Mt. Airy, NC Animal control officers save woman from near do

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Postby cheekymunkee » June 26th, 2008, 11:32 pm

Animal control officers save woman from near dog attack
Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 10:16 PM CDT
Thomas Smith

Staff Reporter

Nellie Johnson of Haystack Road had a bit of excitement Tuesday afternoon when she was almost attacked by an abandoned rottweiler at a rental home on McNichols School Road.

The home had recently been vacated, and Johnson was in the process of cleaning the house and its surrounding area, a task she has done previously for the building's owner, Garner Jarrell.

Johnson said she and Jarrell arrived at the house Monday and found the dog chained, with no identification, and a small amount of food. She said upon approach, the dog came after her and Jarrell in a vicious manner. Jarrell called Surry County Animal Control to report the incident and to have them remove the dog.

Tuesday, Johnson returned to the house to finish her work. While she was inside cleaning, animal control officers arrived to respond to the call. Johnson said the animal control officers, R.D. Bingman and Kenneth Johnson, pulled down into the yard near the rear of the house.

Johnson said the dog could not be found where it had been chained the previous day, so she began to walk around the back of the house to look.

“I went down to the building to see if it was there and there was nothing and the next thing I knew I heard it barking behind the house,” Nellie Johnson said. “I knew the dog bark was from yesterday so I went about halfway in the backyard and here it came, flying towards me and I ran. It was within two inches of my back legs.”

Johnson said she ran behind officer Bingman who held off the dog while instructing his partner to go to their truck and get the gun. Officer Kenneth Johnson then put the dog down.

“They did a fantastic job and I am proud of them,” Nellie Johnson said Tuesday afternoon. “They saved my life. Mr. Johnson and Mr. Bingman saved our lives. I don't think it was right, as mean as the dog was, for them (the home's tenants) to leave him there. I think it was a shame. I think they should have called animal control before they left and got rid of the dog.”

From her experiences Tuesday, Nellie Johnson said she thinks animal control officers would be better suited if they were allowed to carry firearms at all times, instead of being forced to return to the truck, when some circumstances might not allow the time.

“In my opinion, I think they need to have a gun on their side because if they would have stayed up at the upper part of the driveway I would have been dead or in the emergency room,” Johnson said. “We both were scared and I was shaking. He (Bingman) said the dog was within an inch and if he wouldn't have been there kicking him off of me he would have got me.”

The Animal Control officers could not be reached for comment.

Contact Thomas Smith at tsmith@... or 719-1930. ... ocal03.txt

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