Police: Owner arrested after ‘vicious’ dog attack leaves woman ‘fighting for her life’

Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 11:02 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A woman is fighting for her life after being attacked by multiple dogs in a Jackson neighborhood.

According to police, the 37-year-old was taken to a local hospital with severe injuries following the attack. Her current condition is unknown.

The owner of the dogs, 56-year-old Debra Ann Bell, was arrested and is now charged with aggravated assault.

Police: Owner arrested after ‘vicious’ dog attack leaves woman ‘fighting for her life’
Police: Owner arrested after ‘vicious’ dog attack leaves woman ‘fighting for her life’(Sheriff Tyree Jones)

Animal control confiscated six adult pit bulls and one puppy from the home.

Residents who live along Clairmont Street, where the attack happened, say the dogs have been causing trouble for years.

In fact, Nancy Singleton says she walks a farther distance to the bus stop than she should have to just to avoid being attacked herself.

“We can’t walk the streets of Jackson without dogs,” she said.

Singleton says a vicious pack of six to seven pit bulls constantly walk up and down her street and attack almost everything in sight.

3 On Your Side didn’t see any dogs along Clairmont Street on Tuesday afternoon - only cages on the front porch of the home where they apparently live.

“They run after cars, trucks, it doesn’t matter. They’re constantly attacking something,” Singleton said. “You can’t come down the street because the pit bulls are going to come at you. They’re going to chase you, and when they catch you, they’re going to hurt you.”

Residents describe Tuesday’s attack as a gruesome one.

One man pointed me to his blood-stained gloves that he used to pick up the victim and put her in a Good Samaritan’s truck.

He didn’t want his name used in this story over fears of being retaliated against by the dog’s owner.

“I don’t know what hospital she is in right now. I hope she’s still living, but it didn’t look like she was going to make it. She lost so much blood, and all of her insides were laying out on the ground,” he said. “I had never seen anything like that. Every time I think about it, I’m almost about to throw up.”

He and Singleton say the attack should never have happened because residents have asked the person who owns the dogs a number of times to keep them on leashes to no avail.

“This lady is fighting for her life - if she hasn’t passed - because she will not control them dogs. She would not put them dogs on a leash. She would not.”

Christian Vance with the Jackson Police Department confirmed that the owner has a number of dogs but says only two were involved in the attack. Both of them are now with animal control.

As of August, Jackson’s animal shelter was shut down, so it’s unclear what animal control will do with them.

Vance wasn’t sure if JPD has fielded calls about the dogs in the past. He said the victim was in “pretty bad shape” when she was taken to the hospital.

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