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Dog attack victim addresses Wedowee council

At last week’s meeting of Wedowee Town Council, resident Joyce White, one of the victims of a vicious dog attack a few weeks ago addressed the council concerning the dog problem in Wedowee.

“I am here to talk to you about a dog ordinance in the Town of Wedowee,” she said.

She went on to say a simple afternoon walk turned into the worst day of her life because of dogs.

“On April 26, five mixed pit bulldogs attacked a coworker and myself. I was told by the owner the dogs didn’t bite, but that was the biggest lie ever told.”

She went on to say the dogs charged her and knocked her down twice.

“Right now, I have PTSD and I am afraid of dogs,” she said. “If I could let you see up under my clothes, I have over 75 bites on my body. I am not a small person but you just can’t fight five dogs.”

White said, the dogs were not on any leashes or in a pen. “They just came out and started charging with the owner calling the dogs. The owner kept telling me the dogs didn’t bite and I asked her to just get her dogs.”

She said the dogs charged her first and then her coworker.

“We were crying on the ground trying to get the dogs off of us, but they were ripping my arms and legs apart. I have severe nerve damage that I may never get over. I can’t go back to work and have over $275,000 in doctor bills.”

White asked the council again, can the town be proactive and do something about the dog problem? She went on to say it wasn’t fair for residents not to able to go out in their own community and walk.

“Are you going to do something now or wait till someone is killed? How long will it be? We are sitting here and nothing is being done,” she said.

Police Chief Robbie Taylor said an ordinance had been in effect since 2017, but “it’s very complicated to summarize.”

The ordinance states any police officer in the town can handle a dog problem.

“We don’t have animal control or an impound but if we catch them, they are taken to the animal shelter,” Taylor said.

The mayor and council agreed to look into the ordinance and see how it can be improved. Council member Pam Traylor Johnson said the council owes it to the community to do something.

2024 budget

On a recommendation from Mayor Tim Coe, the council approved the 2023-2024 town budget. The budget for this year totals $1,931,050, an increase of over $96,650 from last year. The largest expense in the budget is the police department at $812,550.00. The council passed the budget with a unanimous vote.

In other business, the council:

Approved a $100 donation to Youth Leadership Randolph County.

Approved a $4,500 donation to Randolph County High School to put up lights on the football practice field.