Dog attack leaves woman with 25 bites, both arms broken
11 petition city for leash law at Monday City Council meeting
Eleven people attended the Cassville City Council meeting Monday with a request — enact a leash law in the city.
The group was led by Nadean Davis, mother of Kristie Preddy. Preddy is a counselor at Eunice Thomas Elementary School, who attended the meeting with two broken arms and more than 25 bites after being attacked by two loose dogs in the area of 12th and Main streets.
Preddy was walking on Main Street when two mixed breed dogs crossed the street and attacked her. She is now recovering from the wounds, undergoing rabies shots and likely needing surgery for the broken arms.
The dogs, which were euthanized Monday morning per a court order by Cassville Municipal Judge Randee Stemmons, were described by Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr as one white with black spots, and the second a darker color mixed breed. Both dogs will be tested for rabies. Kammerlohr said the dogs were held in quarantine at a veterinary clinic following the attack and prior to being euthanized.
According to a Cassville Police Department occurrence report, filed by Officer Anthony Larson, police responded to the call about the dog attack at 5:47 a.m. on Aug. 6.
Larson said upon arrival, he found Preddy laying on the ground with several bites to her arms, legs and lower back area. She was bleeding heavily and complained of pain in both arms, and she believed her wrist was broken.
It is believed she broke her left arm in a fall at the beginning of the attack, and her left wrist was broken during the attack.
“While trying to keep [Preddy] stable and calmed down, the owner of the dogs, Carla Costlow, was on the scene trying to help,” Larson said in the report. “I advised Costlow to go back across the road until I came over to speak with her.”
EMS arrived and wrapped Preddy’s arms, then transported her to Mercy Rogers Hospital in Arkansas for treatment.
Larson said Costlow was staying at a residence in the 1200 block of Main Street, where the attack occurred.
“Costlow stated that her dogs never act like that unless someone is aggressive towards them,” the report said. “I advised Costlow that both of her dogs would immediately need to be taken to the vet for quarantine.”
Larson also asked Costlow to provide shot records for both animals, and she said she would obtain that information and take the dogs for quarantine as soon as the vet clinic opened. She then took her dogs and went to her home on Mill Street. Police returned to Costlow’s home at 8 a.m. and escorted her and the dogs to the vet clinic for quarantine.
She was cited for two counts of vicious animals and two counts of animal collar ID rabies violation, with a court date of Aug. 19 at 3 p.m. City officials said one of the dogs was cited previously, and Costlow told the court the dog was no longer in the city.
At the City Council meeting Monday, following the amending of the agenda to allow her to speak, Davis addressed on behalf of those gathered, saying she had appeared numerous times before previous aldermen hoping to address the issue.
“Dogs have been running here for more than 40 years,” she said. “It takes someone getting mauled to get people in an uproar. There is a dog at 2nd and Gravel that comes at me all the time, and the owner always calls the dog back. When I ask the owner to put the dog on a leash, she says, ‘I don’t have to because there is not a leash law.’ People have gone to carrying guns to protect themselves. Also, with the number of dogs and cats running free, if we ever have a case of rabies in town, it will be a disaster.
“Does someone have to die before an ordinance is passed for a leash and fence law? If that was a small child [that was attacked instead of Preddy], we’d be planning a funeral.”
Alderman Jon Horner said he appreciated Davis attending the meeting and expressing her concerns, and said everyone is sickened by what happened to Preddy.
Mayor Bill Shiveley said city staff are already in discussion about what can be done.
“The police chief has spent many sleepless nights thinking about this issue,” he said. “The council is committed to doing something, and it may take a vote of the people to fund this.”
Officials mentioned a sales tax proposal on the ballot is one possibility, as Shiveley said the cost of meeting all requirements for a facility and staffing it would be $200,000 to $250,000 initially, then $40,000 to $50,000 annually.
Others in attendance hoping to address the issue talked of packs of dogs in the Sherwood Forest area and other dogs invading personal property and causing havoc or being aggressive.
Shiveley said of the 4,170 calls for service to the Cassville Police Department this year, 99 have been animal-related (not specific to dogs), 14 have been for vicious animals or bites, and 8 citations had been issued from January through July. That number did not include the four citations issued to Costlow.
Richard Asbill, Cassville superintendent, said the Cassville school district has put together a food train to help the Preddy family with meals.
“Kristie is a counselor that cares for other people and kids, and it’s our turn to do our part,” he said.
Asbill said he has met with Mayor Bill Shiveley and City Administrator Steve Walensky to discuss student safety issues.
“At some times, we have reached out to the city and reported loose dogs on campus, and they have always been cooperative and helped remove the animals,” Asbill said. “It’s important as school starts that parents supervise their children who are walking until they are comfortable with the route.”