A look at past reports against dogs in Grovetown attack

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 4:48 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GROVETOWN, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - We’re learning more about the dogs involved in a violent attack on an 11-year-old boy Friday.

Records with animal services show Justin Gilstrap’s aunt, Kellie Aguilar, filed complaints about the same group of dogs about a year ago. In early 2022, reports show the dogs attacked her small Yorkie.

A couple of weeks later, she filed another complaint about the same dogs running loose in the neighborhood. Now, Gilstrap is in the hospital after being attacked.

On Jan 12, Columbia County gave the dog’s owner, Burt Baker, a final warning saying from that point forward, the dogs must be contained to the property, but more complaints followed, and nothing changed.


“The dogs were constantly out,” said Aguilar.

She didn’t feel safe showing her face on camera, but she says this attack could have been prevented.

“It was two pit bulls who came into my backyard while my Yorkie was out there and attacked him. I heard it going on. I went out there. They attacked him,” she said.

She filed a police report after the attack in her fenced-in back yard Jan. 2. Animal services said there was not “an immediate threat” and came out the next day.

They say they had trouble getting in touch with either party and closed the case. On Jan. 12, the dogs were back on her property when she called animal services again. Columbia County issued a final warning, and Baker signed it.

“The dogs, I don’t think were ever locked up from the entire situation. They’ve always ran loose,” said Aguilar.

In July, two other neighbors filed complaints about the dogs at the same address being on the loose. Six months later, with the dogs still roaming, Aguilar got the call about her nephew.

“It was absolutely devastating,” she said.

She knows from what she’s seen and reported, what happened to Gilstrap should have never happened.

“It was preventable. My nephew was riding the bike that he got for Christmas. As he should be able to as an 11-year-old boy and did not make it back home that day. He’s lying in the hospital now because these dogs were able to run loose,” she said.

He is still recovering from his last surgery Tuesday.

On Friday, we’re talking to Columbia County about how they handle animal complaints.