According to Cumberland County Animal Control Director Dr. John A. Lauby, Monica Stephenson was jogging on Sunnyfield Lane near Linden between 5 and 6 p.m. Sunday when the attack occurred. Dr. Lauby described the attack as “very savage.”
According to Dr. Lauby, Ms. Stephenson was familiar with the dogs and had played with them in the past. The owner of the dogs is Scott Nesbitt.
The dogs, named Nora and Olaf, got out of their owner’s fenced-in yard prior to the attack on Ms. Stephenson.
“Once they left the property they reverted to their pack-like behavior,” Dr. Lauby said. “They chase things down and attack.”
A neighbor heard Ms. Stephenson screaming and helped get the dogs off her.
Both of the dogs were surrendered to animal control officials and were euthanized.
Dr. Lauby said because leash laws were violated, an investigation will continue, but he said the owners are apologetic.
Ms. Stephenson was first taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and was then transported to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. According to UNC Hospitals spokesperson Tom Hughes, Ms. Stephenson remained in critical condition as of Monday afternoon.
Mr. Hughes could not release specifics on Ms. Stephenson’s injuries. Dr. Lauby also said he could not comment on the extent of Ms. Stephenson’s injuries.
The Fayetteville Observer reported that said one of the bites on the victim’s neck separated a cervical vertebrae from the spine.
According to Dr. Lauby, Great Dane attacks are not common.
“It happens, but it is not one of the breeds you usually see in an attack like this,” Dr. Lauby said.
(The Daily Record - March 21, 2017)