Thursday, August 11, 2011

Woman, dog recovering after attack by neighbor's Rottweiler

TENNESSEE -- A local dentist is recovering tonight from a terrifying run-in with a vicious dog.

Dr. Teresa Larkins needed dozens of stitches and her little dog, Arthur, needed surgery after a neighbor's rottweiler attacked both of them over the weekend.

Larkins is used to being provider, not patient. But now, she has no other choice. The Lebanon dentist needed a week off after she was attacked by the rottweiler.

"I'm finally getting to the point where I can talk about the attack without crying," she said.

According to the police report, Larkins arrived home around midnight Saturday and took her miniature schnauzer outside. Moments later, the neighbor's dog attacked.

"Before I could react, the rottweiler had grabbed Arthur in her mouth and just shook him like a ragdoll. And I was screaming at the dog to let him go. I intervened, and I scooped Arthur up in my arms and the dog was attacking both of us," she said.

Larkins' son and his girlfriend heard her scream and helped.

"You know, I realized that I couldn't make the dog stop, and I thought this dog could kill us," Larkins said.

The woman needed more than 30 stitches to her chin. Arthur suffered several puncture wounds.

As for the Rottweiler's owner, there was no answer at the home's door Thursday despite three vehicles sitting in the driveway. The police report indicates a man at the house told officers the owner, Stephanie Beggs, was out of town, and he wasn't going to cooperate with police until he spoke to his attorney.

For now, the dog is in quarantine with the Lebanon Animal Control.

"As much as I love dogs, I want this animal put down. I mean, this animal is out of control," Larkins said.

She says she is considering legal action against the rottweiler's owner.

"I do not want this to happen to anyone else," Larkins said. "Everyone loves their animal and everyone thinks 'my animal would never hurt anyone.' You don't know what an animal's going to do."

And this wasn't the first time the rottweiler's owner had a run-in with police. Two months ago, an officer cited her for letting the dog wander the very same neighborhood.

Incidentally, Dr. Larkins was the neighbor who reported the dog to police.

(WSMV - August 11, 2011)