ARLINGTON — An estimated 400,000 Texans are bitten by dogs each year. The most recent attack could send an Arlington dog owner to prison.
It might be the first local prosecution under Lillian's Law, a recent statute that many dog owners aren't aware of, but need to be.
Robert Wallis has a punctured leg, and healing wounds on his hand, arm and head. His driveway is speckled with other evidence of what happened to him.
Wallis was attacked by his neighbor's two pit bulls as he checked his mail two weeks ago at his central Arlington home.
Blood can still be seen in the driveway.
"The dogs came flying around the fence and attacked without warning or provocation," he said.
Both the dogs were euthanized.
Wallis says they had him down until his postal carrier chased them away.
Police arrested Wallis' neighbor, Nancy Hayes, under a 2007 Texas statute called Lillian's Law, which holds owners criminally responsible for dog attacks.
A Breckenridge mother was sentenced to seven years after her dogs killed a little boy.
News 8 couldn't reach Hayes for comment. The city already had declared one of her dogs dangerous from a previous incident. She kept them fenced in.
"Owners of vicious dogs, known to be vicious, should be held accountable," Wallis said.
If convicted under Lillian's Law, the dog owner faces up to 10 years in prison. If Wallis had died in the attack, she could have faced up to 20 years.
This is a tough law that a lot of dog owners don't even know about. Wallis hopes now they will.