SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — What happened to Paula Phillips as she walked down Melrose Street near the Southfield Service Drive is horrifying, heartbreaking, and shouldn’t happen to anyone.
“They were my babies. They were my kids. I am alone. I don’t have anything but me and my babies,” said Phillips.
Paula Phillips says her neighbor’s dog attacked both her dogs, Sasha and TJ, and her as they took a walk in November.
“I was screaming, help! At the top of my voice. Nobody was responding,” said Phillips.
She called 911. The dogs owner eventually came outside and grabbed his dog.
“By the time police came the man had got his dog and put it away, like the dog didn’t do nothing,” she said.
Sasha could not be saved. TJ needed life saving care. His injuries were severe. Paula was treated for bites wounds on her arm and upper thigh.
“I have injuries that will be with me the rest of my life,” she said.
She is angry, because to her knowledge, the dog that she says attacked her is still in her neighborhood.
“That dog is a clear and present danger to the public,” said Attorney Arnold Reed, who is representing her in a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
Their message? Dog owners need to control their pets. Plus they want the City of Southfield to take action.
7 Action News reached out to Southfield's mayor and council members to find out why the dog was not impounded. They tell us due to the holiday they will need more time to get answers from those involved at the police department, but they will investigate. The records department at the police department is closed due to the holiday.
Councilman Daniel Brightwell says council just strengthened the city’s vicious dog ordinance this year to allow police more power to impound problem animals. They are also increasing staff to respond to such issues.
“We will be hiring another animal control officer in the City of Southfield. This is a quality of life issue for our residents and we take these things seriously,” said Brightwell.
Phillips says she has called police repeatedly asking for action. Attorney Reed says it is possible incorrect information in the police report is to blame.
It says neither of Phillips animals had life threatening injuries and that no human was bit. Phillips says she has the medical and veterinary records that show otherwise.
“Anything vicious needs to be taken out of communities right away,” said Phillips.
7 Action News reached out to dog’s owner but as of now have not heard back. We will follow up with the city as they look back over what happened and why after the holiday.