Local News

Great Danes maul Cumberland woman

Posted March 20
Updated March 21

— A Cumberland County woman was at UNC Hospitals with life-threatening injuries Monday, a day after she was mauled by two Great Danes while jogging.

Monica Stephenson, 47, was jogging near her home on Sunnyfield Lane in Linden at about 6:30 p.m. when the two dogs owned by her neighbor, Scot Nesbitt, got loose, chased after her and attacked her, said John Lauby, director of Cumberland County Animal Control.

Great Danes are normally docile animals, Lauby said, except when they resort to pack behavior.

"Pack behavior is what the alpha dog wants to do, all the dogs in the pack do," he said. "The woman was running by – jogging, out for her health and her exercise – and the dogs saw something moving and running, and their reaction is to chase it. They caught it and they attacked it."

Stephenson's husband heard the attack and called 911. First responders from the Westarea Fire Department took her to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, and she was then airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Animal Control took custody of a male and a pregnant female Great Dane, and Lauby said the dogs were put down Monday afternoon because of the severity of the attack.

"When you own dogs, you need to be responsible enough to keep them at your home, keep them from doing this type of thing," he said.

Authorities said no criminal charges have been filed against Nesbitt.

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  • Kiara Babel Mar 21, 5:18 a.m.
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    Dog owners need to be held financially and criminally responsible for there animals, I have a friend who works in the service industry and he said dog owners favorite statement is " don't worry they won't bite" he as been bitten five time after that statement was made and once seriously enough to put him in the hospital.