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Old 08-18-03, 10:56 AM   #1
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This happend this weekend here in Tuscaloosa...

Cyclist injured in dog attack

By Scott Parrott
Staff Writer
August 17, 2003

TUSCALOOSA | A Tuscaloosa woman remained in critical condition Saturday evening after she was attacked by a dog while bicycling and fell on Sexton Bend Road earlier in the day.

Peggy Deci, 44, an avid cyclist and mother of two, remained in intensive care at DCH Regional Medical Center after suffering severe head injuries in the fall at about 7:45 a.m.

Deci, a member of the Druid City Bicycle Club, was riding with her husband, Dr. Paul Deci, and friend Gretchen Enns when the attack occurred. A large brown dog appeared from a driveway in the 11000 block of Sexton Bend Road as the three cyclists passed. Enns and Paul Deci made it past the dog. When Enns turned to check on Peggy Deci, who was last in the line of riders, she found her friend lying on the ground.

“She was on the ground and the dog was running away, back to the driveway," Enns said. “She was unresponsive."

The cyclists used a cellular phone to call 911. An ambulance transported Deci to the hospital, Enns said.

State troopers continued to investigate the accident into the evening and had yet to locate the dog or its owner. Enns said the cyclists had seen the animal before while riding in the area and were once forced to mace the dog. Enns said she did not know whether the dog bit Deci, who was wearing a helmet.

“I think it struck her and knocked her over," she said.

Miles Eddins, president of the Druid City Bicycle Club, said loose dogs are one of the most common hazards for cyclists.

“It’s something you learn to deal with pretty quickly on a bike, but sometimes they can surprise you," he said.

In Tuscaloosa County, loose, out-of-control dogs are illegal. In early June, after a 7-year-old girl was attacked by a Rottweiler, the Tuscaloosa County Commission unanimously approved an animal control law. While commonly called a “leash law" the ordinance adopted by the county doesn’t mention the word leash.

The commission doesn’t have the ability to create such regulations because the state Legislature has most of the lawmaking powers in the county. Because of that, the commission could only opt into a 1940 state animal control law.

The law basically says dog owners must keep their pets on their own property, or keep them under control when they’re off the property, said Commissioner Gary Youngblood.

Violation of the law is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine ranging from $2 to $50. Before the law was adopted, the sheriff’s department could respond to calls about vicious dogs and transport them to the Tuscaloosa County Animal Shelter, but only if the dogs were not on their owners’ property and threatened the officers when they arrived.

“It used to be, there wasn’t much of nothing you could do if dogs roamed around. At least now, if [dog owners] don’t do something, they’ll be fined," Youngblood said.

Cyclists, meanwhile, have started keeping mental tabs on the areas where dogs roam, Eddins said.

“Mainly, the dogs just want to chase you and bark at you. But every now and then one will get a little close, and that’s it, you’re on the pavement. That’s probably what happened to Peggy, unfortunately. A lot of people in the community, I’m sure, are worried about her."

Reach Scott Parrott at [email protected] or (205)722-0200.

Peggy is VERY active in the local biking community and is not doing very well, last I heard is that she had surgry to relieve the pressure in skull and saturday night was very rough for her (still had a lot of pressure on her brain)
The rumor is that they (the police) know who the onwer of the dog is and have questioned him but that is it

any and all prayers would be appreciated
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Old 08-18-03, 11:03 AM   #2
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That's very unfortunate .... my thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family/friends.

I hope she has a full and quick recovery.
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