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Brutal attack by ‘vicious’ dogs leads to charges against owner, South Carolina cops say

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 9/23/2021 Simone Jasper, The Charlotte Observer

The owner of three “vicious” dogs is charged after a life-threatening animal attack in South Carolina, officials said.

The dogs brutally mauled one person, who was rushed to a hospital with “major lacerations and flesh tears about the body,” the Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Deputies said the attack happened on a residential street in Kingstree, a town roughly 80 miles southeast of Columbia.

Now, officials have arrested 65-year-old John Earl Burgess in connection with the mauling. The sheriff’s office in a Facebook post didn’t list an attorney for Burgess, and deputies didn’t immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for additional information about the case on Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office said it responded on Aug. 24 to a reported animal attack. While investigating the case, deputies discovered “the dogs previously showed aggression on multiple occasions and were allowed to roam freely and not be confined which John Earl Burgess was aware of,” officials wrote in a Facebook post.

Burgess is charged with “owning a dangerous animal and allowing it to be unconfined, resulting in injury,” the sheriff’s office said. He was arrested Tuesday and brought to the Williamsburg County Detention Center.

Deputies in a Facebook post didn’t say what happened to the dogs involved in the attack. Officials also didn’t share the current condition of the person who was attacked, but said the injuries required “extended medical treatment.”

The case was still under investigation as of Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

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