Mildred Catherine Vaughn

Mildred Catherine Vaughn

An elderly woman hospitalized after being bitten by dogs near her home in southeastern Wilkes County died Aug. 30 at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.

Mildred Catherine Vaughan, 89, had walked to her mailbox near her home on Mahaffey Lane on Aug. 21 when she was attacked by dogs that came from the property of someone living nearby, said Wilkes Animal Control Director Steve Rhoades.

Wilkes Emergency Medical Services was dispatched to the scene at 2:21 p.m. Aug 21. The 911 report received was that a neighbor’s dogs attacked the woman at a Union Grove address on Mahaffey Lane, leaving her with lacerations.

Vaughan was transported by AirCare helicopter to the hospital in Winston-Salem, where she was listed in critical condition.

Rhoades said Wilkes Animal Control impounded three dogs as a result of the incident and later euthanized them after they were determined to be dangerous dogs. He said one was a female pit bull and the other two were her offspring, not yet full-grown pit bull mixes.

The Wilkes Sheriff’s Office also responded to the incident and conducted an investigation.

As dictated under the Wilkes Animal Control Ordinance and state statutes, the animal control director or his designee determines if a dog is dangerous or potentially dangerous.

If a dog is found to be dangerous or potentially dangerous, the owner can appeal this decision to the Wilkes County Animal Control Committee. Rhoades said the owner of the three dog didn’t appeal when the dogs were determined to be dangerous.

Under the ordinance, all dogs found to be dangerous must be either euthanized or ownership of the dogs must be transferred to a qualified non-profit rehabilitation organization.

Mahaffey Lane is a dead-end, unpaved road less than a fourth of a mile long that intersects with Ridgeline Road at the Wilkes-Iredell county line.

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