BARNWELL, S.C. (WJBF) — A woman is hospitalized following a dog attack in Barnwell. “Let go of me, let me go to work. I gotta go to work. I gotta live for my kids. You know, like they kept coming, kept coming,” Rose Hartzog told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk about her thoughts during the incident.
The mother of five has lived in Barnwell for about 20 years. She was attacked by several dogs while walking near her home on Country Park Manor. “This one particular dog, he went at me. Then it was five of them,” she recalled.
A good Samaritan helped to fight off the animals. “She saw me on the ground. I was still hollering, hollering. And then she came, and she got him off me. Then it got on her,” she said. The 74-year-old was later taken to the hospital in a private vehicle. “I had to run to the house to get my son to get him off of her and that was harsh. I never wanna live that life again,” she remembered. “She’s been having this problem for a while, and she comes to work and talks about it, but I don’t think she thought it would get this far,” Sub-way employee Tracy Grubbs said.
Surveillance video captured the first responders’ response to the incident. “I thought when I heard the screaming and ran back there, I thought, well, there’s a lady back here scared of those dogs. That wasn’t it at all; she feared for her life. Those dogs were vicious,” local business owner Randy Reece said.
The incident report shows this isn’t the first time dogs have gotten loose and roamed around the area. “The following morning, an older couple walked every morning as if it was a normal day. They were walking up on the street beside the store when the dogs started coming toward them,” Bi-Rite employee Brittany Lawson recalled. “One of my fellow customers decided to take action, and he put his truck between him and the dog or them and the dogs,” she added.
Subway in Barnwell is collecting donations to help Hartzog after working at the store for several years.”We’re gonna use the fundraiser to help her with her bills if she needs medicine because she doesn’t have any kind of medical insurance. Everything is gonna have to come out of her pocket. So any help she can get to be really appreciated,” Grubbs said. “I’m always at work seven days of a week. I’m always at work whenever [my manager] need me. I was there.” Hartzog said. “I miss my girls. I miss my girls. I miss my girls,” she added.
Nearly 20 dogs were rescued from a home on Country Park Manor due to neglect and abandonment. At a judge’s request, they will be held until a trial is set.
According to a city ordinance, the same dog must have three nuisance citations for dogs to be removed from a home. If the dog is found to be a public nuisance, the owner will be contacted and given ten days to remove the dog from city limits or surrender it to animal control. When a dog is surrendered, it goes to the animal shelter and cannot be adopted by anyone in the city. It is not stated in any statute what will happen if owners don’t respond and their animals are seized. The recent incident involving Hartzog makes five incidents authorities have responded to in that area. It’s unclear if the dogs that attacked her are the same ones from other incidents.
The owner of the dogs, Angela Marie Ray, is facing several charges. “We have kids and children, schools, elderly, normal people just walking around. And I mean, you don’t want something like this to happen to one of them,” Lawson added.
Hartzog is now recovering in a South Carolina hospital. She’s been in a four-hour surgery so far. “I had to go in there and get both of my kneecaps washed out and got stitched up where they broke the skin on my foot and my hand. I got scratches on my face,” she said.
Thursday made day two of physical therapy. “I can’t give up, I have to keep reaching for higher and higher,” she said.