2012-08-15 / Front Page

Dog owners charged for vicious attack

By Elizabeth Billips


A judge will decide the fate of the pit bull on the right, along with the five other dogs that mauled a Waynesboro woman. A judge will decide the fate of the pit bull on the right, along with the five other dogs that mauled a Waynesboro woman. Arrest warrants have been sworn out for the owners of five dogs that mauled a Burke County woman.

Michael Little, 40, and his wife, Doretha, 43, are each charged with a single count of reckless conduct following the early August attack near their home on Hancock Landing Road.

“They were aware that their dogs had been causing problems,” said Sgt. Dan Lowe, an investigator for the Burke County Sheriff’s Office. “One neighbor told us he’d had trouble with dogs several weeks prior to the attack. He said he’d spoken to the owners about the dogs chasing him.”

Investigators have been sorting out statements since Aug. 2 when a motorist happened upon Little’s neighbor, 46-yearold Theresa Hamm, being bitten and pulled by numerous dogs, including a pit bull that latched on to her foot as the motorist tried to drag her to his truck. She was rushed to an Augusta hospital with bites and tears to her forearms, wrists, abdomen, thighs, buttocks and feet.

While officers initially thought six dogs, two pit bulls and four mixed breeds, attacked Hamm, they later determined one of the pit bulls was actually chained outside the Littles’ home at the time.

The other pit bull had apparently gotten out of his collar.

The couple told investigators they’d been chaining both pit bulls for more than a year, following a complaint from another neighbor who said they’d come into his yard and attacked his dog.

They denied any knowledge of the dogs threatening people, Sgt. Lowe said.

All of the dogs were unvaccinated and are currently under quarantine while health officials try to rule out rabies. The animals’ fates will most likely be decided when the charges against the Littles are settled in court.

“The judge will probably make that decision, Sgt. Lowe said.

AS CHARGED

Reckless conduct is a misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000. Investigators say the Littles are cooperative and have agreed to turn themselves in later this week.

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