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Stonewall woman receives award for bravery in dog pack attack

Pontotoc County man attacked by a pack of dogs was saved by a passing motorist. Jennifer Sweet, of Stonewall, received an award for coming to the man's rescue.
BY ANN KELLEY Published: July 19, 2011

Daniel Murray was on the home stretch of his eight-mile morning run recently when a pack of angry dogs descended upon him and began chomping at his legs.

Murray said he would have been killed if he hadn't managed to jump on top of a car and ride out of danger when a passing motorist came to his rescue.

Murray, 47, is an avid runner. Every morning he runs eight miles as part of his marathon training. On July 8, he set out before the sun was up, pacing his strides along the side of the old highway that led out of his hometown into the country. He was on the last section back with only a half mile to go when the dogs made their first strike.

“They were coming at me like hungry piranhas, and I was dinner,” Murray said. “The harder I fought the more aggressive they got.”

Murray tried to ward them off with a small pocket knife, but the six dogs — ranging from medium to large — kept coming at him with all their weight behind their snapping, sharp teeth. He said the canines had him surrounded. Although blood oozed from the numerous wounds the dogs had made in his calves and thighs, Murray continued plugging along, covering five blocks while the dogs repeatedly lunged at him.

“I think once they smelled blood that was it,” he said. “I was sure if they knocked me down, I was a goner.”

At the time of the attack, Jennifer Sweet, 28, of Stonewall, was on her way home from dropping off her husband at work. Her toddler was in the back seat of the car when she drove up on the horrific scene — a man covered in blood surrounded by a pack of animals acting more like hungry wolves than domestic pets.

She honked her horn — again, and again, and again. The dogs weren't spooked and stayed focused on their prey as Sweet followed.

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