Experts share what to do if dogs try to attack you

This after Tarrant Police say two dogs viciously attacked two people
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 10:15 PM CDT
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TARRANT, Ala. (WBRC) - A vicious dog attack in Tarrant put two people in the hospital. One of those victims is in critical condition after the attack at Chief Billy Hewitt Park on the morning of June 6.

It is usually a very safe park, but police said a frequent walker was violently attacked by two dogs. The other victim, a woman, stepped in to help him, but the dogs also turned on her.

“One of these dogs had a chain,” Allison Black Cornelius with the Greater Birmingham Humane Society said. “It had been chained and tethered. When you tether a dog, you make them more aggressive and more dangerous.”

“I believe she did save his life,” Tarrant Police Chief Wendell Major said. “She acted heroically. She saw a neighbor in need, without concern for her own safety, she approached to at least try to deter the animals from injuring the man.”

Experts said you need to know how to stay safe from aggressive stray dogs.

“I probably would have done the same as her, but the better idea is not walking without a stick, pepper spray, the things you need to protect yourself,” Black Cornelius said. “If you walk frequently, and it’s summer time, have a walking stick, or something you could put between yourself and a dog if it charges at you.”

When police got to the park, they fired six shots to get the dogs off the woman. Both dogs were hit, but they ran across the highway and got away.

“We discovered one deceased at a nearby business, at the back of their lot,” Major said. “They found the animal dead. We continued our search shortly thereafter, we found a blood trail in a ditch nearby, and a second animal was found there. He was alive.”

Police are not sure how long the dogs had been roaming, but will use the chain and padlock to try and track down a potential owner. Major said the only way to prevent these types of attacks is report irresponsible owners.

“If they see careless pet owners, they need to report them,” Major said. “So that we can take action before something like this happens. People who don’t feed their animals, don’t care for them, and do not confine them to their properties.”

GBHS has the dog now and said it will be tested for rabies and other diseases before it is put down. Police said the park is safe to walk in, just make sure to bring safety items.

GBHS encourages cities to pass and enforce stricter policies for strays and anti-tethering ordinances.

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