70-year-old woman in hospital following attack by stray dog

A 70-year-old Travis County woman is recovering in the hospital after she was attacked by a stray dog. Boyce Brown's wife Alexis Montgomery was bitten by the dog Saturday night, an attack he thinks never should have happened

"Animal Control seems unable to get their priorities straight," Brown said. "Frankly, the way they operated, I thought, was a bit on the far side of the stupid line. It was no action until my wife lost part of her leg and there was still no action. So, yeah, it could have been prevented."

The stray dog started hanging out around the couple's home on Thursday.

"And barked and barked and barked for two days and we were all kind of concerned because we've never seen this dog before and it looked kind of sick," said the couple's neighbor Nova Walsh, who contacted emergency services about the dog for the first time on Friday, as did Montgomery. "It said it would take anywhere from 2 to 72 hours."

Austin Animal Services PIO Jennifer Olohan says the 72-hour policy is only for confined strays, adding that "the policy for an unconfined stray is the general broadcast over our in-truck radio system."

One day after she first notified Animal Protection, Montgomery was attacked in her driveway. "It is a blur. I just remember he attacked my leg. I started screaming," she said from her hospital room while preparing for surgery Monday.

"When I got there, my god, you know, this is not a dog bite, this dog bit a large chunk out of her leg. And it's just terrible, like a….bleeding…" said Brown.

Montgomery says her wound is three to four inches wide and one to two inches deep, down to the muscle. "Rabies shots are rather painful. I feel ok. They've been giving me a lot of antibiotics, flashing my body with antibiotics. They're going to do a skin graft tomorrow, another wound pack," she said.

Immediately following the attack, Brown contacted 3-1-1, telling them his wife had just been bit. Still, he felt nothing changed. "You say it's two to seven days because the dog hasn't attacked someone, the dog now is attacked someone, and you say, oh, we can't change the schedule," he said. "Is that bureaucracy run rampant or are we talking about intelligence levels here? I don't know. It's ridiculous."

According to Olohan, Animal Protection first received a call about the dog on Sept. 17, putting out a general broadcast over their radio system. At 6:30 p.m on Sept. 18, she says they were contacted by Montgomery's husband calling about the attack. According to Olohan, only one officer was on shift, so no one contacted the family until 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 and no officers arrived on-scene until 3 p.m. that day to set up a trap.

"I'm very disappointed in our city/county services for this type of thing, especially with so many people contacting them," Montgomery said.

One neighbor says the dog tried to attack her while she was walking with her three-year-old son in a stroller. Thankfully a passing motorist was able to intervene. She says she did not report the incident until she found out the dog attacked Montgomery, something she says she regrets. 

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