WALKER COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A number of residents in Walker County said they’re facing a crisis of vicious dogs wandering the streets, and it’s been going on for years.

Over the weekend, a woman was hospitalized after being attacked by a pack of dogs while walking down 6th Avenue in Carbon Hill. But in 2020, a woman was killed in the Carbon Hill area after being attacked by dogs.

Paula Holleman said a piece of her died with her daughter Ruthie Mae Brown in 2020, but ever since then, she’s been on a mission to get her justice. For her, it’s also doubly heartbreaking and sickening that three years later, this problem is not any better.

“[Ruthie Mae] was beautiful, she was high spirit, she had a lot of friends,” Holleman said. “She tried to bring a lot of people closer to God.”

Holleman’s daughter Ruthie Mae was the light of her life, but in October 2020, she lost her light in the most horrific way she could imagine.

“She wasn’t supposed to die like that,” Holleman said.

Brown was attacked and killed by a pack of dogs while walking down Jagger Road in a rural part of Walker County in the Carbon Hill area. She was 36.

At the time, the Walker County coroner told CBS 42 the attack was one of the worst he’d ever seen.

“Part of my heart went away … I got scars for a lifetime,” Holleman said through tears.

A month after the attack, she filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the owners of the dogs, who were seized by authorities.

But nearly three years later, Holleman said no one has been charged, and it’s like a slap in the face.

Hearing that another woman was attacked and nearly killed by dogs was excruciating.  

“I cried. I cried. At least she lived,” Holleman said sobbing.

But through the pain, she keeps pushing and praying for some form of justice — and to prevent what happened to her daughter from happening again.

“Please be responsible, take care of your animals, because you never know one day to the next if it’s gonna be your own child,” Holleman said.

Holleman’s lawyer, Charles Stephens Jr. of the Stephens & Stephens law firm in Jasper, told CBS 42 her case has been delayed for multiple factors, including a long criminal investigation and lawyer changes on both sides, but he’s hoping for a hearing soon. He provided the following statement:

“The case was filed on November 11, 2020, in the Walker County Circuit Court. The case has been delayed due to several complications. The Walker County Sheriff’s Office investigated the possibility of criminal charges being brought against the owner of the dogs. A stay of action was requested by the owner/defendant during this process. During 2022, the defendant’s attorney was a candidate for District Attorney of Cullman County and was ultimately elected. Currently the defendant has not procured alternate counsel to represent her in this matter. In February of 2023, one of the attorneys representing the Estate of Ruthie Mae Brown took a position in the Walker County District Attorney’s Office. Due to these issues, the case has been delayed at no fault of the parties or the Court. We are currently under an Order of the Court to mediate the case in an attempt to settle the matter out of Court. However, as the Defendant is without counsel, this process is being delayed as well,” Stephens Jr. said.

CBS 42 reached out to the Walker County District Attorney’s Office and the Walker County Sheriff’s Office multiple times for an update on the case but never heard back.