Editor’s note — This story has been updated to correct how the dog was captured. We regret the error.
HEPHZIBAH, Ga. (WJBF) – The community is coming together to support a local veterinarian who was mauled by a dog at her clinic.
Support is pouring in for a local vet mauled by an aggressive dog being prepped for surgery. It happened last Thursday night at Springwood Veterinary Clinic on Old Waynesboro Road in Hephzibah. Staff members told NewsChannel 6 off camera that just as they got ready to sedate the dog, it became aggressive. They backed away, one technician taking cover in a shed out back and another atop a picnic table. But Dr. Emily Martin, the vet running the clinic, was attacked and badly injured.
“She’s going to be ok, but she’s going to have to have a lot of maybe rehab and different things. She’s got some nerve damage, which you know nerves take forever to heal back,” said Michael Cardenaz, who operates Zeus’ Crusaders and is currently raising money for Martin through that group to help as she recovers.
“Still have a business to run. You’ve got to pay your bills, you’ve got to pay your overhead, you’ve got to pay your employees and now she’s had this happen to her,” he said.
A witness told us the aggressive dog that mauled Dr. Martin was a pit bull. Burke County Animal Control says they are holding the dog for a total of ten days, the legal time required to ensure there are no diseases, such as rabies.
From prayers to stories, people shared posts about Dr. Martin on social media wishing her well. Cardenaz said it’s all because she has already done so much for others, including her work with Taka, a dog badly burned in a house fire several years ago.
Cardenaz added, “He’s gone to international fame. He’s a certified burn therapy dog. He’s got his own cartoon, got his own coloring book that’s distributed worldwide. That’s one of the success stories and Dr. Martin was involved in all that.”
A staffer at Springwood said Dr. Gradous, who sold the clinic to Dr. Martin last November, has been coming in to perform needed surgeries. They are referring other clients to Burke County Animal Hospital or Euchee Creek Vet Clinic in Grovetown. Animal control told NewsChannel 6 the dog’s ten days are up August 28 and a decision will be made then about what happens next since it attached someone.
To date to Dr. Martin’s cause through Zeus’ Crusaders, click here or see the information below:
Director of Burke County Animal Services, Chaddrick Parrish, gave us an update on September 6, regarding the status of the dog.
Parrish says the dog is still in custody at Burke County Animal Services and is being cared for until the case is brought before the County Magistrate court. Precautions are being taken around the dog, but they state that it’s comfortable and being properly cared for.
There will be a hearing later in September to determine if the dog will be classified as ‘Vicious’ under the Georgia Responsible Dog Ownership article.
If deemed ‘vicious’, the owner will be given the option to take the dog home or sign it over to Animal Services. If they choose to take the dog home, Animal Services and the Sheriff’s Office will be informed that a ‘vicious animal’ is living in their community.
Animal Services and the Sheriff’s Office will contact the owner to make sure any local ordinances or state requirements are being followed.
“From the information that we gathered from Springwood Veterinary staff, the dog was being treated by Dr. Martin for issues with his eyes. It’s hard for me to say that the issues with his eyes, triggered him to bite/attack Dr. Martin,” says Parrish.