HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Joe Kelley couldn’t believe what he was seeing. His friend, who had stopped by for coffee, was leaving when he was attacked by dogs.
“That lady in that trailer there, Colleen, her dogs, three of them, the big pit bulls, they just attacked him. Had him on the ground and was chewing him up,” said Kelley. “I’ve never seen such a thing. “
Owner Colleen Meyer, 43, was later stopped by a deputy on an alleged equipment violation and arrested.
The attack happened Saturday morning at a property where there is a mobile home, a travel trailer and an R.V.
Kelley, who lives in the R.V., called 911 and paramedics arrived and took the victim to the hospital with severe bite marks to his leg.
Animal Enforcement Officers also responded and found the dogs. The sound of puppies whimpering nearby led them to a closed travel trailer on the property.
There they found an adult female pit bull apparently guarding her puppies. The dog was growling at the officers and biting at them. Once they got the female pit bull contained, they found eight puppies in what was described as deplorable conditions. The temperature inside the trailer was so hot that one of the officers required medical attention.
Denise Moloney with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said the conditions contributed to the dog owner’s arrest.
“With no food, water, any ventilation at all,” said Moloney. “It did measure 108 degrees after the door was open for 30 minutes.”
Meyer was taken into custody Wednesday morning on nine counts of animal cruelty. She’s also facing an unrelated drug charge. She’s currently in custody on a $5,000 bond.
The dog attack victim, who was not named, has been released from the hospital.
Kelley says he warned Meyer that her dogs were dangerous, saying he knew it was only a matter of time before someone was hurt.
“I told her, her dogs was loose all the time. I used to tell her, it’s not fair. I have to keep my dog on a rope,” said Kelley. “It’s the law. Put a rope on your dogs!”