LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - *** WARNING. GRAPHIC IMAGES ***
Lamar County Justice Court Judge candidate Debbie Petro-Dukette was attacked by dogs Thursday while campaigning in Lamar County.
"I got out to walk up to the door, and I got about half way then just, I mean seriously out of nowhere, four dogs just attacked me" Petro-Dukette said. "Now there was no, you know, beware of dog signs. There was no fence, you know, that I had to open and walk through. I mean, nothing to move it was just an open yard."
Petro-Dukette said she was attacked on Buccaneer Drive in the Lake Serene neighborhood.
"It was horrifying," she said. "It was terrifying to say the least. It could have been a lot worse. like I said, you know, I could have gotten on the ground and they could have gotten on top of me."
She says her two worst bites are on her right arm and on her left thigh.
"On my right arm underneath by my elbow, I guess one of the dogs jumped up and latched on, and there's two big puncture wounds where the teeth went in," she said. "And it's really, really badly swollen, and I can't hardly even move that arm. And then on my left side of my thigh up towards the top, two of them, there's two different distinct bites."
She said she's not sure how, but she didn't need any stitches.
"I'm incapacitated right now, but it could have been worse," she said. "I am OK, but like I said, it could have been a lot worse. If I would have been a child that walked into that yard, I can't even begin to imagine how much worse it could have been on an eight-year-old or 10-year-old child."
Petro-Dukette said she's a dog lover and didn't expect the dogs to be aggressive.
"I mean, I've got four dogs myself," she said. "I'm a huge, huge animal lover, and maybe, you know, maybe that was my problem. Maybe my guard was too far down because I do love animals and dogs so much, but, yeah, I can't imagine that if anybody else walked up into that yard, that that wouldn't happen to them.too."
She hopes her experience can be an example for the county.
"This is a good example of why our county has got to get some kind of leash law," she said. "Since this has happened, I've heard of so many people that have said 'oh yeah I've had that'' or someone they know has had that experience. You know it's terrifying. It's terrifying to really know that this happens so so often."
Petro-Dukette said she isn't going to file charges against the dog owners.
"We know the people," she said. "We know them very well. They're good people. It's just a fluke. I know them. My mom knows them. They have five children themselves, so they're not the kind of people who would have these kinds of dogs. They're just not. So I'm definitely not pressing charges. not at all."
Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel said the dogs must be quarantined for 10 days according to state law, and Petro-Dukette said the dogs were up to date on their vaccines.