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GRAPHIC: Cyclist Mauled By Dog Speaks Out, Sheriff’s Office Responds

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A Fayetteville cyclist was recovering Friday (Feb. 19) after he was attacked by a dog while out on what he called a routine training...

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- A Fayetteville cyclist was recovering Friday (Feb. 19) after he was attacked by a dog while out on what he called a routine training ride in Washington County.

Richard Holt posted his experience and graphic photos on Facebook and it has since been shared nearly 4,000 times. The graphic photos are included below this story.

Holt told 5NEWS he was riding on South AR-265 with a friend when three dogs came at them. He said the pit bull lunged at his leg, knocking him off his bike.

"I remember when I went down to the ground I thought this is really bad, this is going to be like really bad," Holt said. "You see the dogs mouth around your leg and and it's like I've got to do whatever I can to keep him from either continuing to bite me or to go for something else."

Holt said his friend fought the dog off and called 911. He said he had numerous gashes and gouges in his calf, including one that required 15 stitches to repair.

"I've been in accidents before and the way I know I'm really hurt initially is when I feel no pain," Holt said. "That's when I know you know, you've got such an adrenaline dump but you don't really remember the pain, but then once the paramedics got there it was a huge rush of excruciating pain."

Holt said initially, the dogs were given back to the owner for quarantine with a verbal warning. Washington County deputies said as of 5:30 p.m. Friday (Feb. 19), three dogs, including the one that bit Holt, were picked up by animal control and will be held at the Washington County Animal Shelter for the remainder of their quarantine.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office responded to the Holt's initial Facebook post Friday (Feb. 19) on the sheriff's office Facebook page.

According to the post, the responding deputy determined the dog did bite Holt and she issued a warning to the owners for violating the Vicious Animal Ordinance. She told the owners they will have to secure the dog and determine whether the dog has rabies.

The sheriff reviewed the complaint and determined actual citations should have been issued in this case, according to the post. The owners of the dog have since been issued three citations for violating the Rabies Control Act and one citation for violating the Vicious Dog Ordinance. Washington County animal control officers will also be monitoring the location to ensure the owners continue to quarantine the dog as required, the post states.

The post concludes with a message from Sheriff Tim Helder:

"We apologize for the lack of confidence in our department that this incident has potentially caused, but we can assure you, we will always strive to do the right thing, to do our best for the citizens of Washington County, and when we err, we will admit it and use it as a tool to make ourselves better. We will also begin, once again, an effort to work with members of the Quorum Court to tighten up ordinances that will support animal owners and protect citizens from unwarranted attacks."

A woman who claims to be the dog's owner replied to the post made on the Washington County Sheriff's Office Facebook page several times.

According to posts made by Ashtyon Ciearra Rae, the dog's name is BeBe and he is two years old. The owner states her dog is trained and the cyclist who was attacked must have done something to the dog. She also writes that "actions have been taken I've gotten the punishment for my dog as did my baby boy."

Rural Washington County doesn't have leash laws, which means dogs are allowed to run at large and are not required to be confined in any way. In Washington County, the Vicious Animals ordinance states that any animal that has inflicted a biting injury on a person that needs medical treatment will be impounded and observed at the owner's expense.

GRAPHIC: Cyclist Mauled By Dog Speaks Out, Sheriff’s Office Responds

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