Elderly Hawthorne woman attacked by dogs speaks out

86-year-old Gertrude Bishop says doesn’t have ‘animosity’ against the owner

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office is advising the State Attorney’s Office to charge the owner of dogs that attacked an 86-year-old woman three weeks ago.

News4JAX learned that the PCSO turned over its findings from the investigation to the State Attorney’s Office, advising the office to charge the dogs’ owner with a second-degree misdemeanor for reckless disregard.

Gertrude Bishop is still recovering at UF Health Shands in Gainesville from having her leg amputated after she was mauled at her home in Hawthorne. She said she went to her car to bring in some water and the next thing she knew the dogs jumped on her.

“They dragged me all over the place and bit me everywhere,” Bishop told News4JAX after speaking for out for the first time.

Bishop’s son, Wayne Thomas, isn’t too fond of the sheriff’s office’s recommendation.

“As a son for the life-long injuries she’s going to have to sustain and have to deal with she has to come out of the hospital and everything else that’s involved with that, to be frank, it’s a joke,” Thomas said.

RELATED: Dogs that attacked elderly Putnam County woman have history of getting out, neighbor and owner say

An incident report said Bishop was saved by a neighbor who ran over and hit one of the dogs with a chair.

She was taken to the hospital, where she lost an ear, had her leg amputated and had surgery for skin grafts because she had multiple scars all over her body.

“I’m not feeling well at all today,” Bishop shared. “Haven’t felt well for a good while. I guess that’s because of all of the fluid that’s up in my body. They’re trying to get rid of it.”

Bishop said losing her leg is something she’s unsure if she’ll ever get used to.

She had another surgery Thursday, and her son said if she makes progress over the next few days, Bishop could be headed to a rehab center in Jacksonville.

Although her son wishes the recommendations were more severe, Bishop is against anything criminally happening to the neighbor who owns the dogs.

“I don’t hold any animosity against the young man that owns the dogs. Although he’s been warned a number of times about the dogs,” Bishop said.

She said she’s able to feel this way about her neighbor because of her faith, which leads her to try not to hold grudges against others.

News4JAX reached out to the State Attorney’s Office and was told they will be also be reviewing what they received from PCSO as well as doing their own investigation.

About the Author:

Khalil Maycock joined the News4JAX team in November 2022 after reporting in Des Moines, IA.