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West Lafayette woman injured in dog attack

Tippecanoe County Animal Control is investigating a dog attack in West Lafayette.

Posted: Jun. 7, 2018 6:30 PM
Updated: Jun. 7, 2018 6:44 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Darlene Walters, 72, was injured while trying to save her Jack Russell terrier from a pit bull loose in her yard.

When Walters tried to break up the dog fight, she was hurt by her own dog in the process. Tippecanoe County Animal Control said criminal charges are unlikely because Walters was injured by her own animal. 

However, Walters could file a civil lawsuit if she or animal control can confirm the pit bull's owner.

Becky Gipson lives across the street. She has three dogs, one of them a pit bull, but she said it wasn't her dog.

"I'm always out with my dogs. We never, ever, ever leave them out here," said Gipson. "We walk them most of the time. We have a tie out over there that if they're on that tie, we're usually out there with another one walking around."

Walters was unable to meet with us Thursday, but said she hopes to share her story with News 18 next week.

"I don't blame dogs. I blame the owners," said Gipson. 

At this point, the case is still open and tips are welcome. Gipson has a few tips of her own, not for investigators, but for those witnessing a dog fight.

"I've learned to just kind of grab water, throw it on them and intervene in some other way. It usually shocks them and makes them stop," said Gipson. "I know personally, with a pit bull, you can get like these brick sticks."

Tippecanoe County Animal Control Officer Seth Kirkendall said it's best not to get involved in a dog fight.

You can call animal control or if you feel the need to do something. Kirkendall recommends pepper spray. Even then, you're risking injury.

Gipson understands why Walters would want to protect her dog.

"Definitely feel for her," said Gipson.

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