Meridian woman considers legal action after dog attack

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Dec. 16, 2003
A Meridian woman who was mauled by six dogs in Marion said Monday that she could take legal action now that she has spoken to Lauderdale County supervisors and Marion officials.
Jaime Tefeyan, 23, a Weems Community Mental Health Center case worker, said she was attacked Thursday by dogs described as pit bulls and boxers. She had been looking for a Marion resident who needed her services.
The Tefeyans said they spoke to county supervisors Monday because Marion officials told them there was nothing they could do about the attack. Marion officials and the owner of the dogs were not at the supervisors' meeting.
The Tefeyans did not say specifically who they might take legal action against.
Lauderdale County supervisors and their attorney, Rick Barry, said that based on state attorney general opinions the county has no authority over ordinances in the county's municipalities of Marion and Meridian.
Four of the dogs involved in the attack were captured by the county's animal control department on Monday and are quarantined. The Tefeyans said only one of those dogs has had its rabies shot.
Upset mother
Lynda Tefeyan was still upset.
Jaime Tefeyan has several stitches in her right leg, scratches down her back and bite marks, as well as massive, dark bruises, covering her left thigh, her hip, and her buttocks.
Jaime said she wants the owner of the dogs to be held responsible. Under the quarantine the dogs are under now, she said the owner will get the dogs back on Saturday.
No politics
District 3 Supervisors Craig Hitt, who also serves as president of the board of supervisors, told the Tefeyans the situation is not a matter of politics.
Supervisors previously had scheduled a public hearing for 9:30 a.m., Jan. 5 the first regularly scheduled supervisors meeting for 2004 to go over two amendments to county ordinances recommended by Dewayne Sosebee, animal control director.
One would give the county the authority to destroy an animal deemed vicious. The other amendment would pertain to permits required to own large, dangerous or predatory animals. The county's animal control ordinances only apply to the unincorporated areas of Lauderdale County.