ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Arkansas—A St. Francis County woman said she was dragged behind a house and viciously attacked while out walking, and the suspects all had four legs.
Days into the healing process, the 27-year-old’s body is still a patchwork of stitches, bandages and injuries—some too graphic to show on television.
Her mother said her daughter had more dog bites than the doctor was able to count. “He said he stopped counting at 200,” said Lisa Ennis.
The attack happened as Ennis’ daughter was walking home along St. Francis County Road 323 Friday afternoon. She said she was surrounded by about 10 dogs that dragged her behind a house, ripping off some of her clothes in the process.
“The first dog jumped up and it got me on the arm, and then they all just flocked,” she said.
— Luke Jones (@LukeJonesTV) March 14, 2019
The victim said there was no one else around as the attack was happening and that she was helpless to fight back as the pack tore at her flesh.
“I think I made it up one or two more times to get to my phone, and they kept dragging me back behind the trailer so they could eat me. I mean, they were literally eating me alive,” she said.
Her fate seemed sealed until a woman who happened to be driving by heard her screams and was able to scare the dogs away.
“I was in shock, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it,” said Ennis of her daughter’s injuries.
A WREG photographer had his own run-in with the dogs while working on this story. One of them snagged his jeans with its teeth, but didn’t pierce his skin as the others stood close and barked.
The St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office said deputies spoke with the dogs’ owners, but said there’s legally nothing they can do since it’s not illegal in St. Francis County to have unleashed dogs.
A family who identified themselves as the dogs’ owners told WREG they knew nothing about the attack and suggested it could have been coyotes.
The Sheriff’s Office cast doubt on that theory, but said the victim’s best recourse is civil action.
Research On Dog Bite Incidents
DogsBite.org says that “each day, about 1,000 U.S. citizens require emergency care treatment for serious dog bite injuries. Annually, about 9,500 citizens are hospitalized due to dog bite injuries.”
In a 13-year analysis, the website says that of 433 fatal dog attacks in the United States, pit bulls contributed to 66 percent, or 284 deaths.
Rottweilers, the second on the list, inflicted 10 percent of attacks that resulted in human death, the report says.
German shepherds accounted for 4.6 percent of fatal attacks.
Mixed-breed dogs accounted for 3.9 percent and the American bulldog was next at 3.5 percent, the report said.
The Mastiff and Bullmastiff accounted for 3.2 percent of deaths.
Last on the list were huskies, which accounted for 3 percent of fatal attacks.
The report compiled fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017, showing that 48 percent of the victims were children aged 9 or younger.
Karen Delise, research director for the National Canine Research Council and author of “The Pitbull Placebo,” has investigated hundreds of dog bite incidents.
She wrote in a now-taken down article: “My study of dog bite-related fatalities occurring over the past five decades has identified the poor ownership/management practices involved in the overwhelming majority of these incidents: owners obtaining dogs, and maintaining them as resident dogs outside of regular, positive human interaction, often for negative functions (i.e. guarding/protection, fighting, intimidation/status).”
Also contributing negative functions include “owners failing to humanely contain, control, and maintain their dogs (chained dogs, loose roaming dogs, cases of abuse/neglect); owners failing to knowledgably supervise interaction between children and dogs; and owners failing to spay or neuter dogs not used for competition, show, or in a responsible breeding program,” she added.