The gruesome case of a South Carolina woman “eaten” by her own dogs took an unexpected turn Friday, when the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office said the frantic 911 call was transferred to animal control rather than emergency medical services.
A press release posted Friday afternoon on Facebook said the two “communications specialists” who handled the call were being disciplined for violating multiple department rules involving assisting first responders and handling animal nuisance calls.
The two, who have worked for the department a decade, are receiving a three-day suspension, the sheriff’s office said. Their names were not revealed.
“After hearing the recording of the 911 call, an internal investigation was initiated due to a concern that the dispatchers violated communications policy by transferring the caller to animal control rather than to EMS,” the release said.
The victim, Nancy Cherryl Burgess-Dismuke, 52, eventually got the ambulance she needed, but went into cardiac arrest at the hospital, Greenville County Coroner Kent Dill told the Washington Post.
The case made national headlines, due to the brutality of the attack and the fact that the dogs belonged to the victim.
A neighbor, Amber Greer, told the Greenville News that she was the first to call 911, after realizing the dogs were “eating her alive.”
Neighbor Denzel Whiteside said the dogs chewed off one of Burgess-Dismuke’s arms and “the other arm was barely hanging on by a piece of meat,” the newspaper reported.
Investigators said in a press release that the attack happened about 1 p.m. on Feb. 21 and Burgess-Dismuke died “following a brutal attack by two of her dogs.”
She had been “wrestling with her dogs” in the front yard of her home at 18 Yale Street in Greenville, when “they turned on her and became aggressive,” investigators said.
“When deputies arrived on scene, they discovered a neighbor was able to get the lady to safety and away from the dogs and observed an adult female suffering from severe injuries,” said the release.
“The deputies applied tourniquets to the victim’s arm in an attempt to stop the bleeding before she was transported to the hospital by EMS.”
A coroner’s report said she “received multiple extremely severe dog bites to her upper extremities resulting in a large volume of blood loss.”
Investigators described the dogs as a boxer mix.