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Pit bulls from fatal Phenix City attack euthanized

Pit bulls from fatal Phenix City attack euthanized

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Three pit bulls that fatally attacked a Smiths Station woman two weeks ago in Phenix City have been put down, according to law enforcement.

According to District Judge Russell K. Bush, the dogs were euthanized by Dr. Buddy Bruce sometime after 6 p.m. Friday. They had previously been staying at an Opelika veterinary clinic since April 28 after they attacked Katie Morrison, 20, at a home in the Heather Brooke subdivision in Phenix City. Morrison, who had originally gone to the home to watch the dogs, died from her injuries May 3.

According to Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones, the decision to euthanize the dogs was made by their owners, Steve and Victoria Klemetti. According to a court order, the couple also had the option to give the dogs away to an individual or a shelter, under the circumstances that they inform them about the dogs’ violent history and that they contact the Sheriff’s Office if they give them to someone else.

“It’s unfortunate all around,” Jones said. “It’s just a tragic situation.”

During the Lee County Commission meeting Monday night, the commission approved a letter to be sent to the court to not allow the return of the dogs to the community.

“The bottom line was that the animals had been involved in the death of a person, and naturally, that was our primary concern,” Jones said. “Our concern was simply in regard to public safety.”

Attorney Andrew Stanley, who represents the Klemettis, said he approved the decision by his clients and that his recommendation to them was to euthanize them if they couldn’t find anyone to look after them.

“It’s a good decision for all parties involved,” Stanley said.

The weeks since Morrison’s attack have been difficult for the Klemettis, Stanley said, especially Victoria, who was there when the attack occurred.

“She tried her best to do everything in her power to protect and help her,” Stanley said. “I think she has been traumatized by the event.”

An investigation into the attack is ongoing and will be presented before a grand jury sometime in the future. The Klemettis could not be reached for comment.


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