Two Jehovah’s Witnesses women who were mauled by a dog in north Tulsa on Tuesday remain in the hospital. One is reportedly in serious condition.
Investigators say the dog’s owner is not to blame.
The attack happened near E. Pine and N. on Tuesday around 10:00am. Police say the Jehovah’s Witnesses were conducting door-to-door ministry when they approached a home that had a sign posted “beware of dog.”
The women, 78-year-old Irene Parker and 43-year-old Beverly Wright, were bitten on the face, head, arms and legs.
The manager of Tulsa Animal Welfare tells FOX23 News the owner of the dog was not at fault for the attack that happened in her fenced-in neighborhood.
Instead, the manager of animal welfare says the owner will be ticketed for not having her dog licensed or neutered.
“I always knew the dog was feisty and she told us before to be careful when we came in because she didn’t know what he would really do,” said neighbor William Snider.
It’s unclear if the Jehovah’s Witnesses who were attacked saw the “beware of dog” sign in the window. The director of Animal Welfare says a warning sign is not enough to offer a dog legal protection. However, people have a responsibility to be cautious when they enter someone else’s property.
“Just because they don’t see a dog, dog droppings, dishes, doesn’t mean that an animal is not present and then if you enter someone’s property very much at their own risk,” said Tulsa Animal Welfare manager Jean Letcher.
She says the pit bull in this case wasn’t at large, meaning, it wasn’t a known danger. Additionally, it wasn’t roaming the neighborhood when it attacked.
“The owner has a level of protection because the animal was confined,” said Letcher.
The dog was reported to be inside the home, when one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on the door. It rushed out into the yard to confront what it saw as a threat.
“We wouldn’t wish this on anybody. We want to make sure those things don’t happen. But we had no history on this animal and we understand that there has never been a problem with this animal before. But accidents do happen,” said Letcher.
A neighbor of the dog’s owner says William Snider, says accident or not, he’s responsible for the action of his dog Mac. He believes others should be held to the same standard.
“I think it’s the owner’s responsibility,” said Snider.
A man working in the neighborhood shot the attacking dog to death. He says with permission of the dog’s owner he shot one time and killed the dog to save the Jehovah’s Witnesses women who are hospitalized with several bite wounds.
Letcher says they came by the home of dog’s owner to ticket the woman and check if the dog was current on its vaccinations.
FOX23 News also spoke to Jehovah’s Witness members who says they work in groups of two, avoid homes with “no trespassing, keep out and beware of dog” signs. They also keep track of homes to avoid and share with other members.