LAKELAND (FOX 13) - A Polk County man was arrested after one of his dogs mauled a Lakeland Electric meter-reader this morning, then turned on a deputy who had arrived to help, the sheriff's office said.
Deputies say Linda Dionne was working along Fish Hatchery Road when she activated the emergency button on her radio. When Lakeland Electric and Lakeland police officers could not get a hold of her, deputies responded.
The deputy arrived to find the "pit bull-type" dog attacking Dionne on the front porch of a home. He was able to get the dog off the woman, but then had to shoot the dog after it attacked him.
A second dog in the yard "menacingly approached" two deputies and a Lakeland police officer, who fired at the animal, but missed. The dog ran under the house and was later captured.
Dionne, 59, was treated at the scene and then taken to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center with serious lacerations to both arms and legs from the dog. She was released from the hospital late this afternoon.
Deputies said the dog in the attack had previously been deemed dangerous by Animal Control after it became aggressive with someone in June of last year.
The dog's owner, meanwhile, was arrested when he arrived home. Matthew Overton, 21, now faces a felony charge for failing to properly secure the dog.
But another woman who lives there told FOX 13 that there were plenty of warning signs.
"The Lakeland Electric woman had pulled into the yard but my gate was closed. There's signs on my fence that say 'Beware of dog, keep out.' It says all of that. She had to have opened my gate and came in. If you see the dogs out, why did you get of the vehicle?" offered Elixindra Allen. "Bless her heart; she's in my prayers, I feel terrible for her and I wish this never would have happened. But why would you get out?"