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Woman was trying to rescue dog when mauled

Posted October 3, 2012

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— A woman killed by a group of dogs in her back yard Tuesday afternoon was trying to rescue a dog that was under attack, authorities said Wednesday.

Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey said the woman, whom friends identified as Mary Jo Hunt, 54, tried to fend off the dogs with a rake when they began mauling her.

A neighbor who saw the attack called 911 around 12:30 p.m., but Hunt was dead when deputies arrived.

Friends say Hunt had recently moved into the house, at 17 Sharon Lane, with her sister and that the two took in abandoned dogs and cats for a group called Paws & Claws Inc.

Sealey said Hunt had let a small dog out into the back yard and that some bigger dogs began fighting with it. The smaller dog was also killed.

Nine dogs, which Sealey described as being mixed breeds, were seized from the home.

Bill Smith, director of the Robeson County Health Department, said seven of the animals were pit bulls.

County policy dictates that a dog that causes life-threatening injuries or kills a person is to be put down.

The pit bulls, he said, are candidates for euthanasia, Smith said, but the animal shelter is holding the animals until authorities complete their investigation.

Hunt had worked for about 15 years as a secretary for Hugh Rogers Law in Lumberton.

Rogers said she was a hard worker who adored animals. According to her obituary, she was the mother of three children.

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  • Damien Thorne Oct 5, 2012

    "The Robesonian said there were German Shepherds and what they thought were pit bull mixes. A pit bull mix was injured and another report says a pug was killed."

    "Bill Smith, director of the Health Department, said seven dogs that are at least part pit bull that attacked Hunt are being held at the Robeson County Animal Shelter. Two terriers and one pit bull that are believed to have been attacked by the other dogs are also at the shelter."

    Read more: The Robesonian - ‘An awful tragedy’

    No German Shepards. Please take the time to verify info from all sources, WRAL is prone to not telling the whole story.

  • Damien Thorne Oct 5, 2012

    "amyms, You watch too many movies, please do not label dobermans as vicious if you do not know the breed! I have had dobies for the last 30 years and none of them have been aggressive. What happened here is tragic for the lady and the dogs."----EIFAN

    I am afraid you misconstrued her post, she said nothing about Dobermans being aggressive. She wrote they only look that way and all statistics show a very low ratio of attacks. She also noted how great Dobermans are with children, not to mention the fact that she has a 95lb blue and tan that we consider our child.

    According to animal control that took these dogs there were 7 pit bulls and two smaller terriers. The terriers were attacked, one killed. There were no german shepards in this group.

  • EIFAN Oct 4, 2012

    amyms,
    You watch too many movies, please do not label dobermans as vicious if you do not know the breed! I have had dobies for the last 30 years and none of them have been aggressive. What happened here is tragic for the lady and the dogs.

  • warbirdlover Oct 4, 2012

    I live in the backwoods. Any strays can form dangerous packs. As Barney would say, Nip it in the bud! My nippers are a 22-250!

  • jecornett Oct 4, 2012

    The Robesonian said there were German Shepherds and what they thought were pit bull mixes. A pit bull mix was injured and another report says a pug was killed. This story has nothing to do with breeds of dogs. Any group of dogs in a pack will act differently than individually. It has to do with safely socializing a pack of bigger dogs with strange dogs and safely breaking up a dog fight. It's just a sad reminder that people need to be educated more on safely socializing dogs to other dogs and safely breaking up a dog fight.

  • Bewitched Oct 4, 2012

    "...I do hope she will be OK in time. - charmcclainlovesdogs2" - Read the article before jumping in to comment. As it plainly states, she was "dead when deputies arrived." So no, I don't think she will be "okay."

  • jecornett Oct 4, 2012

    To cmac4duke below, several German Shepherds were in the pack also. The point of this whole sad story is not the dogs that were involved but how to safely socialize any group of dogs and how to safely break up a dog fight of any larger type dog. Any pack of dogs (no discrimination please) will act differently than one dog and will redirect on a human if they get in the way or get too close. That's what carnivores do.

  • cmac4duke Oct 4, 2012

    A friend sent me this link....my son, and 2 other people, were attacked last month by pit bulls in Raleigh. I am so sorry this lady was trying to do a good thing and lost her life because of it. But these dogs have a pack mentality and having more than one is a prescription for disaster.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Oct 4, 2012

    Animal control should have been called instead of her trying to rescue the dog.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Oct 4, 2012

    Since she did not know how to handle the dogs, she should have called the county dog catcher. I do hope she will be OK in time.

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