Dogs Attack Children, Law Enforcement, Bull - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/11/03 - Smith County

Dogs Attack Children, Law Enforcement, Bull

The attacks happened in the Cedar Bay subdivision at Lake Palestine Sunday afternoon. The mother of the children who fell victim to the dogs wants something done about what she calls a reoccurring problem. Amanda Clark says, it was a matter of seconds, when she ran outside and saw five dogs on top of her 7-year-old daughter, Mckenzie.

"I was just resting my eyes, and my son was out front, and my daughter was in the backyard. I heard a dog bark, and I heard my daughter scream... I just knew," said Clark. "And all I was doing was screaming my head off and yelling 'hey, hey!' at the top of my lungs."

Her husband and their 13-year-old son, Zachary, ran outside to help.

"Next thing I know, my son's screaming, and the five dogs attacked him and pulled him down," Clark said.

Clark called the constable's office. And when authorities and animal control officers arrived yesterday morning, they were glad they were prepared.

"The dog pack surrounded Pessink and Kitson, and it's about the most vicious pack of dogs I've ever seen," said Precinct 2 Constable Frank Creath. "The dogs had surrounded behind Kitson, the animal control officer, and literally lounged at him. Well then, Pessink shot him with a shotgun."

Constable Creath says loose dogs are a daily problem in this area: "Smith County is a rural area, considered a rural area, and you don't have leash laws, so anyone can have as many dogs as they want, and they can let them run as free as they want. That's not a problem until they become a problem."

"I think the owners of those dogs should be responsible. No child should be afraid to play in her backyard, their backyard," said Clark.

Clark says she wants the law changed, so owners will face charges for attacks made by their unrestrained dogs.

Authorities say the dogs attacked two other neighborhood children the same day, as well as a full-grown bull. The dog shot by the deputy constable died. Animal control quarantined two of the five dogs, and two other dogs remain on the loose.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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