By Paige Nash
The issue regarding dogs at large and particularly vicious dogs, has been brought up at multiple meetings on a parish and town level over the last few months. No solution has been found yet, but it seems the cause is mostly due to irresponsible pet owners not abiding by Louisiana’s leash law. This misstep has resulted in a very serious injury caused by a pack of approximately 10 dogs allegedly attacking a man in Ringgold.
Last Wednesday, September 27, Davytav Gray, 30, was walking along Pine Street, within the Ringgold town limits, when he was reportedly attacked. He suffered approximately 130 bites to his body from his head to his feet.
According to Gray, he was attacked for several minutes before the owner of the residence where the dogs reside came outside. He said, “The lady told me to just lie still and they would stop attacking me, but they never did. I tried to hit them, but at that point I was too weak to fight back.”
Gray said that the owner of the dogs left him to go back inside her home and that it was the neighbors who called the police.
Reportedly, an ambulance was the first to arrive on scene and transported Gray to LSU in Shreveport, where he has undergone five surgeries. “I have had surgeries to repair my ankle and to remove all the dog teeth that were left in me. I have also been checked for infections and rabies,” said Gray.
Gray had pins and plates in his leg from a previous injury that were torn out during the attack. He is expected to be released tomorrow and will have to participate in a physical therapy program to get back to a point where he can eventually walk again.
According to sources, the woman that owns the dogs has been summoned to appear in court.
“This will get the owner in to see the judge and the District Attorney will file to have a hearing,” said Bienville Parish Sheriff John Ballance. “If the animals are found to be vicious dogs, they will be euthanized.”
Ballance has spoken up at meetings held recently, expressing the need for a local parish pound. He said, “The bottom line is that we need a place to put the animals. We have vets that will take care of their medical needs, but we need funding to establish an animal control person, too.”
In a Bienville Parish Police Jury regular meeting held in August, Secretary Rodney Warren announced that it would cost the parish approximately $1 million to build an animal shelter and about $600-700k to operate it on a yearly basis. Neighboring parishes have attempted to pass a tax in recent years to cover the expenses of running an animal shelter but have not been successful.
As a reminder, Section 4-5 of the Pet Laws in Louisiana states that no person shall suffer or permit any dog in their possession, or kept about their premises, to run at large. Every owner or keeper of animals shall exercise proper care and control of animals so as to prevent them from creating or becoming a public nuisance.
(Attempts to contact Ringgold Chief of Police Freddie Peterson was made, but he was not available at the time of this publication for comment.)
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