Washington County Animal Control officers seized three dogs from a home off Highway 265 Friday afternoon that were involved in an attack on two cyclists.
“The first thing that went through my head is oh this is going to be really bad, like I’m in really big trouble right now,” said Richard Holt, the cyclist attacked by multiple pitbulls.
Holt and his friend were cycling down Highway 265 for a routine bike ride when he says he was charged at and attacked by one of the dogs.
“You hear all the stories about once a pitbull gets its jaws locked on you it’s hard to get off,” said Holt.
The trio of dogs eventually retreated and left Holt with a partial tear in his Achilles tendon. Because of the risk of infection doctors did not immediately perform surgery.
The dogs’ owner believes there may be more to the assault and that the attack was not random.
“Biting his leg was wrong, but there was a reason,” said Ashtyon Slavens. “They’ve never attacked anybody. They’ve never hurt anybody and my dog can’t say his side of the story because he can’t talk”
County animal control initially issued Slavens a warning but the sheriff decided to take it a step further after social media response and issued a citation..
“It’s just my belief that as an organization we probably just need to be a bit more aggressive when it’s obvious that we’ve got a vicious animal that has attacked somebody,” said Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder.
As Sheriff Helder calls on re-examining of the county’s policies, Holt is asking for officials to look into a system to report vicious animals.
He says under the current one is not enough, so bikers don’t bother to report.
“They don’t see an immediate benefit from that,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll be back racing in several months, but it’s going to be a long process I think.”
Investigators say dogs have not had rabies shots and they are now under quarantine with the sheriff’s office. Officials are monitoring their behavior and observing for the potential of rabies.
Ashtyon expects to have her dogs in 7 days and when she does she will be required to keep them confined or on a leash at all times.