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Woman airlifted after dog attack
Incident took place on Church Street
animal shelter

A Church Street woman was airlifted to Savannah on Wednesday after a vicious dog attack in her own yard.

Betty Lovett was transported by Air Evac to a Savannah hospital after a neighbor’s pit bulldog ripped “large chunks” of flesh from her body, according to responding emergency medical technicians at the scene, overheard on police radio.

Bulloch County Humane Enforcement Supervisor Joey Sanders said it was one of the most vicious cases he has seen.

Lovett, 57, was walking to a shed in her yard around 10:20 a.m. when the dog, owned by Anthony Ricardo Roberson, attacked.

One of seven pit bulldogs chained in an adjacent yard, the dog repeatedly bit Lovett, mainly in the leg area but with some injuries to her arms and other areas, according to reports from police radio. Responding EMS technicians, communicating with Bulloch County Central 911 operators, said she had “a good bit of body flesh missing” and her injuries were so severe, she needed to be transported by air to Augusta or Savannah. The EMT stated Lovett would likely require extensive surgery.

Sanders said an elderly lady nearby saved Lovett by “beating the dog off with a chair.”

While neither he nor Statesboro police could immediately provide the rescuer’s identity Wednesday, Sanders called the woman “heroic.”

“If not for her, the attack would probably have been fatal,” he said. “It was a very brave thing for her to do.”

Roberson, 30, of Church Street, “was very cooperative and very concerned for his neighbor” and immediately told officers “the dog has to go,” he said.

Sanders seized the dog, which Roberson willingly surrendered. It will be held for 10 days for observation, as it had no rabies vaccinations. Then, it will be destroyed, he said.

None of the seven pit bulldogs chained in Roberson’s yard had rabies vaccinations. Some of the dogs belong to another person, who also was cited. Roberson was cited for having a dangerous animal, several counts of no rabies vaccinations, and having a dog at large. He also was informed of breaking Statesboro code violations for having too many dogs on his property, Sanders said.

The dog had escaped its chain when a collar loosened, he said.

“A few more minutes and (the attack) would have been fatal,” Sanders said.


Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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