Melanie Catley, 70-years old, died of her injuries after being attacked by two chained dogs.
Woman Dies of Injuries
Hampstead, NC – A 70-year old woman has died after being attacked by her neighbor’s two chained dogs. On December 8, at about 2:05 pm, a 911 call was placed by the property owner at 206 Holiday Drive about a woman on the ground in his backyard. According to officials, Melanie Catley had entered into the neighbor’s backyard when the dogs attacked her. She sustained severe injuries and was taken to a hospital in critical condition, where she died several days later.
Multiple units responded to the scene, including Pender County Sheriff’s deputies, Pender County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control Unit and EMS. No criminal investigation was undertaken because the dogs were restrained on the owner’s property when they attacked her. Both dogs were surrendered by their owner to authorities and were euthanized. The breed of dog information was not released, but a person living at the home had a litter of pit bull-lab puppies in early 2021.
It’s uncommon for adults to be killed by chained dogs; children are most often the victims. In January, two chained dogs attacked 56-year old Saad Al-Anazi in Las Cruces. The owner believed that one of the dogs had jumped over the fence and was left hanging on the other side, choking. Al-Anazi may have been trying to free the dog, only to have the dogs attack him. Of the 42 people killed by chained dogs since 2005, only 7 were adults, 17%, and each were ≥ 50 years old.
Breed Information Released
In February of 2023, we obtained the sex and breed information of both dogs involved through a FOIA: “Sonic,” a male 8-year old Labrador-pit bull mix and “Tiny,” a male 5-year old pit bull. The owner’s husband returned from work and found the victim in the circle with the chained dogs, police said. She sustained bites “all over” her body and died three days later. Two previous animal control complaints had been made about the owners not having adequate shelter for their dogs.
07/08/22: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Pit Bulls She was Dog Sitting in Greensboro
02/08/22: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Man Dies After Attack by Two Chained German Shepherds...
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.
The carnage never stops. I cannot help but wonder why a woman would have gone close to chained dogs. Was she giving out treats? Was the yard fenced? If not, it’s very easy to understand why she was in the yard. Most of us should recognize the danger of chained dogs. Of course, if the dogs were in dog houses, it would be easy to understand how they were able to dash out and attack her.
I finally got to read the application with UKC to change a pitbull into a bully. One has to send $30 with paperwork requesting the change. Thus, if a law allows the presence of bullies but not pitbulls, the registration can be changed so the pitbull is accepted. Dogs cannot be registered as pitbulls once they have been reregistered as bullies.
The dogs were either pitbull or rottweiler.she probably went in the yard to pet the dog or she was suffering from alzheimer she thought she was a family member house.I don’t know but its sad she lost her life because the government refused to do anything with dangerous pitbull or any other dangerous dogs.
If two dogs were chained, both dogs could not have attacked at the same time unless they were chained closely to one another.
I can still remember when an acquaintance (murderer) told me to stay back from a small female pitbull from fighting lines that was chained. I guess she didn’t want to have to call authorities. These are
very dangerous dogs, and we cannot expect authorities to go door-to-door looking for them.
This one is a dog cult worshipper’s dream, they can fully blame the victim for walking into the dogs space, fully ignoring the fact that the lady was a neighbour and the dogs should have recognised her scent, at the very least.. dogs are known to bite the hand that feeds them..
I’m sure this one will be written off as “Fido and Rover were doing their jobs! They were defending their territory!”
As if we have a right to unlimited violence in our own space. This was NOT a legit self defense scenario. Was she brandishing a grenade launcher? I seriously doubt that.
If the owner had used ANY other means to kill this woman, he would be facing manslaughter charges at least.
This seems to me a crucially important and often overlooked point. Violent dogs are being used to violently assault human beings — but without requiring the same level of responsibility expected of the owner of a gun. Perversely, there is a limited expectation of real responsibility because the dog, unlike a gun, can “go off” completely on its own without any immediate, direct control by the owner. This is insane. You have to hold the owner responsible for resorting to uncontrolled violence in the first place.
“The dogs are being quarantined at the Pender County Animal Shelter for ten days.”
I bet shelter workers are spooning with them right now.
Centrist, you’re speaking a truth that is often missing from these discussions. Thank you for bringing it up.
Is it possible the woman was visually impaired? There is a reason why she got killed. I personally was blind enough that I could have done exactly what she did. Modern medicine fixed my eyes.
Rachel, so glad to hear this!
There’s any number of reasons why this poor soul was on the property. The dogs may have been friendly earlier so she fed them treats until they “went pit”, she could have wandered over in error since they were chained so there was little/no fence, she could have been trying to retrieve her cat or little dog etc etc.
I will say one thing. The owners seem to have voluntarily handed over the dogs for euthanasia and that’s not the standard action we generally see around here from pitbull owners. You can bet the pit cultists will tear them apart for that.
That said, the owners still bear the responsibility for what happened. You can’t just stick a land mine on your property then pray that pets or people don’t wander over it by accident when you aren’t there to stop them.
For the rest, I’ll wait until we hear more news.
Off topic but: Did anyone see the article about the electric worker attacked by 5 pit bulls from a neighboring house?
Didn’t see that one.
But, the other day, I saw an animal control truck outside a neighbor’s house. Said neighbor has at least one pit bull that has gotten out and attacked passersby. Three times, in fact.
Methinks the animal control officer was out on a call relating to the gas line work down the street. Someone on the crew was probably threatened by the pits, and our local gas company takes such things seriously.
Christy, I saw that too. Initially glad to read this: The owner of the dogs, David Nicholas Smith, put the four remaining dogs down himself. But then I speculated as to whether that would be verified. Because any of the pit bulls could be transferred to a relative/friend until Animal Control has completed its investigation.
It blows my mind that in many areas dog attacks on private property are not investigated.
Can you kill someone any other way and NOT have it get investigated?
Can you imagine a police press conference saying “John Doe went to 123 fake street to visit his friend. They had a few drinks, his friend became agitated and shot Mr. Doe 6 times in the back with a 12 gauge shot gun. Since the incident happened on private property, there will be no further investigation.”
Booby traps are illegal, unless they are of the canine variety. Then they are fine.
I am sad to see chaining up of dogs being made illegal in many places.
At least the old time dog men kept their maulers anchored down with log chain and a truck axle anchored in concrete.
If you stayed off of the bite of the chain (literally) you were safe. Now maulers are allowed to roam free.
Here in Tucson, the Rillito Park farmer’s market just BANNED dogs. The ban goes into effect on January 1, 2023, and there are BIG signs with BIG letters announcing this ban. Gotta make it easy for those entitled dog owners to read, doncha know.
Why the ban? Because the dogs have been stealing vendor food and making messes all over the market, including on vendor displays.
The Heirloom Farmers Markets website (sorry, I am unable to post the link here) doesn’t mention dog attacks, but I’ll bet they have happened. I’ve witnessed a few near attacks while I’ve shopped at this market.
As for me, I’m not going back to the Rillito Park market until after the ban takes effect.
Babies have large heads in proportion to body size so they are easy for large dogs to grab..
The baby would try to scream which would intensify the dog’s prey drive. How sad parents can be so stupid.
This post has been updated to reflect that we obtained the breeds of dogs involved through a FOIA.