Sanford mom mauled by dog talks about saving son during attack

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SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN)— A Sanford mother remains in the hospital Monday night after she says a dog attacked her young son, then attacked her when she tried to protect the child on Easter Sunday.

Tiffany Griffis says she took three of her four young children to visit her cousin when the dog next door forced its way out of a fence and attacked her 2-year-old son Cameron. 

“Me, being a mom, I tried to just like grab him and take him over my head and just run, and so the dog just came after me,” she explained, adding that the dog tore into her leg and wouldn’t let go even when her cousin tried to fight it off.

“She was hitting him with the tree cutters. It didn’t even faze him he acted like he didn’t even feel it,” she recalled. 

She and her son were flown to UNC Hospital while animal control officers came to remove the 2-year-old pit bull mix.

“We still don’t understand why the dog acted the way it did,” said Sgt. Ken Gilstrap with Lee County Sheriff’s Office Animal Control.

He added, “No charges are going to be filed. The owners of the dog have a what appears to be a professionally installed fence (and) had no knowledge the dog could escape this fence.”

The dog’s owner says he’s never been aggressive before and animal control officers say they’ve never had a complaint about him.

But due to the severity of the situation and because the owner does not feel comfortable having the dog back, he’ll be euthanized after he’s quarantined for 10 days. 

Minerva Hernandez, the dog’s owner, says her concern is not for her dog, but for Griffis and her son. “For the lady, I feel bad,” she said.

Griffis has been through surgery and will likely need more procedures and physical therapy, but she says she’s just thankful her children are safe.

 Cameron was able to go home after a day in the hospital. 

“If he would’ve taken on the bites that I got, he probably wouldn’t have made it,” she said. “It was horrible.”

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