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  1. Hernando

Owner of dogs that attacked woman in Brooksville was cited for dog aggression before

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Stay with tampabay.com for breaking news and updates.
Published May 29, 2019

A Brooksville man who owned three dogs that attacked a woman Monday was cited earlier this year for aggression by the same dogs, deputies said.

Ralph Hughes, 55, was cited Jan. 31 for owning an unvaccinated dog, owning an unlicensed animal and owning a public nuisance animal after the dogs were aggressive toward an unnamed victim, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. Hughes was fined $1,500.

The dogs were licensed and up-to-date on their vaccinations at the time of the most recent incident, the Sheriff's Office said.

On Monday morning along Spring Lake Highway, firefighters, deputies and animal control officers found a woman with severe dog bites to both of her legs. She was flown to a trauma center, where her condition was stabilized.

Authorities have not identified the woman.

A witness called 911 and said the dogs that attacked the woman were still running loose, describing them as pit bulls, deputies said.

Hughes was cited for three counts of owning a public nuisance animal as a second offense and three counts of owning an unrestrained animal. He was fined $2,100.

Deputies and animal control officers said at least one of the dogs tried to attack them when they arrived at the scene. The Sheriff's Office said bean-bag rounds were used to subdue the dogs.

The dogs were taken to the Hernando County Animal Services. Hughes surrendered the dogs for euthanasia after Monday's attack because he believes they are too aggressive, deputies said.

Contact Paige Fry at pfry@tampabay.com. Follow her on Twitter @paigexfry.

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