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Man calling on Lee County to enforce "Dangerous Animal" policy, after being mauled by a dog

Posted at 8:37 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 20:37:18-04

LEHIGH ACRES — A man in Lehigh Acres is calling on Lee County to do more to regulate dangerous dogs.

He’s still recovering from injuries after he was attacked in his neighborhood last week. Gary Bratton said he was walking up Hines Ave. with his dog Happy when a large American Bulldog came running. He said it attacked his dog and knocked him to the ground, but he reached out to Fox 4 because he said that dangerous dog is still living in his neighborhood.

Now one week after the attack — Bratton and Happy are back to enjoying time together, but you can still see the scars on Happy’s hind legs.

"That dog was not giving up. He was out to kill my dog," said Bratton.

Bratton showed us some scars of his own, on his hands where he said the dog bit him, and on his knees where he said he hit the pavement.

"I couldn’t even stand up I was so badly injured. My knees were just totally bloody," said Bratton.

That’s why Bratton was shocked to learn the dog that attacked him was never removed.

"I actually finally got through to the Animal Control. I said you have picked up the dog, right? And they said no, we don’t pick up dogs after the first reported incident," said Bratton.

We requested the incident report from the County, and it shows the owner was only required to keep her dog on a “10 day home quarantine."

"It’s a bad policy, I mean, to allow a dangerous dog like that to not be impounded," said Bratton.

The County does have a policy for dangerous dogs, but in this case, it wasn’t used because the County said Bratton wouldn’t sign an affidavit at the scene.

But Bratton said that wasn’t a reasonable request.

"He says well you have to stay for the Animal Control, I’ve called them. I said I’m not going to stay, I’m bleeding, I need to get to the ER,” said Bratton.

Bratton said he doesn’t know if he’s going to take legal action, but he wants the County to get serious about protecting his neighborhood.

"This dog could have killed me, and had it been a small child, you would have had a murder scene," said Bratton.

We did talk with the owner of the dog, but she did not want to comment for this story. Bratton said he did end up going to Animal Services on Monday to file an affidavit, and the County tells us it’s still investigating the incident.