Woman uses dog as a weapon

By Dixon Hayes

HOBSON CITY, AL (WBRC) - A Calhoun County deputy was bitten on the hand but not believed to be seriously injured Monday, when a woman barricaded herself in her Hobson City home...apparently using her aggressive dog as a weapon.

Deputies had arrived at the home to take the woman to a competency hearing in Calhoun County Probate Court, when they say she refused to come out of a back room. Deputy Matthew Wade says the woman "hid behind" a dog that was a mix of pit bull and chow and snarled at deputies.

The dog bit one deputy on the hand, but the deputy was wearing thick, protective gloves and not believed to be seriously injured. However, Wade says the deputy went to the emergency room to get checked out.

A hostage negotiator spoke to the woman. "The animal control officer did get a chance to tranquilize the dog," Wade said, "and once he did that we gave her, the animal ten or 15 minutes to be tranquilized so we went in and was able to get the woman without using any force."

The dog was taken to one of the two animal shelters in Calhoun County. It will not be put down and will eventually be reunited with the owner or her family. The woman was described by deputies as "possibly mentally ill" and is not expected to face any charges.

This comes after deputy had to shoot and kill an animal in an unrelated case in April, because the dog was chasing them. The deputy was trying to track down someone who was supposed to be served with a warrant. Wade said at the time he regretted that the incident had to happen, but said the deputy had no choice and acted out of self-defense.

But Monday's incident was different. "This is an ever growing problem with vicious animals," Wade said. We're just really thankful we have a really good animal control in Calhoun County that has the training and the knowledge to help us get out of this situation so we don't have to use force on the animal as much."

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