West Lafayette woman contemplates lawsuit over dog attack

Darlene Walters said her neighbor's pit bull mauled her Jack Russell terrier on May 24. Walters was injured by her own dog in the process.

Posted: Jun. 14, 2018 9:01 PM
Updated: Jun. 14, 2018 9:15 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Darlene Walters would do anything for her dog, Sophie. Three weeks ago, Walters took on a Pitbull for Sophie. Walters said Sophie was laying in her backyard when she was attacked.

"He [the Pitbull] had flipped her over on her back and he had her by the groin area," said Walters. "And I thought oh my gosh, what do I do? So, I kept kicking him and hitting him with my fist."

In the process, Walters' own dog turned to bite her.

"She's the one that bit me," said Walters. "But I did break my knuckle on the other dog."

Walters screamed for help, but no one came.

"Finally, he let go of the grip and he turned around and he ran right back to the yard he originally came from," said Walters.

That is the yard Walters believes belongs to the pit bull's owner, Becky Gipson. However, Gipson told News 18 her dog couldn't possibly have done it.

"I'm always out with my dogs," said Gipson. "We never ever, ever, ever leave them out here."

"Is it possible that it was another dog?" asked News 18's Kayla Sullivan to Darlene Walters.

"I do not believe so," replied Walters.

Tippecanoe County Animal Control said there wasn't enough evidence to confirm whether it was Gipson's pit bull. Since it was Walters' dog who bit her, criminal charges wouldn't be likely in this case. However, Walters is considering a civil lawsuit.

"I lay down at night, I view that [the attack] I see it coming again and again and again and again," said Walters. "And I don't want that for anybody."

Walters said this attack has caused significant emotional, physical and financial pain.

Sophie's vet bills total more than $4,000. Walters hopes the owner comes forward soon or at the very least, learns from what happened.

"Will it happen again? I don't know," said Walters.

If you would like to donate to Walters to help with her financial burden, click here.

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