Animal control says it's possible four dogs attacked an 83-year-old woman

Darlington County Animal Control officials say they initially thought three dogs attacked an 83-year-old woman, but now say it may have been four.

Two pit bulls were shot and killed by the woman's nephew. Animal Control has set traps in the neighborhood to catch the two that got away.

Corrine Hatchell, 83, continues to recover after the dogs mauled her last Tuesday outside her home on Quail Point Road near Hartsville.

Her relatives said she's had two surgeries so far and will need more surgeries on her eye.

An incident report says Hatchell was working in her yard when the animals attacked her.

Hatchell's nephew heard the dogs and ran to his aunt's aid. Deputies said he shot and killed the two pit bulls, but the other dog, a mixed breed similar to a husky, got away.

Hatchell's brother-in-law Paul Geise said his nephew had no other choice but to shoot the animals.

"Her shoe was laying in the yard and she picked it up and beat the dogs off of her. And they turned right around and tried to attack him. He ran across the road went in his house got a weapon and the dogs were in his backyard. And they ran around the house and he was able to shoot and kill two of them," said Paul Geise.

Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd said investigators have a pretty good idea who owned the dogs but aren't ready to make an arrest yet.

Geise said there are a lot of dogs that run wild in his community.

"I'm very disturbed that people are not well just concerned about their animals. And they just let them run loose a lot of places in the neighborhood," said Geise.

Darlington County has an ordinance that says it's unlawful for an owner to let a dog roam at will on the property of others after being warned that the dog has roamed on the property of the complainant. The ordinance says if the dog owner is found to be in violation, he or she may be charged.

An employee with the SC Department of Health And Environmental Control was viciously attacked by two pit bulls in Dillon County in February while investigating a dog biting incident involving the animals.

Deputies charged the owner of the dogs, Mitchell Driggers, with Animal Penalties for Owning Dangerous Animals and Attacking and Injuring a Human.

If you have any information on the dog attack near Hartsville you're asked to call the Darlington County Sheriff's Office at (843) 398-4501.