MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - A Mississippi County woman is facing animal abuse and assault charges.
According to Mississippi County Sheriff Keith Moore, a Mississippi County woman has been arrested after an animal abuse investigation by his department.
Four times in recent months, Sheriff Moore said the sheriff's department has been contacted about an aggressive pit bull that had reportedly attacked or attempted to attack several county residents.
The investigation began last month, when Deputy Marc Tragesser was dispatched to investigate allegations that a pit bull had attacked a resident in the Delmo Project community, located south of East Prairie.
Upon his arrival, Deputy Tragesser met with the victim and a witness, both of whom reported seeing Maria Gammons outside her home with a large pit bull. When it saw the men, it allegedly ran toward the witness but was restrained by a shock collar controlled by Gammons.
They say the dog then turned his aggression toward the victim, but this time, Gammons began to curse the man, and did not restrain her dog. The man, whom has previously been attacked by the same animal, was able to repel the attack by hitting the animal with a lawn ornament.
A few weeks later, Sheriff Moore said the man was allegedly attacked by the same animal as he walked out to his mailbox. This time, the man was able to fight off the aggressive animal with a small brick.
After each complaint, Chief Deputy Charlie Marcum and Deputy Tragesser contacted Gammons, but each time, she denied the allegations. She reportedly told the deputies her dog was friendly and always leashed, but was unable to show them the leash.
According to the Deputy's report, Maria Gammons' failure to provide adequate care and control for her pet placed the dog in a situation which resulted in substantial harm to the animal.
"It's not fair to the animal to put it in that situation," Sheriff Moore said, "and it's not fair to those who are afraid to walk around their own property."
Maria Lynn Gammons, 28, of East Prairie, was charged with animal abuse and assault, third degree, both class A misdemeanors punishable upon conviction by up to one year in the county jail.
Gammons was released from custody Tuesday evening, after posting $250 bond.