Polk County boy attacked by pack of dogs near Rutherford County line

Published 4:54 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2023

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12-year-old hospitalized with injuries, undergoes multiple surgeries


SUNNY VIEW— On Saturday August 26, a 12-year-old boy was hospitalized after he was attacked by a pack of dogs on Grassy Knob Rd.

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Hunter Bishop, a seventh-grader at Polk County Middle School, was riding his bike to his friend’s house just across the Rutherford County line when the attack occurred, according to his mother, Amber Barnes. 

Barnes said she was looking for her son and found him as the attack was taking place. She said when she arrived at the scene, she found her son in a ditch, surrounded by nearly ten dogs.

Two people were able to pull the dogs off of Bishop long enough for Barnes to put her son in her vehicle and rush him to a nearby emergency room. It is unknown if the people who were able to pull the dogs away from Bishop were the owners. 

“They looked like they were starving,” said Barnes recalling the horrifying sight of the dogs that attacked her son. “The way I looked at it, they were eating my son.”

The victim, who is described as an active kid who enjoys fishing and playing sports, was airlifted to Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital where he has had at least four separate surgeries.  

Barnes says her son will remain in the  hospital for a few weeks and doesn’t know when he’ll be able to return to school

According to the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, three of the dogs were placed in quarantine but Barnes feels as if it is not enough to receive justice for her son and she fears that it may happen again sometime in the near future. 

“Putting some dogs into custody is not going to get justice for my son,” said Barnes. “They’re going to be out in ten days and somebody else is going to get hurt.”

A family member of the victim who requested to remain anonymous, said that the breed of dogs that were attacking Bishop were pitbulls.

“If you can’t take care of dogs, give them to someone who can make them, let them be raised right,” said Barnes, spreading an all important message to dog owners. 

Rutherford County Sheriff Aaron Ellenburg said an investigation has been launched and he states that once it is completed they will meet with the District Attorney’s Office to determine what, if any, charges apply to the owner(s) of the dogs. 

Rutherford County Animal Control did not return a request for comment as of press time.