Grand Junction dog attack victim says she's going to be OK; official says long recovery ahead

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado — A 59-year-old Grand Junction woman who was attacked by three dogs last week says she's thankful for the help she's received and wants people to know she's going to be OK.

"I want to give a great big thank-you to everybody," the woman, who didn't want to be identified, told The Daily Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1HbDfiu ). "Tell people, 'She's going to make it. She's doing fine."

The woman said she's grateful to those witnesses who were able to pull the dogs off her outside a restaurant on April 7 and has no plans to sue, saying so far, Medicaid payments have covered her health care costs.

While the woman didn't want the extent of her injuries discussed, Mesa County Animal Services director Penny McCarty said the attack could have been fatal had it not been for the five witnesses who intervened.

"She's going to have a long-term recovery," McCarty said.

McCarty said the woman was not near the dogs — Catahoula and Catahoula mixes — when they attacked. Authorities determined that the dogs traveled 47 feet from the bend of a pickup to where the woman was on the sidewalk.

The dogs' owners, Alexander Franklin Rice, 21, of Whitewater, and Crystal D. Proctor, 22, are facing dangerous dog violations, not having proof of licenses and rabies vaccinations and having dogs at large.

Rice, who owns two of the dogs, said they have never been aggressive before and he would like to apologize to the woman.

"I don't have a reason for it. It was an accident," he said.

The dogs are being held by animal services, which will recommend whether they should be euthanized. A judge will make the final decision.


Information from: The Daily Sentinel, http://www.gjsentinel.com

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