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Pit bulls test negative for rabies
Court date set for dogs' custodian

WINDER - A man who cared for the pit bull dogs that allegedly attacked a pedestrian on Labor Day faces up to $18,000 and nine years in jail, said Stephen Eades, director of Barrow County's Animal Control Department.

Test results showed the three dogs did not have rabies, Eades said.

Travis Roy Spencer, 23, of 230 Englewood Road in Winder has been served with 18 citations and is scheduled for a 9 a.m. Nov. 13 court date before Magistrate Judge June Davis.

Spencer is cited on misdemeanor charges of keeping a nuisance or viscous dog, failing to have proof of rabies vaccinations, failing to control the dogs and failing to restrain the dogs on his property, Davis said.

According to police, the dogs attacked Kelly Edwards, 62, of Winder, about 7:30 a.m. on Labor Day during Edwards' morning walk.

Edwards remains in good condition at Gwinnett Medical Center recovering from bites to his hands, legs and feet.

More than 100 stitches and five hours of surgery were required to repair the wounds.

The three dogs' combined weight totaled about 150 pounds, Eades said.

Edwards said his neighbor and friend, David Banner, saved his life when Banner attacked the dogs with a six-foot walking stick, breaking it in three pieces during the encounter.

Banner's son reportedly shot the most aggressive dog, a 2-year-old adult male, ending the attack.

The other two dogs ran home and hid under the porch, Banner said, before being taken into custody by Barrow County Animal Control officers.

The man who shot the dog will not face charges, Eades said.

The dogs were euthanized Wednesday morning and their bodies sent to the state Public Health Laboratory in Decatur for rabies testing, which came back with negative results.

According to Eades, the dogs are owned by David Casper, who has owned the Englewood Road home since 1987.

Casper is incarcerated in Johnson State Prison in Wrightsville and was convicted in Clarke County of aggravated assault on an officer, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections' Web site.

Spencer is a family member staying in the home and caring for the dogs, Eades said.

Because he was their custodian, Spencer will face charges.