Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Your help is needed... will you?
I am mortified at the lack of response and caring that a young female college student has received after a vicious and brutal dog attack on February 26th around 11 pm near her home on Clara Street in Gastonia.
Melissa Henderson age 26 in Gaston County was mauled near her own home by 2 dogs belonging to 2 different neighbors. The lack of response by the Animal control when the attack was reported is unacceptable. While Melissa was still at the hospital receiving care for the multiple severe wounds she received, the Gaston County Police were notified of the attack. The victim and her family while at the hospital expected an officer to meet them there to see the horrific wounds take pictures of the severity of the attack and take her statement. But, that is not what happened instead they were informed that they were to call the Gaston County Police the next day to have a report taken.
The attack occurred on Tuesday February 26th at approximately 11 pm. The Gaston County animal control were notified soon after. The owners let the dogs out themselves to roam free, even though the owners have a perfectly great fenced in back yard for the dogs to run. As the victim lay in the road screaming for help in front of her home and next to the dog owner’s homes, the owners did nothing to stop the vicious attack. Only after she was able to fight them off with the help of her own dog. Her dog was on a leash. Her dog jumped on top of her covering her face and upper torso. Had he not done so I truly believe she would be massively mangled all over or maybe even had been killed.
When the attack was over the owner called the dogs inside her home and closed the door. She was unconcerned if Melissa was injured or needed help. It took numerous calls to Animal control before they finally picked up the dogs 2 days after this horrific attack took place. They were more than sympathetic to the dogs’ owner since she was so distraught over having her dogs taken for 6 days. The animal control officer informed Melissa and her family that the dog owner cried when he took them away. I just wonder why she didn’t cry over the fact that her dogs took large chunks of muscle, flesh and skin off Melissa’s legs and “ate” they actually swallowed parts of her legs.
This was not just a scratch, a tooth mark or just a break in the skin these dogs “ate” baseball size pieces of flesh and muscles from her legs that can never be replaced. The dog owners do not want the dogs put down and will get them back in 6 days. Melissa on the other hand will not get back the missing flesh and muscles from her legs or the thoughts of fighting off 2 dogs to save her life and trauma she has endured due to this attack out of her mind in 6 days. Surgery can not repair the loss of flesh so there will not be any surgery to hide the massive disfiguring scars she will have on both legs the rest of her life. Just surgery and prayers that she will walk again and hopefully be able to walk normally. She has been putting herself through college for the past 6 years to be a RN and is close to finishing and graduation this semester.
As of today, These dogs have been seen roaming at nearby businesses in the area most days. There is also a school located close by and young children are within walking distance of these dogs back and forth from school and the local stores. We have been informed by the Animal Control officers that if there had been a previous attack by these dogs or if another attack occurs by these dogs then maybe something can be done about them.
The pictures of the wounds Melissa received due to these 2 dogs are extremely graphic and sickening to see. But, we feel they need to be seen in the hopes to prevent an attack by these same 2 dogs happening to someone else. The next person could be you or someone you know and love. It may be a small child or an elderly person that can not fight them off. It may not just be the loss of someone’s legs next time it might be the loss of someone’s life.
What will it take before something is done and why are the owners of these 2 dogs not more concerned about the life of a human being over the lives of their dogs. Why do they still want to have these dogs exposed to other individuals that they might maul or kill someone when these dogs decide to attack again? How can their owners even look at their pets the same way knowing that they just chewed off pieces of a young woman’s legs in a vicious attack and swallowed them. If they were my beloved dogs and they did this much damage to someone there would be no question of if I wanted them put down or not.
As much as I love animals I feel a person’s life and well being still out ranks that of an animal that attacks and mangles a person to this degree and that there should not have to be more than one mauling by a dog in order for something to be done about them and their owners. It should not matter the age of the victims that are attacked by dangerous dogs or how their owners feel about what they have done. What would you want done if it was your daughter regardless of her age or maybe if the victim was your mother, son, sister, brother, niece or just someone you know after seeing these pictures?
Please help us in our plea for something to done about these dogs before it happens again. Call your local congressmen, newspapers, television stations, Police departments, Animal Control department and ask why is something more not being done to protect your family from these dogs and their owners, ask why it was not in the news so you would be made aware of how dangerous they are and the severity of what happened to Melissa? Call anyone that can help Melissa make sure this does not happen again to her or someone else and help change the laws to protect people from dog owners like this.
The responsibility for these dogs’ actions should be the dog owner’s responsibility. Please look at these pictures and make the calls as an outraged community that this could happen to one of us and nothing be done to protect us now. Demand to know why nothing is being done about this attack and why this information was not given to you by them first for your protection. Don’t believe everything that was told to the animal control officer about the who the owners of the 2 dogs are. They lied and said that Scott’s girlfriend Monica owned both dogs to keep themselves out of trouble and to keep themselves from being held accountable financially.
the dogs “real” owners are
Richard Henderson 709 Clara Street Gastonia 704-923-2469 and his dog is “Cocoa” a pit/lab mix
the second dog owner is
Scott Henderson 708 Clara Street Gastonia
A small article appeared in the Gaston Gazette today on page 3A below are the gruesome and graphic pictures they didn’t print The gaping wounds and missing flesh before staples closed them.
Everyone please call the following agencies….
Animal Control 704-922-8677 or 704-922-8678
Gastonia Police Dept non-emergency 704-865-2323
Gaston Gazette 704-869-1750 – Daniel Jackson
WSOC western bureau 704-867-4513
If any one wished to check on her condition and progress or help in any way
please contact us.
Melissa Henderson and her family can be reached at 704-923-0924
via my friend Katie