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Elderly Woman Killed by Dog in Lanett Neighborhood

BY Laura Boman

February 5, 2005, LANETT, ALABAMA -- An elderly Lanett woman died from severe face and neck injuries suffered in a dog attack Friday afternoon. Lanett EMS and police personnel responded to the South Eighth Street incident.

“It was a pretty terrible situation,” Danny Jackson, a neighbor of the victim, said. “It was a real big dog, real muscular.”

Like many Lanett residents, Barbara Pilkington often walked her street, according to Jackson. She was pronounced dead on the scene by Lanett EMS.

Jackson identified the dog as a pit bull.

“The victim walks every day for exercise and this happened along her regular path,” Lanett Chief of Police Ron Docimo said. “The dog apparently belongs to a subject that lives in a house along her path of travel.”

Jackson said the dog was often fenced and was sometimes chained within the fence. He also said he heard the dog had been loose in the past.

According to a Lanett Police Department press release, Lanett Fire Chief AJ Johnson located the dog approximately two blocks from the attack after descriptions by several witnesses.

Johnson shot and killed the dog after it displayed “aggressive behavior” to Johnson.

“It could have been anybody,” Jackson said. “I’d hate to know one of my family members was killed.”

The dog’s owner has been identified and interviewed about the incident. No charges have been filed.

The Lanett Police Department, Chambers County Coroner’s Office, Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and the District Attorney’s Office of the 5th Judicial Circuit are currently investigating the incident.

“At this time it’s under investigation,” Docimo said. “We’re talking with the owner of the dog and the district attorney’s office.”