In August 2008, two dogs belonging to 44-year-old John Hardy Taylor escaped from Taylor’s car and attacked two women. Although he was charged with the third-degree felony attack by dog, a judge dismissed these heavier charges.
Bonham police say that the Texas dog bite incident took place when two dogs jumped from Taylor’s vehicle and attacked 44-year-old Judy Pless as she got onto her bicycle in town. After bystanders scared the dogs off of the woman, they ran down the block and attacked an unidentified 11-year-old girl.
Both mauled females were airlifted to nearby hospitals – Pless to Parkland Hospital and the girl to Dallas Children’s Medical Center. Both suffered multiple wounds from the dog attacks, though Pless suffered more serious dog bites, punctures, and tears.
This week, Fannin County Judge Lauri Blake dropped the felony dog attack charges explaining that she thought the statute was vague and unconstitutional. Taylor would have been the first person to be effected by “Lillian’s Law,” which was passed in 2007 and which makes being responsible for a dog attack a felony crime involving possible jail time. In the law, the dogs must cause considerable injuries and the dog attack must take place off of the owner’s property. The owner must also fail to secure their lose dogs before the attack. Fannin County District Attorney Richard Glaser plans to appeal the ruling.
Taylor still faces two misdemeanor charges for failing to secure his dogs and for not getting rabies vaccinations for his dogs.