The Fayette Citizen-News Page

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Local boy survives attack by dog


Even a pounding shovel wouldn't get the massive dog off Mark Lynch's back.

But the 12-year-old survived a vicious attack last week when he went across the street to help a friend with his homework. Lynch, a seventh-grader at Rising Starr Middle School, has 14 puncture wounds from the bites and it took 50 stitches to sew part of his ear back together.

The dog, which weighed an estimated 100 to 125 pounds, was on a long chain when the attack occurred, according to animal control officer Terrie Thuman. The dog, now quarantined at the Fayette County Animal Shelter, will be watched for 10 days for any unusual signs which could indicate whether it has rabies.

Mark's mother, Sharon Lynch, is thankful he wasn't hurt worse. She's also thankful no one else was hurt, and thankful for good neighbors especially the man who wielded the shovel.

"That really got to us that he was willing to put himself in danger," Lynch said.

After the ordeal last Wednesday in the Creekview at Timberlake subdivision just south of Peachtree City, Mark told his mother what the attack felt like. He tried to stay still, a survival technique he had read about in case he was ever attacked by a bear.

"He told me he could feel a bite and then a shake, then another bite and a shake," Lynch recalled.

After Wing's shovel didn't faze the dog, another neighbor headed home to get a gun, Lynch said.

Lynch said several neighbors who saw the attack told her the dog stopped the attack once the "owner" hollered the dog's name. The woman had just gotten the two Akita dogs several days before with the intent of saving them from euthanasia, Lynch said.

Lynch said she wasn't angry about the incident and that the owner of the dogs is a "wonderful person, a loving person." But she also knows someone is responsible for the dog's actions, she said.

Mark is recovering well but will likely be out of school a few more days, Lynch said. His classmates have sent home cards and balloons urging him to get well soon, she added.

Mark didn't have to stay at the hospital overnight, Lynch said.

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