Police: Owner arrested for ‘vicious’ dog attack that sent woman to hospital

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Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 2:29 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT/Gray News) - A woman was hospitalized after being attacked by multiple dogs in a Jackson, Mississippi, neighborhood.

According to police, the 37-year-old was taken to a Jackson-area hospital with severe injuries following the attack on Tuesday.

Her current condition is unknown.

The owner of the dogs, 56-year-old Debra Ann Bell, was arrested and has been charged with aggravated assault.

Animal control officers confiscated six adult pit bulls and one puppy from the home.

Residents who live along Clairmont Street, where the attack happened, say the dogs have been causing trouble for years.

One of the residents, Nancy Singleton, says she walks a farther distance to the bus stop than she should have to just to avoid being attacked herself.

“We can’t walk the streets of Jackson without dogs,” she said.

Singleton says a vicious pack of six to seven pit bulls constantly walk up and down her street and attack almost everything in sight.

WLBT didn’t see any dogs along Clairmont Street on Tuesday afternoon, but instead only cages on the front porch of the home where they apparently live.

“They run after cars, trucks, it doesn’t matter. They’re constantly attacking something,” Singleton added. “You can’t come down the street because the pit bulls are going to come at you. They’re going to chase you and when they catch you, they’re going to hurt you.”

Residents describe Tuesday’s attack as a gruesome one.

One man pointed to his blood-stained gloves he used to pick up the victim and put her in a good Samaritan’s truck.

He didn’t want his name used over fears of being retaliated against by the owner of the dogs.

“I don’t know what hospital she is in right now. I hope she’s still living, but it didn’t look like she was going to make it. She lost so much blood and all of her insides were laying out on the ground,” he said. “I had never seen anything like that. Every time I think about it, I’m almost about to throw up.”

He and Singleton say the attack should never have happened because residents have asked the person who owns the dogs a number of times to keep them on leashes.

“This lady (the victim) is fighting for her life, if she hasn’t passed, because she (the owner) will not control them dogs,” Singleton said. “She would not put them dogs on a leash. She would not.”

Christian Vance, with the Jackson Police Department, confirmed the owner has a number of dogs, but says only two were involved in the attack. Both of them are now with animal control.

As of August, Jackson’s animal shelter was shut down, so it’s unclear what animal control will do with them.

Vance wasn’t sure if police fielded calls about the dogs in the past. He said the victim was in “pretty bad shape” when she was taken to the hospital.