UPDATE: Dog that attacked a 77 year-old man will be returned to - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Dog that attacked a 77 year-old man will be returned to its owner with conditions

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CHATSWORTH, GA (WRCB) -

UPDATE:  A dog that caused horrific injuries to a 77-year-old man last month will not be euthanized.

Animal control officers made the decision Monday to return the Pitbull to its owner.

Cynthia Peek's dad has been hospitalized since he was attacked by a neighbor's dog in Chatsworth nine days ago.

She is angry someone else could be in harm's way, but the dog's owner will have to comply with some strict guidelines.

“He's doing a little better,” Peek says. “He's still in a lot of pain.”

Rex Peek is missing part of his nose and his face is essentially ripped apart. The injuries are too gruesome for us to show.

Police say the owner lost her grip on the dog's leash when the 77-year-old man walked up to her back door.

Peek broke his back in the fall, and then the dog attacked his face after he fell down the stairs.

Police describe Mojo as a Pitbull. Mojo has been quarantined at animal control since the attack. 

His owner will be allowed to reclaim him after a 10-day waiting period expires on Tuesday. 

Rex Peeks' daughter is outraged. 

“It's like they're giving more of a chance to the animal than they are the human being,” says Peek.

“Some of the cases we deal with are bites,” Craig Cagle with animal control tells Channel 3. “In this case, it was more of an attack. We have to make sure it doesn't happen again.”

Under Georgia law, most dogs are not euthanized until a second incident happens. 

“There are two sides in this situation, and it's unfortunate for both because I believe that neither party actually contributed greatly in a negative or unlawful way,” says Cagle.

Murray County Animal Control Director Craig Cagle explains the dog has been deemed "dangerous”.

Georgia law requires the owner to follow a strict set of guidelines. 

The dog will have to remain muzzled and leashed at all times. The owner could be criminally charged if she doesn't comply. 

Peek hopes this doesn't happen to anyone else. 

“If I went out and did the damage to somebody as the dog did, I would spend time in jail,” says Peek.

Channel 3 reached out to the dog owner Monday evening. 

She told us, "no comment." 


PREVIOUS STORY: The dog that viciously attacked a Georgia man in May will be returned to its owner with conditions.

The Murray County Animal Control Director, R. Craig Cagle, said the pit bull named "Mojo" has been determined to be a dangerous dog according to O.C.G.A 4-8-1 (Georgia state law) and in conjunction with local ordinances. 

According to the law, the owner shall have the right to appeal the determination within 15 days from the date of declaration to the commissioner in writing and in person within that time. The owner also has the right to a hearing to be set within 30 days of the declaration date for a decision and form for the hearing will be provided. 

The owner of the dog will also be provided with information and guidelines that shall be met concerning the restrictions set forth by state law and local ordinances and any violation of these restrictions can result in being charged with a high and aggravated misdemeanor and or felony depending on the violation and the dog could be euthanized under certain circumstances. 

Cagle continued saying the rules and regulations are not to punish the owner, but are a lawful requirement to ensure public safety.


PREVIOUS STORY:  A 77-year-old man from Chatsworth is at Erlanger Medical Center with serious injuries after a neighbor's dog attacked him on Saturday.

"When I first seen him, I thought he was dead because there was so much blood everywhere and his face was missing," Cynthia Peek, Rex Peek's daughter said.

Peek said her dad, Rex Peek, went over to a neighbor's home to ask how a family member was doing. The neighbor told police Peek walked up the stairs of her back deck then her dog jerked the leash out of her hand and went toward Peek causing him to fall.

He fell backwards off the steps and that's when the dog attacked him. The neighbor tried to get it off of Peek, but had to call for help.

Peek suffered severe injuries from dog bites to his nose and mouth, family members said. The attack caused him to break his back and injure his head due to falling off the retaining wall.

"As bad as he mauled my dad's face, I think he should be put down," Peek said.

Murray County's animal control officers describe the dog as a pit bull and they've had it under quarantine since Saturday. No charges have been filed so far, but administrators have 10 days to decide whether to put the dog down.

It's a standard precaution to check for rabies.

"It could do it to somebody else and what are they going to do next time it kills somebody," Peek said.

Channel 3 stopped by the dog owner's home, but no one there wanted to comment. Peek's daughter said her dad will need several plastic surgeries and physical therapy.

Murray County's animal control director said the dog had no history of attacking anyone else. If the dog is released, the owner will have to register it as a dangerous dog with animal control, always have it on a leash with a muzzle, and keep it enclosed whether it's inside or outside.

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