State Rep. Eddie Cooper is working on a new piece of legislation in response to the attack of an 81-year-old Calico Rock woman who was seriously injured after she was attacked by a neighbor's dogs.
Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence said as many as four dogs inflicted multiple bites to Sue Kizzia's legs and backside as she was on her way to her mailbox Dec. 20.
Directly following the incident, authorities learned the dogs' owners -- Wesley Parker, 41, and Donnisa Parker, 36 -- had as many as 10 to 15 dogs that were allowed to run loose on neighboring properties, Lawrence said.
After learning this Lawrence said he wanted to pursue filing criminal charges for the owners' carelessness; however, they were only cited under the Calico Rock leash law because Arkansas lacks a criminal code for dealing with the owners of violent animals.
"This was just a terrible thing," Lawrence said. "If they're (the dogs) going to run loose, the owner should be held responsible."
Lawrence said on Jan. 2 he spoke with Cooper as well as members of the Arkansas Sheriffs Association regarding the incident. Lawrence said he wanted to generate some interest in creating a criminal law against the owners of animals involved in violent attacks, he said.
Apparently Lawrence's efforts sparked some interest.
On Jan. 4 Cooper said he agreed with Lawrence's concerns, and he planned to address the issue in the next legislative session. "Right now I'm in the process of drafting legislation that will enable any law official to pursue criminal charges in such a situation," Cooper said.
Following the attack Kizzia was taken to the Community Medical Center in Calico Rock where she underwent surgery for her wounds.
The dogs involved in Kizzia's attack were immediately impounded.
On Jan. 6 Wesley and Donnisa Parker were arrested on second degree assault charges and given a Jan. 15 Izard County District Court date.
Kizzia was released from hospital care Jan. 3. Currently she is at home with her family and friends recuperating from the incident.