Dog attack

A dog that attacked and killed a Davie County woman Monday had been declared a nuisance earlier this year, authorities said Tuesday.

Cathy Wheatcraft, 48, of Clark Road was mauled to death by the pit bill as she checked her mailbox about 7 p.m., said Chief Bobby West of the Cooleemee Police Department.

A second woman, Sheena Truesdale, 31, who also lives on Clark Road, was bitten several times by the dog when she tried help Wheatcraft, West said.

Wheatcraft was already on the ground when Truesdale saw her.

“When I got out here she was just laying on her stomach; she had her hands above her head and her shirt was pulled up,” Truesdale told WGHP/FOX8, the Journal’s news-gathering partner.

As Truesdale walked toward Wheatcraft, she told the dog to go home.

“I was like ‘Patch, go home,’ and he didn’t pay attention to me, he went on licking on the lady,” Truesdale said.

Then the dog charged at Truesdale.

“That’s when he caught my shoulder,” she said. “I fell. When I fell over here, that’s when he caught my leg and we were fighting.”

Truesdale managed to get into the backseat of a car, but was unable able to close the door before the dog bit her on the arm and tried to drag her from the car, West said.

Cooleemee police Sgt. Brent Cranford then arrived on the scene, West said.

Cranford shot the dog, and it stepped away from Truesdale, the sheriff’s office said. Cranford shot again, killing the dog.

Truesdale was taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, where she was treated and released.

Before Monday’s attack, the dog was in its owner’s house, but managed to get out through a window, West said.

Latisha Young, the dog’s owner, was not home at the time, the Davie County Sheriff’s Office said. The dog was declared a nuisance in May after it left Young’s property and got into a fight with another dog.

Young was charged with failure to have her dog vaccinated for rabies, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies are continuing their investigation of the fatal attack, the sheriff’s office said.

Sheriff Andy Stokes said a storm that rolled through the area might have riled the dog, causing it to get out the window.

Truesdale said Patch was a good dog and that she didn’t know why it attacked.

No charges have been filed in the incident.

“Something caused him to snap, they don’t know what it was,” Frances Tyson, Young’s mother, told the TV station. “I just pray that the Lord just touch each and every one that’s involved.”

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jhinton@wsjournal.com (336) 727-7299

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