86-year-old Hawthorne woman hospitalized after being mauled by 2 dogs

Terri lost a leg and an ear following the attack.
Terri lost a leg and an ear following the attack.(WCJB)
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 1:31 AM EDT
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HAWTHORNE, Fla. (WCJB) - An elderly military veteran from Hawthorne is fighting for her life after being attacked by two dogs.

Gertrude Bishop, 86, also known as Terri, lives near Sally Street in Hawthorne. On Friday morning, she witnessed the unexpected when she was grabbing groceries from the car.

Family members were notified by witnesses who live nearby, Kathleen and Larry Edwards. They told TV20 the dogs live across the street and managed to escape through the fence. The two dogs attacked Terri right outside of her home.

“It didn’t have to happen like this,” shared Terri’s son Wayne Thomas. “An 86-year-old woman who’s getting ready for her 87th birthday should be able to go to her yard, get some groceries from her car, and not worry about dogs roaming in the neighborhood and assaulting her and almost killing her.” Terri is an army veteran and family members said she will fight through recovery.

Larry Edwards was able to get the dogs off by using a metal chair. EMS crews treated Terri and took her to UF Health Shands. Residents who live nearby said it’s not the first time the two dogs roam in the neighborhood.

Edwards said one of the dogs is a pit mix. “I grabbed that chair and I hit one,” shared Edwards. “And he fell over and hollered and when I did that the other one, it took off.”

Thomas said his mother Terri suffered many injuries like a damaged trachea, loss of an ear, and several lacerations. Terri’s right leg was so severely damaged, it had to be amputated. Thomas also said his mother has undergone several surgeries and has more to come.

Putnam County Sheriff’s deputies are handling the case. Thomas said the owner of the dogs is under investigation. The two dogs were placed in quarantine for 7 days. Family members were told it was likely the dogs will be euthanized.

“We’re not happy because it was preventable,” shared Terri’s daughter, Angeline Bishop Thomas. “It’s going to take the family time to get to a certain place. We can be forgiving but we can still seek justice.”

Family members have started a GoFundMe to help ease medical expenses.

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