Local News

Former Animal Control Officer Claims She Felt Threatened By Dogfighting Informants

Posted September 3, 2003

— An animal control officer is defending herself, despite authorities' claims that she made up a story about getting lured to a rural area and attacked by a dog. However, Patsy Bryant says part of her story is true.

On Aug. 20, Bryant claimed she was the victim of an ambush. Bryant originally told investigators that she received a call about an injured dog on Hassel Horton Road in Person County. She claimed when she arrived, two masked men forced a dog to attack her.

Investigators later found that Bryant was being untruthful about the incident. Authorities had arrested Michael Dowdell on dogfighting charges and considered him "a person of interest" in Bryant's alleged attack. Bryant was the person who seized Dowdell's dogs.

Dowdell's ex-girlfriend told prosecutors that he planned to kill Bryant. Dowdell was later released on bond.

Bryant said Wednesday that she felt threatened by Dowdell. She admits she was not ambushed, but she did meet with known informants of a Person County dogfighting case. She said they threatened her and her family if she testified in the case. Bryant said the informants did let a restrained pit bull bite her.

Bryant later resigned as an animal control officer, but she said her resignation was forced. She said she wished she would have remained an officer.

In another development, Person County authorities said someone recently broke into a place where animals that were suspected of being used in animal cruelty cases were kept.

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