published Friday, April 1st, 2011

Dog owner ordered to pay

  • photo
    Karen Walsh, center, McKamey Animal Center executive director, leaves court Thursday with Denny Crittenden, left, and his wife, Nancy, right, after a decision was made by Judge Sherry Paty on Thursday morning. Crittenden shot the dog that attacked his wife on his property. Staff Photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press

The owner of two dogs that attacked another canine last week was fined Thursday and ordered to pay for the wounded animal’s care.

Chattanooga City Court Judge Sherry Paty ordered Tonya Bryant, owner of a pit bull and an Alaskan malamute, to pay more than $400 to the McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center in connection with a March 20 attack on North Hills Road in Hixson.

After the dogs attacked Denny Crittenden’s three-legged black Labrador in his yard, Crittenden shot the pit bull four times. The pit bull was later euthanized.

Throughout an emotional hearing Thursday, Bryant and Crittenden’s wife, Nancy, cried as they explained to Paty the toll the attack and loss of animals had taken.

“He terrified me. I’m afraid of dogs now,” Nancy Crittenden said.

She said she witnessed the attack and said the neighbor’s dogs dragged her Labrador around as she screamed hysterically, “They’re killing my dog.”

But Bryant and friends with her in court Thursday said the pit bull had never attacked anyone before.

“I just can’t believe that happened,” Bryant told Paty. “I just don’t understand it.”

The scene was all too familiar, the judge said.

“I see this on a weekly basis,” Paty said. “An animal gets away from a familiar setting ... to someone else’s property and around unfamiliar animals, things change.”

Paty ordered Bryant to pay $240 to McKamey for Crittenden’s medical bills for the Labrador, $190 to reclaim the malamute, a $50 city license fee and related court costs and fines.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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