Two women have filed a lawsuit against Maconâ€™s All About Animals Rescue Inc., alleging they were mauled by a dog while volunteering at the no-kill shelter in 2015.
Shannon Archibald and Patricia Ogletree took Hooch, a pit bull, to an enclosed play yard to walk him on March 10, 2015.
During the walk, and without provocation from the volunteers, Hooch â€śviciously attacked and mauledâ€ť Archibald, according to the lawsuit, filed in Bibb County State Court on March 3.
When Ogletree tried to help Archibald, Hooch attacked and mauled her, dragging her to the ground, according to the suit.
Archibald and Ogletree allege All About Animals knew Hooch had previously attacked and bitten people, and that Hooch had â€śvicious and dangerous propensities,â€ť according to the suit.
Shelter director Mary Crawford declined comment Friday, saying she plans to retain a lawyer.
Sam Alderman, a Macon attorney representing Archibald and Ogletree, said the women thought â€ślong and hardâ€ť before suing a non-profit group whose work they strongly believe in.
â€śGiven the circumstances in this matter and the extent of their injuries, they had no choice,â€ť he said.
The lawsuit characterizes both womenâ€™s injuries â€” Archibaldâ€™s to her left thigh and Ogletreeâ€™s to her right arm â€” as â€śsevere.â€ť
The women contend the shelter was negligent in keeping vicious and dangerous animals such as Hooch on the premises and that it failed to inform them of Hoochâ€™s â€śvicious propensities,â€ť according to the suit.
They also argue the shelter failed to train and supervise volunteers in identifying and dealing with vicious animals and how to handle an animal attack, according to the suit.
Both women are seeking unspecified damages in an amount to be determined by a jury.
The lawsuit contends Ogletree has incurred nearly $33,000 in medical expenses and that she will incur further charges due to her injuries. Archibaldâ€™s medical bills total about $4,000.
Both women suffered permanent scarring, â€śgreat mental anguish and distress,â€ť physical pain and other harm, according to the lawsuit.
About a month after the attack, Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare successfully sought to declare Hooch vicious under a county ordinance that requires the owner of such a dog to register the animal and comply with additional requirements.
Crawford has kept the dog in compliance with the ordinance for about two years, said Macon-Bibb County spokesman Chris Floore.