Stephen Jones’ dog was attacked by a neighbor’s dog in August. The neighbor’s dog was deemed dangerous last week.
CRESTVIEW — Stephen Jones was outside in his back yard on Aug. 22 when his wife, Lisa, who is deaf, began to frantically yell to get his attention.
He turned around in time to see their 9-pound Yorkie, Emma, being dragged away by their neighbor’s dog.
"I turn around and this dog has my dog by the neck and is jumping over the fence’" Jones said. "It was acting crazy."
Jones went toward his neighbor, Angela Clinton’s, home to retrieve Emma. According to Jones, the German Shepherd mixed dog owned by Clinton, who is named Delgado, was viciously shaking Emma in its mouth.
Jones yelled and screamed until Delgado released Emma. He then took Emma inside his home and called 911.
Jones took Emma to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic in Niceville. According to the vet’s records, Emma had multiple wounds on her neck, chest and abdomen area.
"She is still not 100 percent," Jones said. "She’s doing a little better but she is real skittish and doesn’t like hearing other dogs bark, even our other dogs."
According to court records, the attack was not the first by Clinton’s dog. There had been three cases prior. Two of the cases were dismissed by a judge, while a third in 2017 found Clinton guilty and placed a "bad dog" label on Delgado.
According to PAWS executive director, Dee Thompson, no animal can be deemed dangerous until a second attack occurs and the animal has already been deemed "bad."
"By statute, there has to be two attacks on an animal," Thompson said. "We can then use the first attack to get the dog deemed dangerous."
Since Clinton’s dog already had the "bad dog" label, a PAWS officer went to Clinton’s home to drop off dangerous dog paperwork. The papers informed Clinton that the case would go to a dangerous dog review board
The board would make the final determination on whether or not Delgado should be deemed dangerous.
"I think it’s sickening that another dog can attack a dog twice before it can be taken care of," Thompson said. "Those are things that need to be looked into."
The issue went before the board last Thursday. After hearing the evidence and testimony from the case, the board ultimately deemed Delgado a dangerous dog.
Jones was happy with the outcome.
"PAWS really stepped up to bat," Jones said. "They pushed it more than we did. I just wanted (Clinton) held accountable."
Clinton now has 10 days to appeal the decision. Otherwise, she has 14 days to register Delgado as a dangerous dog.
Clinton will also have to pay a fine, have a visible warning sign of a dangerous dog in her window and build an enclosure with a cement bottom to keep Delgado in when he is outside. If the dog is taken off Clinton’s property, he will have to be muzzled and be on a leash.
Clinton did not return multiple requests for comment.