Woman in St. Pete dog attack has 5 staples in head, 16 stitches in leg, husband says

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – “I was horrified at what happened, she was attacked by a dog and almost bled to death,” said a St.Petersburg man who feels lucky his wife is still alive.

He said Friday morning he experienced terrifying moments when his wife was seriously injured by a dog in their neighborhood.

The animal was shot by police after they said it bit one officer and lunged at another. The dog owner denies that the dog bit anyone.

The victim’s husband said as of Monday his 67-year-old wife, Jonie, is still in the hospital with staples in her head and stitches on her leg after the attack.

“I’ve been shaken for 3 days. I’ve been pacing, I can’t sleep or eat,” said her husband, who doesn’t want to be named.

He said Jonie is smart, bubbly, and was on her first walk in the neighborhood since recent cataract surgery.

“Because of two humble, wonderful people that saved her life, she is still alive,” he said. “She’s in the hospital. She’s still not doing very good.”

He said Jonie was trying to ask the dog’s owner, Craig Barr, if she was safe to pass his unleashed dog. But when she noticed Barr was unconscious in his wheelchair, she turned to leave and the dog attacked her from behind.

In addition to 16 stitches in her left leg, five staples in her head, and bites on her back, he said her kidney issues are exasperated from the loss of blood.

“It’s a tragedy and it could have been prevented. Because I understand that the dog has had multiple incidents,” Jodie’s husband said.

According to Pinellas County Animal Services, the 5-year-old pit bull Kona bit two people within the last 3 years.

But they say the two incidents, including a hand and stomach bite, didn’t cause enough damage to deem the dog dangerous.

“The dog was a loveable dog,” Barr said of his dog Kona.

Barr says Kona wasn’t a pit bull, it was an American Bulldog, and is innocent.

“My dog didn’t bite anybody,” said Barr.

He admits to being unconscious and said he was tired from housework. “I must have dozed off for a half-hour if that,” he said.

Jonie’s husband has a message for all dog owners:

“Please go to a trainer, learn how to control your dog. Always keep your dog on a leash.”

As for Barr, Jodie’s husband’s message is clear:

“I’m going to let the lawyers take care of that,” he said.

Jonie’s husband said he’s thankful no kids were hurt, as there’s a school bus stop nearby.

St. Petersburg Police said the investigation is ongoing.

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