VIDEO: Dog Attack Victim addresses the Rainsville Council; Council Passes Ordinance
May 15, 2017
Southern Torch (3399 articles)

VIDEO: Dog Attack Victim addresses the Rainsville Council; Council Passes Ordinance

PHOTO: Gary Haymon discusses his recent dog attack at the Rainsville City Council meeting earlier. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — (Video at the Bottom) At tonight’s (Monday, May 15) meeting of the Rainsville City Council, retired Pastor Gary Haymon who was viciously attacked by a dog on Thursday, April 27, gave an emotional account of the attack to the council.

Haymon told of the day he went to visit Imagene Wigley, the mother of his cousin David Wigley, who had passed away recently. When Haymon was leaving the house, the pit bull attacked.

“Out of nowhere I looked up, and this dog came flying through the air, he came right down on me, I hit the ground, and he didn’t cease. He tried to tear me up. I had surgery two weeks to the day before,” told Haymon.

Haymon related clenching his own hands over his throat, after remembering that these dogs grab for the throat, which possibly could have helped save his life, as he had a surgical wound near his jugular, the large vein in the  neck. He then described the injuries the dog inflicted in the attack:

“First I felt my jaw rip loose, next I felt my scalp being torn loose by this dog. It seemed like forever…. After a period of time, I run out of strength I couldn’t hold him no longer,” said Haymon.

Haymon recounted not knowing the attack had severed a main artery running through his jaw and bleeding severally even at the hospital in Hunstville.

“I made it through the dog attack, and I’m going to die here in the hospital,” Haymon explained.

Haymon said he would have died if it had not have been for Josh Wigley, who got the dog off of him with a golf club.

“I am totally convinced I would not be here today if it had not been for Josh Wigley,” said Haymon.

The victim then pointed out that the dog had been back loose in the community again after being brought home after the 10-day quarantine.

“I know two particular times he’s been right back in the community. One day he was right back on the Wigley porch one night, since he was given back to the owner. Last Friday, he was out running the neighborhood again,” he said.

“I never imagined I would almost die at the hands of the dog,” lamented Haymon.

After Haymon spoke Tommy Williams, a Rainsville resident who lives on Rainbow Avenue, discussed his neighbor’s pets. Dustin and Dana Dobbins live across the road from Williams. The Dobbins have several wolf dog hybrids in a large enclosure in their yard. The fence is complete with an electrified wire.

The “Wolf Dogs” on Rainbow Avenue. The dogs are kept in a newly built enclosure with an electrified cable. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

Williams, after reading information found online, pointed out the possible dangers of having this animals within city limits. Before the meeting, I went and paid the Dobbins’ and the wolf dogs a visit. The animals didn’t exhibit any aggressive behavior when approached. While there may be risk in being around these animals, these seemed to be obedient, well cared for, and stayed back from the electrified fence.

The “Wolf Dogs” on Rainbow Avenue in Rainsville. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

The Rainsville council would go on to pass a revision to the current ordinance in place, that Attorney Nikki Scott discusses after the comments from citizens. The new ordinance will allow the police to intervene if dogs are loose and reported by citizens. The new law should be available on the city’s website in the coming days.

Watch the Full Video: 

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  1. Bonny Lee
    Bonny Lee May 16, 16:35
    The folks commenting on this issue have obviously done their research. The city attorney is wise to avoid using a specific breed regulation, at least for now, although entirely justified. To do so will bring down the wrath of organized and well-funded pit bull advocacy, a movement in the United States that has been described by at least one journalist as "surreal." I have family in Jackson County and on a recent visit saw numerous loose running dogs. Please keep sworn law enforcement as your animal control. The "progressive" trend is to change it to "animal welfare and protection" as my own city has done. The result is that more and more dangerous dogs roam the community.
  2. Kristy
    Kristy May 16, 21:50
    People of Rainsville, this ordinance is a good start, but it is NOT proactive and only begins to work AFTER a dangerous dog starts acting aggressive. It doesn't really prevent attacks as much as it punishes afterwards, but by then the bodily damage is already done. Also, most dog owners won't end up paying compensation to victims because they either can't pay or won't pay. Passing this ordinance is a good idea, BUT you also need to put in place measures to prevent the worst dog attacks. The pit bull type dogs (America Pit Bull Terriers, America Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Bully's and American Bulldogs) are the type of dog most likely to KILL or seriously maim people so it makes sense to regulate WHO can own a pit bull and regulate HOW they must be owned. If there is a wolf dog breeder in the area then adding regulations on wolf dogs is also a wise thing to do. This is called breed specific regulations (BSL). BSL specifically addresses the owners of certain high risk breeds and can include making those owners have mandatory insurance, proper containment for their dogs, microchips for identification of their dogs, and mandatory spay/neutering of certain dog breeds. BSL can also include a BAN on certain breeds with grandfather clauses to allow the existing pet pit bulls to live out their lives as long as they don't attack. Please consider adding BSL to your ordinances so you can PREVENT the worst attacks.

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