Detroit Animal Control defends decision to return dog to owner after woman mauled

Animal control says dog did not target victim

DETROIT – Detroit Animal Control is defending its decision to return a dog to its owner after it was accused of mauling a woman.

Neighbors tried to help and called 911 when they saw the dog attacking Stephanie Walker on Dec. 14.

"The dog tried to eat me alive," Walker said. "I could hear my blood pumping out of my body and see it squirting."

Walker spent four days in the hospital after the attack, and now that the dog is back, she's scared to leave her home.

But Detroit animal control says it had reason to return the dog to Walker's neighbor.

According to the director of Detroit Animal Care and Control, Charles Brown, Walker was not targeted by the dog. Brown said, in a statement, that she inserted herself into a fight between the dog and her dogs after it entered her yard. The statement also said that it cannot be proven that the dog is the one that caused Walker's injuries.

While the animal was quarantined for 10 days, it showed "no overtly aggressive behavior" and no signs of rabies, according to Brown's statement.

The dog's owner is cooperating in the investigation, Brown said, but will receive tickets for not having the dog secured and not having required documentation at the time of the attack.

Read Walker's full statement below:

"This dog was returned to its owner for multiple reasons. First, it had no prior reported bite incidents and while it was at Detroit Animal Care & Control during the 10-day quarantine, it exhibited no overtly aggressive behavior. It's also important to note that the victim was not targeted by the neighbor's dog. She inserted herself into a fight between that dog, which was loose and entered her yard, and her own two dogs. Finally, we are unable to verify which dog - or dogs - caused her injuries. 

"The neighbor's dog was quarantined and showed no symptoms of rabies. The owner of the loose dog, who has been fully cooperative has since obtained a rabies vaccination certification and a license, however they will be issued tickets for not having required documentation at the time of the incident, as well as for not having their dog secured."

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