Delayed investigation after man attacked by pit bull

A confusing investigation, or lack thereof-, -after a Valley man was mauled by a pit bull.

WAFF News first told you about Mike Kilpatrick Thursday night.

When a dog bite is reported, an investigation usually begins in about 24 hours.

Mike Kilpatrick waited three weeks, heard nothing, then began asking what happened to the dog that attacked him.

He found an investigation that never got off the ground.

"I bent down next to her and she jumped immediately for my face," said Kilpatrick.

He said a reddish-brown pit bull named Ginger, mauled him unprovoked on August 28th.

"It was immediately," he said.

WAFF 48 News has learned Ginger has attacked before.

A complaint was filed against Ginger's owner.

It says Ginger attacked a dog in their Huntsville neighborhood in December 2005.

Ginger's owner was cited on harboring a vicious animal ten days later.

We asked Kilpatrick if he knew the pit bull's history.

"I was aware the dog had been vicious in the past and attacked someone or another animal in the neighborhood a while back. But I'd never had trouble with the animal whatsoever," he said.

Kilpatrick's attack in a different neighborhood makes two strikes against Ginger the pit bull.

He filed a bite report in the emergency room so the dog attack would be investigated.

But that report never made it anywhere, and an investigation was never launched, until this week.

"The victim of the bite called my office and I happen to get the call and that's how I first found out about the bite way back in August," said Kevin Humphreys.

Humphreys is over Vector Control, the branch of the Madison County Health Department required by law to investigate dog bites.

"We have never received any medical report we have to have a physician's report," Humphreys said.

Huntsville's Animal Services enforces the city ordinance on dog bites.

That agency didn't know about the attack either.

We called Huntsville Hospital Thursday to confirm they sent the bite report to the health department as required but we've gotten no response.

We also know August 28th was during a transition period for the health department.

Employees tell us computers and faxes were occasionally on the blitz.

Whatever the reason, this case was left wide open--and unresolved.

Vector Control and Huntsville Animal Services are now actively investigating the case.

But it's up to Ginger's owner to decide the pit bull's fate.

We wanted to know what he was doing about his dangerous dog.

That answer and what the law says is the focus of our next WAFF 48 News Investigators Report.