5 dogs attack mail carrier

A mail carrier met her worst nightmare Thursday when she was attacked by five dogs while delivering a package to former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield's property.

According to a U.S. Postal Service spokesperson, Mary Bolton, 32, was delivering mail at about 10:10 a.m. Thursday to 6397 Hudson Chapel Road in Catawba.

Catawba Fire Chief Don Robinson said Bolton could not fit a package into the mailbox, so she attempted to walk to the home when she was attacked by one dog. Robinson said four more dogs then approached Bolton and also attacked her.

Catawba Interim Police Chief M. Nash said Bolton was transported to Catawba Valley Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

"She left the scene in stable condition with several severe lacerations," Robinson said. "She had dog bites to all parts of her body."

The property is owned Mayfield, according to Catawba County's Real Estate website. Robinson said the owner claimed the dogs, but said he is giving them up for adoption.

The dogs are all a labrador and pit bull mix. Four of the five dogs are in the custody of Catawba County Animal Services. Animal Services Manager Jay Blatche said a trap was set on the property to capture the fifth dog.

"The dogs are in confinement," Blatche said, adding the dogs have to stay in solitude for 10 days because they bit a human. "The dogs do not appear to be up-to-date on rabies shots."

Blatche said, by law, owners are required to keep rabies tags on animals to show rabies shots are up-to-date. The four dogs captured had no tags or collars, so, as of Thursday afternoon, Blatche did not know if the dogs had received rabies shots recently. Nash also said he's in the process of gathering information from Mayfield concerning the dogs' shot records.

Blatche was not sure if the dogs were restrained and broke free or if they had "free reign of the property."

"It's a very large piece of property out there," Blatche said.

According to Catawba County's website, Mayfield's name is also listed on neighboring pieces of property at 6395, 6401 and 6403, all on Hudson Chapel Road.

Mayfield could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Bolton, who has been a mail carrier for about five years, was not listed as a patient at CVMC on Thursday afternoon.

Nash said charges in the case, as well as the outcome for the dogs, will be determined as the investigation continues.

Blatche said animal services had not responded to the property before Thursday's incident.

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