ONLY ON 3: Bradley Co. mom upset after daughter is attacked by d - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

ONLY ON 3: Bradley Co. mom upset after daughter is attacked by dog on school playground

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A Bradley County mother says more needs to be done to protect children on school playgrounds, after a dog attacked her daughter and another student.

The attack happened Wednesday on the playground of Waterville Elementary School, just outside of Cleveland.

The attack comes as the county is trying to work out an animal control deal with the city. Right now Bradley County does not have animal control and many residents say more needs to be done to control stray dogs. In the meantime, the mother of the 5-year-old girl is just glad her daughter is ok.

"I was irate. I was just so confused because I wanted to know how this could happen because there's so many accidents not preventable, but this is one of them that I feel is very preventable," says Lacy Green.

Lacy Green's daughter, 5-year-old Emerson, was playing on Waterville Elementary's playground Wednesday when a stray dog jumped on her and bit a classmate while they were on the swings. Lacy says while her daughter's leg was just scratched, her classmate was not as lucky.

"There was another girl and I did see the picture of her wound and she had two very severe bite marks at the top of the foot and at the back of the ankle," says Green.

"Our immediate response when we knew that children had been bit or scratched by the dog was to call all the children off of the playground," says Principal Charlene Cofer.

Principal Cofer says the school resource officer was able to corner and capture the dog.

"The children were seen by the school nurse and treated. Parents were called so that they knew what happened," says Cofer.

Lacy says the children need more protection.

"These playgrounds need to be gated in, fenced in," says Green.

Cofer says it is an option the school is looking into.

"Safety of these children is our utmost importance to us," says Cofer.

In the meantime, Lacy says the county needs animal control.

"I did contact the commissioner's office and I said that I was told that the animal control was called and they wouldn't come out. They called twice and animal control said, 'Sorry.'"

The issue of animal control was at the center of a special committee meeting between county and city officials, who are aware of the attack as well.

"You owe that to the safety of the people that pay your salaries, that pays taxes, it's a safety thing," says Cleveland City Councilman George Poe.

"You're looking at a former principal. And when a student is injured on my school grounds, I take it really personal, as well as professionally, and I know they did too. And no one wants a child hurt, no one wants a dog loose and I'm sure we'll take care of that in the future," says district 7 commissioner Bill Winters.

"It could of been worse, that's the thing. It could have been so much worse. I'm very thankful," says Green.

Both children were back at school Thursday and doing fine. The dog is currently quarantined and under observation of a Bradley County vet.

As far as the future of animal control in Bradley County, the committee agreed on a proposal of a temporary three or six month contract with the Cleveland Animal Shelter. Now it has to be approved by the city council and commission. Both bodies are set to vote on the issue Monday.

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