RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — It’s been over a week since a dog attack took the life of an 88-year-old Richmond woman and neighbors are concerned it could happen again.
At around 7 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 7, Evangeline Brooks was attacked by her neighbor’s dog on Alaska Drive in Richmond’s Southside.
Residents in the area told 8News they had reported dogs without leashes to the city council and Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC) for years before the incident. Nearby resident, Yvonne Mack, said she hadn’t seen a fatality like in the case of Brooks but she has seen attacks come close in the past.
“We had to distract the dogs and my husband had to get out here with a big stick and chase the dogs away from the kids because they could’ve gotten harmed,” Mack said. “And that’s dangerous if you’re walking to school. If you live in a neighborhood with schools, you should be able to walk in your own neighborhood without dogs chasing you.”
There is no word yet on whether the dog owner will face charges in Brooks’ death. Since the incident occurred, residents say they are continuing to see dogs roaming in the area.
“We have been begging and begging and begging not just this year or last year — for the past 10 or 12 years. And nothing is done. Nothing,” said resident Rosa Lewis.
Residents said they are hoping to see a change in the future so that this won’t have to happen to anyone else.
“Because that could’ve been me, that could’ve been anybody in the neighborhood. What happened to Mrs. Brooks … That should’ve never happened,” Lewis said.
8News spoke with Councilman Michael Jones about concerns from residents. He said he is continuing to communicate with RACC to provide preventative measures such as off-leash fines and reporting.
However, being unable to know who the dogs belong to has presented challenges. According to Jones, the real issue lies with staffing shortages for RACC which has prevented the agency from providing adequate patrol officers in areas with multiple reports.
On Monday, Jones said he plans to provide contact information for residents on Alaska Drive so that they can report any future off-leash dog sightings.