Third dog attack in Montevallo subdivision ‘terrifying’

Published 3:52 pm Tuesday, October 2, 2018

By NANCY WILSTACH / Special to the Reporter

MONTEVALLO – For Denzell “Zell” Rhine, 25, a Sunday afternoon stroll suddenly turned “terrifying.”

Rhine was walking along Pineview Road in Montevallo’s Arden subdivision when what is believed to be the third attack by the same dog in the same subdivision since Mother’s Day took place.

Rhine, knocked to the pavement by the dog, said it was biting and scratching him, and he was yelling for help when neighbors came out of their houses and knocked the dog away from him.

“He was bleeding so badly there is still blood on the pavement in front of my house,” said Sietske Best Monday morning on the Facebook page “Sharing Montevallo.”

Another neighbor, Jason Rochester, grabbed the dog’s collar and held onto it so the apparent owner could attach a leash.

“I didn’t get a ‘thank you or anything,’” Rochester said. “She and someone else pushed the dog into a car and drove off somewhere. I noticed they left the subdivision.”

The dog has been tentatively identified as a large yellow lab mix with a nearly white coat. A Montevallo Police report from a Mother’s Day dog attack on Parkway Circle describes a similar dog and lists the owner as living on Parkway Circle, about two blocks from Sunday’s attack.

On Mother’s Day, Audrey Crippen, riding her bicycle and towing her toddler in an attachable stroller, was on Parkway, when “I felt a bump and thought I had hit a mailbox.

“Then I realized the dog had sideswiped me. He turned and jumped toward me and grabbed my right leg above the knee on the outer thigh.

“I didn’t scream. I wanted to protect (her daughter) and was afraid the dog would attack her.”

Crippen called police and was treated at an urgent care center, where personnel notified the health department, standard procedure for dog bites.

The wounds are healed now, she said, “but it is horribly scarred and forms knots under the scar where a big chunk of skin was torn out.”

She said the dog is one of two large yellow-white dogs at the house; the male dog that attacked her normally is kept inside the house, while a female dog, who seems calm, is almost always on a chain in the carport.

In July Bob Readal, who lives about three houses away, was working in his yard when he saw the unleashed male dog defecating in a yard across the street.

“I found four piles of big dog manure in my yard, and I suspected that dog was the culprit,” Readal said. When the dog began to cross the street toward Readal’s house, “I ran toward him to make him stay out of my yard.”

That is when the dog attacked, biting Readal on the ankle and knee. Although he was bleeding, Readal also was angry, so he chased the dog home. A woman came out of the house and started yelling at him, Readal said: “She said I antagonized her dog.”

“They took me in an ambulance to the emergency room,” Rhine said of Sunday’s attack. “and they X-rayed and gave me a tetanus shot and antibiotics. They didn’t want to use stitches yet because they said it might get infected. I have to go back to get it checked.”

He called the attack “terrifying. It was a white dog, and it looked like a wolf. Whenever I go to sleep, I see that dog again. I never had anything like this ever in my life.”

The city has an animal control ordinance, Mayor Hollie Cost said Monday, prohibiting dogs running at large in the city. She said that she met Monday morning with police, rescue and animal control personnel.

Nancy Hulsey has been summoned to appear in municipal court Nov. 14 on a charge of violating the animal control ordinance in connection with the attack on Rhine. Efforts to contact Ms. Hulsey or her family members were unsuccessful.