MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man was killed and a woman badly injured by a pack of dogs in two separate attacks in West Memphis, Arkansas.
West Memphis police said around 1 a.m. on Nov. 8, officers found a man in a ditch who told them he’d been attacked by a pack of dogs as he walked past a house in the 100 block of 19th Street.
“He said five dogs were on him for twenty minutes, and nobody would help him.” said the victim’s fiance Emma Willis.
Police said Sam Sullivan had multiple bite marks on his arms and legs and was taken to Baptist Crittenden. An officer saw several dogs outside, and the report states that animal control would follow up with the owner the next day.
A notation added to the police report on Nov. 21 states that the victim died that day from complications related to the attack, according to the county coroner.
Willis said Sullivan was transferred to the Regional One Trauma Center. She said he had bit wounds from his head down to his feet and underwent at least three surgeries.
“It was like someone skinned him,” Willis said. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
In another incident on Nov. 16, also around 1 a.m. near the same address, officers were alerted by a neighbor after a woman was attacked by a pack of dogs while riding her bicycle.
A neighbor on 19th Street, who did not want to be identified, said he saw the victim on the ground near a house flashing her phone and realized she was being attacked by three dogs.
“I hit my high beams on her, and they were still on her, and I had to yell and yell until I couldn’t yell anymore. They got off her and started running.”
Officers said the woman had severe injuries to her ankle, with portions missing and bite marks on her arm. The woman, who was barely able to answer officers’ questions, was also taken to the Regional Medical Center.
“Animal control was contacted but did not come to the scene at this time,” the report states.
West Memphis Police said 10 dogs, including several puppies, were voluntarily given up by their owner at the home Tuesday.
Willis said she couldn’t understand why the dogs weren’t picked up by animal control after the first attack.
“Why didn’t police take those dogs away,” said Willis.
We contacted the City of West Memphis to find out why animal control did not seize the dogs after Sullivan was attacked. They sent us the following statement:
We are heartbroken to learn that one victim has died and another was injured from apparent recent dog attacks. Our deepest sympathies go out to the grieving family and the wounded.
Currently, the case is still an active investigation with collaboration between the West Memphis Animal Control and the West Memphis Police Department.
City officials also wanted to use this tragic incident to remind residents that responsible pet ownership in these situations could have saved a life and injury.
We also urge residents to call Animal Control Services at 870-732-7599 if they see threatening or wandering animals in their neighborhoods.The City of West Memphis
Neighbors said they are just glad the dogs are gone.
“I was fixing to put up some signs that said deadly dogs in the neighborhood,” said the man who rescued the female victim.
No word on the woman’s condition. Police have not said if the owner of the dogs is facing any charges.
WREG is working to learn more about this story.