Mary Katherine Carroll

Mary Katherine Carroll lies in a bed at DeKalb Regional Medical Center, recovering from an attack from five pit bulls while jogging in 2012 in a Rainsville neighborhood.

Mary Katherine Carroll has always been an animal lover, especially of dogs. She grew up around dogs and always had dogs growing up.

She even got her bachelor’s degree in animal sciences.

It was the very animals she loved that would cause her the greatest pain she’s experienced in her life.

Carroll was out jogging at night recently when she noticed a pit bull coming toward her.

She yelled at the dog to go home.

“I’m familiar with dogs and usually, if you speak to them in an authoritative voice, they’ll go on,” Carroll said.

The dogs didn’t go away.

One of the dogs bit Carroll on the back of her leg, and then, four other dogs jumped her.

Carroll was able to stay upright and was trying to make her way to a front porch, so she could get help.

“I remembered I had my phone, and I tried to make a call, but before I could, one of the dogs jumped up and bit my bicep and pulled me to the ground,” Carroll said.

She was able to get back up, all the while the dogs were biting and tearing the flesh and muscle on her legs, groin and arms.

Carroll said a lady familiar with the animals emerged and began to yell at them.

She told Carroll to put her arms around her neck, and the lady put her arms around Carroll’s waist to hold her up.

It wasn’t until a man in a pickup truck stopped, got out and asked what was going on that the dogs ran away.

“The lady put me in her car, brought me to DeKalb Regional Medical Center and stayed with me until my husband, Jayson, got here,” Carroll said.

Once at the hospital, Carroll underwent about five hours of surgery to sew tissue, muscle and skin back together. When she arrived, both of her calf muscles and her left bicep were hanging from her body, and she had suffered lacerations all over her arms, legs and groin,

All together, she had about 100 centimeters of lacerations, with several of them being all the way down to the bone. Several of the wounds were mere centimeters away from major arteries.

“I’m so fortunate to be alive,” Carroll said. “The doctor told me he could stick his fingers all the way to the bone in the wound on my bicep and could feel my brachial heartbeat. If the dog had severed either my brachial artery or my femoral artery, I probably would’ve bled to death.

“I thank God for watching over me. I’m truly blessed to be alive. I’ve had two children, and this was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. I could’ve lost my job over this, because I’m, as a nurse, I’m not going to be able to work for a while, but everyone at Highlands Medical Center has been so great in making sure my job is secure. I’m so thankful to them. I also thank all of my friends and family who have been praying for me.”

Now, she is pushing for cities to adopt leash laws.

“Cities need laws,” Carroll said. “If this had happened to a child, the child would be dead. I’m an animal lover, but it’s taken this for me to realize that the rights of my dog are less than the rights of my neighbors.

“People need to be held accountable on a criminal level if they have animals running lose. Dogs should never be loose, and they shouldn’t be allowed in packs, especially male dogs. Dog packs can be very dangerous. It’s important that people be responsible pet owners.”

Her daughter, Katie, read a letter aloud to the Rainsville City Council on Monday urging them to adopt a leash law.

“I’m worried for the citizens of this city,” her letter said. “Owners should have consequences.”

Carroll said she intends to take her concerns to the state level and make it a requirement statewide that owners have greater responsibilities when it comes to animals.

The owner of the pit bulls, Steven Nance, was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. The dogs were sent to Auburn University for rabies testing.

(14) comments


Where did this happen?


Pit Bull explains the problem immediately! Owner's of these dog's will defend their nature by saying their dog is an excpeption and the reputation is blown out of proportion. How do the owner's explain and defend these dog's nature in the courts? Better find a good insurance agent. These pit bull's aren't like any other bulldog!


young lady find a good lawyer.if u and a few more people who have suffered thru this will take the owners of these dogs to court and then take their houses,we won't have to worry about politicians not doing their jobs! put em on a leash and build a fence or prepare for bankruptcy! the bs misdemeanor criminal fines and charges will not deter em but a good civil suit will!


T oblame the breed itself is ignorant. statistics show that the APBT is less aggressive then MANY other dog breeds. I will not defend by saying that MY dogs are an exception, because the breed itself is not to blame. The owners who do not socialize their dogs properly. Who do not keep them in control. Who abuse ro neglect or both-are the ones to blame. The owner needs sued, and jailed in my opinion. It is a shame that people STILL blame the breed. In the 70s it was the Doberman. 80s it was the Rottweiler. 90s the Chow-NOT fair!The breed was used in the days of dogmen for fighting WITH OTHER PITBULLS NEVER EVER was they bred for human aggressiveness-EVER! So get that straight immediatly. They are known as "nanny dogs" for guarding children...They were the FIRST American Military service dog and to this day the most successful. Petey from Little Rascals was a pitbull. So was Betty Boops dog. Helen Keller had an APBT as a service dog......I could go on forever, if anyone wants to debate the breed feel free to contact me but do NOT spew misinformation that you do not know about! Educate do not discriminate!!!


I invite anybody here, pro or con to the American Pitbull Terrier to visit, register and ask as many questions as you can think of. The site is for DOG lovers-not any specific breed, but dogs in general. Read, search, lurk, inform yourselves on real information. be surprised on what you will learn and find out. It is a friendly site, and newcomers are always welcome. Listen to the FACTS before making a decision on discrimination.


A further article states that these were NOT pit bulls

They were untrained, intact, uncontroled Bull Mastifs. Mastifs are another breed that is generally not violent. The above article implies that the animals were all but left to run wild.


Wooooowww, so Pit bulls are the problem huh? Good to hear since this wasn't a pit attack. Oooh a dog bit someone it had to be a pitty huh.
Second of all, yes the dogs were off the leash and running loose I will give that. But the dog hadn't done anything yet and she started yelling at it. A big male bullmastiff, which she thought was a pit, and she starts screaming at it while she is running. The darn dog should have bitten her leg completely off. She claims to be an animal lover and know dogs, then she should have known how stupid it would have been to scream at a dog while you are running either towards it or away from it. So many mishaps here on everyone's part led to the death of these animals.


"Pit Bull explains the problem immediately! Owner's of these dog's will defend their nature by saying their dog is an excpeption and the reputation is blown out of proportion. How do the owner's explain and defend these dog's nature in the courts? Better find a good insurance agent. These pit bull's aren't like any other bulldog"

Close minded people like you are the reason pits have a bad rap. A good pit is not an "exception to the rule." pits are wonderful dogs.
Tell you what, you are such an expert Rev1 -----
Go pick out the pitbull, and no cheating.


You can't blame the type of dogs that attacked her because when I was 9 years old, a black lab attacked me. The doctor said it was out to kill, one more bite and it would've got my lower stomach killing me. If it wasn't for our pit bulls and terriers (which were pups) jumping on my back getting the dog off of me. They saved my life. It's not the type of dog but how they are raised. When we went to court, Alabama even had a one free bite law, the people just had to pay $75 a month for just a couple years. The dog got gave to another family in Stevenson. The animals can't help how people treat or raise them. Any breed of dog can turn.


First, the term "Nanny Dogs" was used by the Staffordshire Bull Terrier-called the Nursemaids Dog-for the same reason the pit people use it. To try to improve the image of a dog with a fighting history. NO responsible dog group would use the term as it would appear to JPQ that the dogs in that group are good with kids and give a false sense of security. NO other group is as tolerant and finds as many excuses for aggression-be it towards humans or other animals. Any loose Pit needs to be taken out-doesn't matter who's responsible. We will not allow your choice of dogs to attack/maim and kill people and other pets.


What ever the case no one deserves injuries like this. I am glad the dogs do not belong to me because I would hate to know my "pet" could do this kind of harm to a human being.


As a very active volunteer with a bully breed specific rescue, I understand that everyone has their own feelings and I will not push my thoughts or experiences on anyone. I do want to say that I applaud this woman for not just immediately saying the dogs should be banned or killed.

DNA tests should be done on the dogs to be certain of their breed so that inaccurate information is not being circulated.

Gremlin, you make very valid points. Yes, I am a member of a bully breed rescue, but human aggression is never tolerated within our rescue. Not one single breed of dog should be allowed to show aggression towards a human because yes, one day a child could be killed. I am responsible for answering daily emails from people and I tell at least 3 people a week that we will not take their dog into our rescue because of human aggressive behavior. Not only do I tell these people no we will not take their dog, but I basically tell them that their dog should be humanely euthanized and that they failed that dog that they say they love so much.


I am very happy that this woman realized that there shouldn't be a automatic 'kill' on these dogs, no matter the breed. Any breed can bite. Any breed can attack someone. I also work at a vet and the only time I have ever been bitten was from a dauschound. Pitts get the reputation they have from bad owners. The breed itself is not mean. I have a Pitt. I also have a lab mix and 3 cats. They all get along wonderfully. In fact, my pitt is afraid of one of our cats. Before anyone trashes any breed of dog, they should actually be around that type. And for those that automatically jumped to it being a pitt, I guess you see now that you were wrong. It was actually Mastiffs. Who are generally a good breed.


lizzylou you should be ashamed of your hateful comment,it was not her fault she was attacked ,and you should be more considerate and understanding of the facts associated with this incident.And i will say the owner should be held responsible,for these dogs actions,i for 1 know all dogs can inflict severe harm,but these dogs 1-were not properly trained 2-were runing at large in a pack 3-have had a history of aggression 4-several complaints were made,but nothing was done,the city couldn't do anything because it was just across the road from city limits 4-other people have had these dogs to attempt to attack them 5-the irresponsible owner had to have known these dogs were aggresive and did nothing,the list goes on ,the only thing i can say is i wish he had been attacked by his own dogs,this would have changed his idea of how to raise a dog.I have been a pit owner for many years and have not had one issue with any of them,i do not incourage any type of aggresive behavior ,and would not raise any other breed any different than my pit,the problem is way too many people own pits that should not be allowed to own any dog ,this is why they have their bad reputation until all dog owners unite and push for stronger laws against irresponsible owners these incidents will continue to happen,this incident should be proof that not dogs but owners of them are the main problem,since bullmastiffs rarely ever attack,goggle border collie mauls and you will see alot of issues with them ,the news never mentions,and all you pit haters need to STUDY the facts and unite with us for the push more more laws strictly punishing the owners.Not 1 pit dedicated website goes against this idea ,so we are either completely retarded ,or have extreme confidence in our breed,there is a reason pits have earned 34 out of 61 ukc superdog rewards against all other breeds combined.responsible pitbull owners and irresponsible alike know this reason,this breed will be whatever his owner wants him to be ,at the fullest of his ability.

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