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A dangerous dog investigation is happening in Florence. It's the first case to be enacted under the state's new Emily's Law.
Emily's Law just took affect June 1st. The law is named after Emily Colvin, who was killed in the front yard of her Jackson County home by a pack of dogs. Under Emily's Law a dangerous dog investigation can be launched and owner's of vicious dogs who hurt people can be charged with felonies.
Florence animal control officers are conducting their dangerous dog investigation after two pit bulls attacked a woman in Florence. Family members of Rose Holt told WAAY31 she was in her yard when she was attacked. Holt remains in the hospital.
Until this dangerous dog investigation is complete the dogs will be held by officials and will not return to their owner. Florence police said at the end of the investigation there will be a court hearing where evidence will be presented.
Florence Police Captain, Brad Holmes said the court will decided if the dogs who attacked Holt at her Bayless Avenue home were dangerous.
"If it is determined that the animals were vicious or dangerous and did cause serious physical injury then the court can order the animals to be humanely euthanized," said Holmes.
Under Emily's Law in order for an owner to get the dogs back they would have to jump through a series of hurdles; including having to obtain a $100,000 surety bond in case the dog bites or attacks someone again.
"The requirements are extremely stringent as a result of this law. The owner may be required to microchip the dog, ensure the animal is spayed or neutered, provide proper housing including a concrete floor and roof," said Holmes.
Holmes said the investigation will not only look at the dogs but also the owner, which they have identified.
"If it's determined the owner had prior knowledge that the animals had propensity to be dangerous then there are felony charges that can be filed," said Holmes.
A court date has not been set in the dangerous dog investigation. One dog is in custody of Florence Animal Control and the other is being housed in Madison County at a kennel.