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Woman Attacked by Pit Bull Fights for Tighter Leash Laws

By Deneisha Pearson
By dpearson@wbbjtv.com

PARIS, Tenn. -- Tonya Jennings says she was attacked by a pit bull and since Henry County doesn't have a vicious dog ordinance there's nothing she can do.

On Tuesday, Jennings says she successfully addressed county commissioners, hoping to implement tighter leash laws.

"What I want to focus on is a dog that attacks unprovoked and causes serious bodily injury as it did in my case or even death," Jennings said.

The uncensored pictures of her injuries were too disturbing to show. A report by the Henry County Sheriff's Office says on New Years Eve, Jennings was reportedly attacked inside a friend's home. The report says she accidentally stepped on the dog's tail and when she knelt to pet it, the dog bit a chunk out of her lips.

"I know that I look well, but the nerves are still reconnecting and firing off and I wake up everyday in pain," Jennings said.

According to Commissioner Marty Visser, an animal control committee will meet on March 4 to discuss a possible ordinance against vicious animals. Henry County sheriff Monte Belew says he supports the idea.

"If it would improve the quality of life, a safer neighborhood and maybe [it would] help neighbors get along sometimes, it's a good thing," Belew said.

Saturday, WBBJ reached out to the owner of the pit bull and she was not available for an interview. The owner did say she plans to send the dog to a shelter in Pennsylvania.

According to Jennings, the dog is still running free in the neighborhood. She says if the ordinance is passed she will then address state legislators about tighter leash laws in the state of Tennessee.
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