Sheriff issues warning to dog owners after Barrow County teen recovers from vicious dog attack

The image of Joslyn Stinchcomb scalped by dogs and covered with bite wounds only tells half the story of the vicious pit bull attack she suffered Friday.

"She's been in and out of induced comas, has a lot of damage to her spine and her throat and she's also got some plastic surgery issues as well. She's a fighter, but she's got a long road to recovery," said Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith, whose deputies responded to the gruesome scene Friday afternoon.

"She had grit and asphalt under her fingernails where she was pulling away from these dogs and they were pulling back at her," he said, speaking on behalf of the family.

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Sheriff Smith said the pit bulls escaped from a backdoor of their owner’s home and lunged at Joslyn as the 15 -year-old walked through her own neighborhood. A 911 call got deputies to the subdivision quickly. A deputy shot one of the dogs, the other dog ran to the owner's home --giving deputies and paramedics a chance to save Joslyn.

"We had the deputies drive the ambulance to the scene for life flight to pick her up. By the grace of God, she's here and that's specifically why she's here. Our deputies and EMTs worked tirelessly to try to get her there. They were working simultaneously," he said.

Joslyn's aunt, Charity Stinchcomb, told FOX 5's Portia Bruner the 15-year-old was looking forward to her freshman year at Winder-Barrow High School and was hoping to join the chorus and the marching band. The focus now shifts to recovering from several surgeries Joslyn will have to undergo. The family is hoping every dog owner will think of Joslyn's ordeal when they consider how they secure their own pets.

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"You're responsible for having that dog on a leash, in a home, in a pen with control of that dog at all times. If you don't and that dog attacks someone, you're responsible," said Sheriff Smith.

The Stinchcomb family has set up an account to help cover medical expenses by Joslyn’s grandparents. They also welcome greeting cards and notes of encouragement. The address: Joslyn at PO Box 1502, Winder, GA 30680.