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 akelley@opubco.com Published: July 19, 2011
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“I knew I was really in trouble when I saw the horrified look on her face,” Murray said. “She kept screaming ‘what should I do,' but I didn't know either.”

Murray said he knew the dogs would turn on Sweet if she tried to get out of the car to help him. He was afraid to get in the car, because he might not be quick enough to keep the snapping dogs out.

Finally, he climbed on top of the hood and they drove away, leaving the barking, growling dogs standing in the roadway.

Sweet awarded

Stonewall Police Chief Jason Teel said Sweet was honored with the police department's first citizen's award for her bravery and willingness to come to the aid of another.

Teel said the dogs were rounded up and have been quarantined to ensure they weren't infected with rabies. He said dog attacks are rare in his town, but outside city limits there is no animal control and dogs often roam freely.

“We felt like we needed to do something special to honor her,” Teel said. “It's not every day an average person steps up to do something heroic, especially when it puts their own well-being in danger.”

Teel said the dogs' owner agreed to pay Murray's medical expenses, and the costs of boarding the dogs and putting them to death.

Teel said Murray was fortunate Sweet came along. If he had fallen during the attack, his injuries could have been far worse. Murray said the dogs bit him seven times on his left leg alone.

Teel suggests runners arm themselves with spray device like mace or pepper spray, similar to what police use to subdue criminals.