Deputies shoot, kill dog attacking Lakeland meter reader

Posted at 1:10 PM, Feb 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-13 23:18:16-05

Polk County deputies shot and killed a dog attacking a city of Lakeland meter reader on Monday morning. 

At approximately 11:18 a.m., Lakeland Electric employee, Linda Dionne, 59, was at a home located at 941 Fish Hatchery Road when a dog attacked her. She hit the panic button on her radio to call for help, which alerted the Lakeland Police Department communication center. 

Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene and when they arrived, the dog was still mauling Dionne. The deputy was able to get the dog off her, but it started to attack the deputy. The deputy shot and killed the dog.  At that time, another dog aggressively approached the deputies and a Lakeland Officer.

Shots were fired at the dog and it retreated under the home.

"There could have been another way than to kill my children's dog," said Alex Hill, one of the dog's owners. 

Hill said the family's dog, Sofia, a three-year-old rose nose pit bull, did not deserve to die. 

"She's an amazing dog, she's protective of her family and her domain and I feel like she was doing what she felt was right," said Hill. 

The second dog was taken into custody by animal control

Dionne was transported to Lakeland Regional Medical Center with serious lacerations to her arms and legs. Her family told ABC Action News Monday night that she was too shaken up to speak about what happened. 

The owner of the dogs, Matthew Overton, 21, has been arrested and charged for not properly securing the dog and not properly posting his property.

The dog had already been declared "dangerous" by animal control.

In 2016, the dog aggressively bite the pants of a person who had to run to a car for safety.

"I told Polk County in June this was going to happen again," said Pat Jeffries. 

Jeffries called 9-1-1 after Sofia attempted to attack her more than a mile from the dog's home. 

"When they have been deemed dangerous already by the county and they're not taking the precautions, then they're not good parents for their dogs," said Jeffries. 


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