PTC dog declared ‘vicious’ after attacking girl in garage

Madeline Conner is all smiles with her dog, Gracie, who helped fend off the attacking pit bull that charged into their garage. Photo/Special.

A dog that attacked a Peachtree City girl in her garage April 7 has been moved to a residence in Coweta County after it was declared a “vicious dog” by Fayette County Animal Control.

Madeline Conner suffered a deep gash in her knee and several cuts on her hand and wrist areas during the attack that took 17 stitches to close, said her father
Lee Conner.

Madeline’s dog, Gracie, tussled with the pit bull and her human friend, also named Gracie, struck the white pit bull dog on the back, which freed Madeline so she could get back in the house to safety, Conner said.

“Our dog was definitely a hero, as was Madeline’s friend Gracie,” Conner said.

The dog’s owner has been cited for allowing the pit bull, known as “Cassie,” to run loose, officials said. It is believed Cassie was seeking to attack Madeline’s dog, a 110-pound German Shepherd.

The vicious dog declaration means that Cassie is required to wear a muzzle and be on a six-foot lead when outside of the house, said Fred Sisson, director of the Fayette County Animal Department. The dog can be allowed to be in a fenced-in area, Sisson said.

Animal control recommended that the dog be put down because of the liability now attached with owning the dog, Sisson said.

And since the dog was transferred, animal control has gone by the dog’s former home in Peachtree City several times on surprise spot checks, Sisson said.
“It really is a huge liability,” Sisson said. “You really need to take every step to make sure the dog can’t possibly do anything like that again.”

Sisson said Cassie was going after Madeline’s dog and that Madeline stepped in the middle as a protective measure.

“This dog wasn’t human aggressive, it was an ‘other dog’ aggressive,” Sisson said.

Cassie’s new owner was aware of the restrictions, which will still be required even though the dog now lives in another county.

Conner said he was upset that the dog owner did not have the animal put down.

“If roles were reversed and it was our dog, we would have made the choice to euthanize the animal,” Conner said.

Conner said he will work towards getting reimbursement for his daughter’s medical bills, although they won’t “ease the pain she’s had to endure or inconveniences we’ve been through since the incident.”

Conner said he is hopeful his daughter’s story will increase awareness of the issue “that dogs are animals that react based on instincts and in the hands of irresponsible owners, these types of incidents will happen.”

“The dog had been loose several times in the weeks leading up to the incident and I’ve been told by the owners and other neighbors of other incidents of aggression that went unreported,” Conner said.

maddlee
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Madeline's mom

First of all, I would like to say that we are very thankful that Madeline's injuries were not more severe. What the article does not say is that she was simply stepping into our garage from our house when "Cassie" charged in and grabbed her by the knee. She did not step between the dogs, there wasn't enough time for that. Our dog was behind Madeline on a leash and had not stepped out of our house yet. Also, Madeline had just taken Cassie home not even 5 minutes before this incident occurred and yes she was already back out roaming the neighborhood. This never should have happened! Clear negligence was involved. With that being said, we are hoping to settle all costs without the help of an attorney. Madeline is a softball player and an equestrian. She hasn't been able to pitch or ride horses for almost a month,but we are lucky because eventually she will be able to do those things again. Our neighbors will not have to pay for anything, but the citation they received from the county. Their homeowner's policy will be paying the rest. It is very unfortunate that there isn't a way to punish the people who are truly responsible!

barndad
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Emotion is the Problem

Because the owners chose not to put the dog down shows that they care more about the animal than their neighbor. The girl is just lucky she didn't end up in a lot worse condition. I encourage you to search for dog attacks in Georgia. I think you'll find some very gruesome accounts of children and adults being attacked and mauled. Some of those attacked will never regain all they have lost and its because of irresponsible people who own animals they should never have adopted.

klehn
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The owner of the dog...

should be held responsible, NOT the dog!

G35 Dude
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klehn- Yes but

Yes the owner is responsible. And he should be punished. Still if the dog is found to be a threat he too has to be dealt with to prevent this from happening again. Unfortunate for the animal as he was probably just behaving as he was trained to. If this were my daughter I'd want the dog put down.

Cyclist
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klehn

I'm curious, what exactly are your concerns?

The owner - at least there is one in this case- will most likely end up paying this young girl's family to cover both medical bill(s), her pain and suffering and lets not forget those attorneys. They'll have their hand in that money stream as well.

imagine that
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Cyclist

What an attitude! I cannot believe that you see this as simply a meal ticket. Pain and suffering is just that...it is not a means to capitalize on this situation. It could have been far worse. Quite often we hear about children being brutalized by unsupervised animals. But, I suppose this is okay with you, as long as someone gets paid. The current leash law in PTC is only as good as the enforcement. Due to other priorities, that isn't very good. Everyday, I see dogs off leash at Huddleston pond, but the owners think their dog is okay--he won't hurt anyone. Your dog might not go after a person, but you cannot predict what that dog will do around other dogs.

Cyclist
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imagine that - Attitude?

It is really that simple. Most likely, a civil court will order a finacial remedy in order to make the family and the young girl whole. That's all it can do. That is how our justice system works. What more are you expecting?

barndad
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I agree with Imagine That...

My guess as to what will happen next is as good as yours. My understanding is that it is normal course of business for a monetary reimbursement of the out of pocket expenses incurred by the family (at no fault of their own) and something for pain and suffering. I think that is legitimate and expected. However, I would suspect that no one having commented yet knows anything about the family or what they may or may not chose to do. If you are curious and want to know, ask them.