By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
A Carnesville man says he wants a dog euthanized after it attacked his wife causing severe injuries.
It happened two weeks ago at a home at 10991 SR59 outside of Carnesville.
Ed Stanley said he, his wife Mary and their son went to the home to buy firewood, but when they got out of their vehicle, a female pit bull attacked his wife, biting her on the leg.
“We got out of the truck, my wife and I, I beeped the horn several times and out of nowhere this pit bull came running towards her,” Stanley said. “It grabbed her by the leg, tore her pants and turned her around. She was screaming.”
Her screams caught the attention of a neighbor who came out to help. Stanley said he and the neighbor tried to get the dog off his wife, but it wasn’t until his son shouted that the dog let go and ran.
“My son, who has cerebral palsy and walks with a cane shouted, ‘Stop! Halt! Release!’,” Stanley explained. “I’ve never been on that property. My son has never been on that property, but that dog released on command.”
Stanley called 911 and a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy and Franklin County Environmental Health manager Louis Korff came out to the property. Stanley said they told him the dog has attacked other people in the past.
“Another woman that works at the Wilco Truck Stop said she’s probably going to lose her job because of her injuries. She was attacked when she went there to get firewood. The son of a neighbor of his, who also sells firewood, was bitten by the dog,” he said. “Even the officer who took the report, officer Merck, said if my wife had hit the ground another dog who was there would have gotten her by the throat and killed her.”
Since that incident, Stanley says his wife continues to suffer from her injuries and is currently undergoing therapy with a wound care specialist in Toccoa. Stanley said the doctors there told her she was lucky to be alive because the bite would was deep and just missed an artery.
Franklin County Sheriff Stevie Thomas said the dog was put into quarantine for 10 days on a rabies hold, but then released. Stanley wants the dog taken from the owner, identified as Clyde Burtch, and put down because he says it is vicious.
Thomas said there is a Beware of Dog sign on the property, but he agreed the dog needs to stay penned.
“I did make the owner aware there were some other complaints about the dogs,” Thomas said. “The owner said he wasn’t aware of the other complaints because he doesn’t live there, it’s his dad’s house. I told him if he’s the owner of the dogs then it’s his responsibility to take care of them.”
Thomas said the elderly Burtch has Alzheimer’s and is not able to adequately care for the dogs. Stanley said there are about 18 Pit Bulls running lose on the property.
“The next door neighbor who came over to help us works the night shift. She told us she has to run to her car at night and slide in from the passenger side to keep from being attacked by the dogs. The dogs are running everywhere,” Stanley said.
Thomas said he has continued to follow up with the owner to make sure the dog is penned.
FranklinCounty has no formal animal control officer or leash law on the books, but is subject to the animal control ordinances under the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
Thomas said if the owner fails to keep his dogs penned, he can confiscate them.
“There are several things that can be done if he doesn’t comply,” Thomas said. “There is a vicious dog rule out there and we can take care of it that way.”
Stanley meantime, said he intends to continue pursuing efforts to have the dog destroyed.