another person—who was not a resident of 706 School Court—was responsible for caring for the dogs and if so, he could also be cited.

Animal control is concern for candidates

Local businessman David Cottles said he was bitten multiple times by a Labrador retriever while he was campaigning door-to-door on Pineland Drive in Bainbridge about two weeks ago.

Cottles said he had barely exited the cab of his pickup truck when the dog bit him on the arm, leaving behind a bite print that was still visible this week. Cottles said the dog then bit him again on the leg. Cottles called 911 and went to the emergency room of Memorial Hospital, where he was treated for his bites, given a Tetanus shot and prescribed some antibiotics.

“I am definitely for animal control,” Cottles said after learning of Friday’s attack. “What if, instead of me, it had been a child or older person walking past that dog’s house?”

Retiree Ted Snell, who is opposing Cottles in the July Democratic primary for County Commission District 4—which represents southeastern Bainbridge—said animal control is a major problem.

Snell, who is also campaigning door-to-door, said he would like to see the Bainbridge City Council make it illegal to tether a dog to a rope or chain within city limits, a practice that is already illegal outside them. He said he also supported county commissioners’ budgeting of an additional $40,000 for animal control in their proposed 2010-2011 budget.