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Kernersville woman mauled to death by dogs

Posted on: 9:50 am, November 5, 2013, by , updated on: 04:58pm, November 5, 2013

KERNERSVILLE, N.C.– A Kernersville woman is dead after Forsyth County investigators say her boyfriend’s two pit bulls attacked her as she tried to feed them Monday night.

The two dogs involved in the fatal mauling in Kernersville (Forsyth Co. Animal Control)

The two dogs involved in the fatal mauling of a Kernersville woman (Credit: Forsyth Co. Animal Control)

According to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Captain Millard Shepherd, 25-year-old Katherine Atkins was trying to feed the dogs at a home on Stable Hill Trail in Kernersville. For unknown reasons, the dogs attacked Atkins as she was giving them their food.

Another man that lives at the home found Atkins dead inside a dog enclosure.

Investigators say Atkins had been around the dogs since they were puppies and there is “no history of problems or aggression” with the dogs.

The dogs were seized and have been euthanized by Forsyth County Animal Control. They are in Raleigh undergoing a necropsy.

Autopsy results will determine Atkins’ cause of death but Captain Shepherd said he does believe the dogs are to blame and doubts there will be any charges filed.


  • Angie Cook says:

    I pray for comfort and peace for family and friends.

  • Richard Trickle says:

    Never really read a nice article about these bully dogs. Gas’em Danno.

    • Angela says:

      This is very tragic indeed. This had nothing to do with what breed the dogs were. Remember that they were dogs and no matter what breed they are, they can turn on people for whatever reason. my daughter had 4 pits at one time in her house with young children and a new born baby. They are the calmest , mildest , most gentle dogs there is. She would gladly share the two she has with anyone to prove that just because they are of pit bull breed that they should not all get a bad rap. My condolences to both families and to the boyfriend….he loses the most!

      • csunbean says:

        It has nothing to do with the breed IF YOU are believe the propaganda and flunked math.. Saying it has nothing to do with the breed is like saying Drunk diving has nothing to do with the beverage ingested. Keep drinking the Kool AID. OH by the way, ever wonder why NO ONE promoted pitbulls as pets until the gov made dog fighting illegal? And who helps hide dog fighting a billion dollar criminal enterprise.. PITBULL OWNERS like YOU.

      • Dennis Baker says:

        Pit bull type dogs have killed 24 of the 26 fatal dog attack victims so far this year. It has everything to do with the breed.

      • Deb C says:

        It has EVERYTHING to do with breed. Sorry but the statistics don’t lie. I know not every pit bull is a bad dog but as a whole the breed is very dangerous. www dogsbite dot org shows the numbers. My friend just last month was almost mauled to death by a pit in Hawaii. I knew a 7 year in our town killed by a family friendly pit. It is not just how they are raised.

    • PJ says:

      In the past year we have had a woman in our local news saved by her Pit Bull after she fell and was injured walking by the railroad tracks. Her dog drug her to safety even though it lost a leg when it was struck by the train. Another Pit Bull prevented an intruder from kidnapping a baby. Just weeks ago there was a story in FL where a Pit Bull suffered 3rd degree burns on over 50% of its body while saving it’s family from a house fire. The family all got out alive. There are so many stories of Pit Bulls saving lives but those don’t get much air time because they don’t paint the picture the media wants to tell. It is amazing how many people are attacked by dogs other than Pit Bulls but those get very little air time and in some instances the dogs are labeled as Pits when they are actually an entirely different breed. There are good and bad dogs of all breeds and in most instances the problems lie with the owners. Don’t blame the breed, blame the dog and/or owner. How would you like to be judged by the actions of others of the same age/gender/race as you?

    • anom says:

      so sad you feel that way about an animal that was probably never loved or socialize…..being pinned up their hold lives

  • Kailey Maira says:

    Family and friends .. Katie was such a beautiful young women and had such a sweet heart that would open it up to anyone..a heart of gold..I am so saddened by this she is now an angel watching over all of us who cared about her! My prayers are with the family who has to go through this heartbreak! May God open up your arms to everyone of you!! We love you Katie and we will never forget you! fly high angel!!

  • Patti says:

    You could say the same thing for humans …..but in either case you dont know its coming before it happens. Not all bully dogs are killers. Just like not all humans are.

  • Stephen says:

    This is very tragic and saddens me. God bless her family.

  • Melissa says:

    Thoughts and prayers for the family.

  • anom says:

    This is sad for all…………but this is why dogs should be a part of the family and not kept outside. Unfortunately, 3 lives were lost.

  • toya says:

    My prayers are with the family. I’m so sorry this has happened.

  • “there is ‘no history of problems or aggression’ with the dogs.”

    Yup. Another “beloved family pet” who “never hurt anyone.” Pit Bulls are wired a certain way. And, “anom,” you putting the lives of two dogs on the same level as the life of human being speaks to what’s wrong in this country,

    • Rebecca Furr says:

      You are so right. Most of the pit bulls that attack and kill had shown no prior aggression, were “sweet” family pets that were treated with love and kindness, then one day their DNA kicks in and they do what they were bred to do.. attack and kill.

  • DottyMcDowell says:

    My prayers are with this young lady taken so early in life and for her family!

  • Donna Morrison says:

    What is wrong with this country is not that people put dogs on the same level as humans, but that humans have just as many faults as any dog. The fact is that a human would have had a trail and years or living free on taxpayers dollars but if the thought of a dog doing something is cause for automatic death. People have lost all respect for love of life and have found that blaming an animal is easier than finding out the truth.

  • Amanda says:

    Katie was a sweet, sweet girl. My thoughts and prayers are with all her friends and family.

  • sarah says:

    i have a pit. she is the sweetest pit and so gentle. I am so sorry for the loss of this beautiful woman. But, I heard from a friend of her boyfriends that the pits involved were from a bloodline of fighting pits and were always fighting and killing other dogs. They may have been nice to her growing up, but she wasn’t the Pack Leader, and unfortunately, the dogs were raised (or in their blood) to feel threatened and attack for unknown reasons. Its all in their genes. It is DOG SPECIFIC not BREED SPECIFIC> yet, lets sit down and remind ourselves at the true loss here. A wonderful, smart young lady.

    • Anonymous says:

      EXACTLY Sarah. I have the same info and more. I hope they look back at all the times animal control was called on the owner.

    • Rebecca Furr says:

      It is BREED SPECIFIC! When a certain type of dog consistently KILLS more people than ALL other types of dogs COMBINED, it IS BREED SPECIFIC. Pit bulls have killed 25 of the 27 people who have been killed this year by dogs. How stupid do you have to be to think it’s not breed specific? Most of the pit bulls that have killed were raised from a puppy, treated with love and were part of the family.. they were “sweet” until their DNA kicked in out of the blue and they became what they were BRED to be.. KILLERS!

    • Larkin says:

      You can’t have it both ways just to back up your theory. Either fighting is learned behavior or it is the behavior of the breed. If this dog wasn’t taught to fight then it is a behavior specific to that breed.

    • Harve Morgan says:

      Pack mentality is for wolves, not dogs. They lost that a long time ago with domestication. Cesar is condemned for this line of thought by most major behaviorists, trainers, vets, because his methods are outdated. She was killed by pits being good pits, doing what they were bred to do, and you can easily be the next victim.

  • Im guessing it was a male dog trying to get to the female dog that was in heat. My pits blank when the girl goes into heat. I really hate this and I hope her family and love ones are able to recover from their lost in a timely manner…. so sad R.I.P…..

    • Mary May says:

      Why are you not getting your pits spayed and neutered? One million of them are put down every year, and people still continue to add to that. How does that make any sense?

    • I am guessing that pit bulls are not suitable as pets. If Simple variables are enough to set these dogs off like this, I have no idea why you want to come here to make public excuses for them.

    • Ah, a future victim. I’m sure your pits are so sweet and gentle too.

  • jessica gilbert says:

    Katie was a wonderful person. Im glad i was fortunate enough to have known her. This is so sad. My thougts are with all of her family.

  • Anonymous says:

    Will a necropsy show whether or not steroids are present in the dogs system?

  • kerri says:

    Why would u have two dogs in the same cage when u are feeding sounds like they havent ate all day

  • T says:

    Wow, I have read about a pit bull attack every day this month so far, 2 being fatalities by “sweet” pit bulls that killed their owners. Something IS wrong with this breed and the nutters need to realize that!

  • Loyd says:

    Only mean people keep pit bulls.all pit bulls should be put down.

    • Wanda says:

      So true

      • Wanda says:

        Katie was such a sweet girl!! She was a good friend of my son and his girlfriend, she will be missed!!!

    • Wanda says:

      SO TRUE!!!!

    • Lucy says:

      I have a pit and I am not mean. I also have a Cocker spaniel and my pit bull is sweeter and more loving than he is.

    • Erinn says:

      Loyd, I completely disagree with you. Me and my husband own a pit bull and one thing we are not is mean and neither is our dog.

    • Patti says:

      So does that mean every animal should be put down? Tigers, lions, elephants, etc? All dogs have the same ability to do what these did. The real problem is with all the idiots breeding all these dogs that end up in shelters and victims of animal cruelty cases. AND FYI I work with a group that handles animal cruelty cases and 9 times outta 10 the animals abused are pits or boxers.

  • sinnerfrank says:

    I will wait on the autopsy before blaming the dogs !!

    • Wanda says:

      Forget the autopsy the dogs killed her!! When did human life come in second to a animal !!!! All stories you here of its pit bulls that kill people!! They can turn on you in a second!!

    • Jodi says:

      I agree with you!

  • Faith says:

    A friend of mine rescues pit bulls and she has never been so much as bitten. It all depends on how the dogs are raised. I am so sorry this young woman is dead, but all the comments about the entire breed are said out of ignorance.

    • Vina says:

      Actually Faith, your comments are made out of ignorance. If you did the research, then you would know that pitbulls are a TYPE of dog, not a certain breed. You would also know that in 2009,a study found that pitbull type dogs made up for 58% of all dogs euthanized in the US.

      It isn’t in how the dog is raised. It is an inherited trait that causes them to do these things without provocation. IT is because of people like you who will not face the facts that people keep getting killed. It isn’t the dogs fault. He /she is just doing what it was bread to do. Fight to the death when triggered and we never know what ‘triggers’ them till it’s too late.

      It is the owners who wont face the truth and many times, their family members who pay the price.

      Pitbull Owners thing their dogs will never attack or kill a family member, untill its too late.. then they say…”We don’t understand why this happend.” Well It isn’t brain surgery… They are bred to kill fight to the death. Its in their blood and no amount of ‘how you raise them’ is ever going to change that.

    • Tammy says:

      Faith I agree with you and it is how they are treated. We all need to pray for her family to get through this nightmare.

  • anonymous says:

    Those are not Pitbulls those are American Bullys there is a difference

    • Me says:

      The one comment is correct those are American bullys. Very loyal and caring breed. But in the hands of a breeder that doesn’t know what they are doing or how to train a dog, any breed can attack and I mean any breed. This young woman lost her life cause her boyfriend doesn’t have control of his dogs. Terrible for this young woman to lose her life like this.

      • Mary May says:

        Please show me how many breeds other than your bully breeds have killed people this year. 3 children were killed by pits in one week a month ago, and that doesn’t include all of the children and people and other pets that have been ripped about these dogs, but somehow survived.

      • Vina says:

        While it’s true, Any breed can attack, but the truth is that not just ‘Any Breed’ can or will attack to maim and/or kill you. The pitbull is equipped with the strong large jaws for a reason, pit bull types are built and bred to kill. That has been their job for centuries now, since the 1400′s, believe it or not!

    • “Those are not Pitbulls those are American Bullys there is a difference”

      They were all bred to fight, so maybe one breed is a little bigger, one has a slightly stronger bite, so tell me, after reading about yet another death by _______ (fill in the blank with fighting breed) what is the difference?

  • Taylore says:

    The main concern is that a woman is dead. So stop bashing a dog breed. Go on with your stupi self, if you are going to blame the breed. All you hear is pit bulls are evil….blah blah… But have you owned one, been around one? No, hell a chihuahua could attack you, it’s all about hot the individual dog is raised, and taught. Your father kills someone, does that make you a killer too? NO! So do not say it’s in their blood. Open your eyes and use your brain people, it’s how you teach a puppy, an what they see. Stop bashing pit bulls, you sound like a bunch of idiots, and don’t even know it. I mean really people.

    • Larkin says:

      You really need to educate yourself on these animals. And I don’t mean ask the thug down the street. Do some honest to goodness research and you’ll understand. FYI – it’s “eyes and brains” not eyes and brain. That would mean everyone would share one brain. And I think you meant stupid self.

  • charge the owner with the woman’s death…then ban the whole breed.

  • Joe T says:

    Mary, you have no idea what you are talking about. May God be with Katie and her family and friends. As for you breed haters, do some research. My neighbor was killed in her own house by her 7 year old dalmation….. Is every dalmation violent? No. Just like “pits”. Most of you could not pick out a real pit bull in a line up of bulldogs.

    • csunbean says:

      You flunked math huh? So how many is that One Dalmation to hundreds of pitbulls deaths huh.. and funny you have no link to your neighbor story.. Pitbulls are removing a person’s body part every three days now. It would be best if they only removed the body parts of people who choose to gamble on the breed that suddenly has its DNA tweaked turning it from nice doggie into mean monster..

  • junior says:

    Rip I love you Katie!!!

  • Karla says:

    I hope if the atkins family sees this they know how saddened I am about this…it’s been so long but for the longest I considered you all family and this breaks my heart…and shame on all of you here who have made more of a debate about the dang dogs than had reverence for a sweet loving girl whose life was cut short…

  • sunshine says:

    They are dangerous! That’s why I had move to protect my children! Only an idiot would own this vicious creatures

    • Mandie says:

      I happen to own one that my two year old nephew is in love with. These dogs are just as sweet as any other breed. The dogs you know are an EXCEPTION not the rule. Please try to keep an open mind (:

  • Kathey and Connie says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your Katie.. She was a sweet loving young lady, We have known her since she and Jess were smal children.
    All of you are in my prayers and we love you all so much..

  • Patricia says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend and to the family of Katie, my she R.I.P. , may God wrap his arms around you all :’(

  • Patricia says:


  • Valerie says:

    First of all, this has nothing to do with the breed. This could have been a lab that killed her, and I’m sure 100% people wouldn’t make a big deal about it. Secondly, you have know idea how this happend, she could have been abusing them like hitting them, or they both got into a fight she tried to stop them and got into it. You never know what happened, nobody witness this. So it’s a total guess. They could have been raised aggressively too. I feel very sorry for what happened. People need to be educated before they say things that are totally not true.

  • Brianna says:

    A sweet young woman died and all you people are worried about is if they killed her because they were pits. Stop being so disrespectful and go argue about it somewhere else. She loved those dogs and always defended pit bulls when someone was putting them down. She was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • Phoebe Gravely says:

    You guys are insane what some of you are saying. That its not the dogs fault. Pitbulls do have rage and the blood to “attack” in them. I am a very close friend of Katie’s and there was NO abuse, harm, weird behavior, etc. that’s how they are. some people are mad that the dogs were put down, come on people….those dogs killed someone. A daughter, a girlfriend, a best friend, and dogs…dogs, killed a sweet innocent young lady. its like someone murdering another, you would want then to be dead or in jail, til’ their dead. I am almost in tears as I type this because I lost a very very good friend and all some of care about is the stupid pitbulls. some people make me sick. while im at the viewing thinking that I wished she was still here some of you are worried more about the dogs than the wonder life that was taken away from this young lady. RIP Katherine Renee Atkins. I Love You.

    • C Holmstrom says:

      Phoebe I am sorry for your loss and I send my sympathies to the young woman’s family and friends. You are right, it is shameful that people are saying bad things about her and defending dogs that killed her brutally. A young life was taken in a most horrible and senseless way and people want to say how sweet their pit bull is and defend dogs and demean the victim. Have you people lost all sense of decency?

    • Kendra says:

      As I read this Article and comments it breaks my heart. But I was jut thinking all these hateful things. No one knows what exactly happened and to bash the boyfriend or the woman who was killed is disgusting. If u do not know these ppl and their dogs then no one should be saying these things have the common respect that a life was lost tragically. Ppl are disgusting. Don’t blame the boyfriend the dogs did it. Not all pit bulls hurt ppl some do and why may be just because something flipped. But if u do not know the owners and how they raised their dogs don’t say anything. That might have been a pen just for when they are outside. My friend said that just a few days ago there were pictures of the couple at a park with their dogs. Shame on everyone who put anything neg about these ppl who are suffering. No one knows so don’t judge or jump to conclusions. May god be with the family and friends of the woman who lost her life.

  • Mopps says:

    When you own a pet you should know everything about it. Own a pit? You should know and understand how it came to be. Ignore the facts and you will reap the consequences. They are animals and react on instincts. Other dogs may do the same, if they were BRED to be attack dogs, fighters etc. There is a difference between breeding and raising. You cannot take the breeding out of a dog. You can train and raise it but some animals will still show their breeding. With pits the consequences are much more severe because of their BREEDING. This is not hating on a breed. It is all about educating yourself.

  • Everyone who has commented on this obviously has access to the internet. Try doing just a smidgen of research via trusted sources before you make judgements based on mere stereotypes. Geez. It took me a mere five minutes to locate viable information from reliable sources, and I have a notorious reputation among my friends for being unsaavy with internet searches. Ironically, everyone telling others to “stop drinking the kool-aid” seems to have already blindly followed someone else into the oblivion of ignorance. Do your own research, for goodness sakes, rather than trusting inherently the claims of someone with a prejudice leaning one way or another.

  • C Holmstrom says:

    The National Canine Research Council is hardly an unbiased source. And the ASPCA euthanized the pit bull type dog Oreo that was thrown off a roof, even after paying for the surgery. According to the ASPCA this was because of severe aggression problems and they chose to euthanize even though a sanctuary was willing to take him. So what they say and what they do are two different issues.

  • aw says:

    Simply put, and no offense to the family and deepest condolences. HOWEVER, this is a result of bad training…pitbull’s require ample mental and psychological training/stimulation, a dependable partner and more importantly dominant. I see way TOO MANY incompetent owners w/ hard to train dogs such as the PITBULLS or BULL TERRIERS or ROTWEILERS, when they DO NOT have the required amount of dedication to train these dogs, who NEED to release their energy w/ sufficient exercise, praise, discipline. This is a result of lazy, incompetent owners who don’t properly train their dogs and MOST LIKELY need to train themselves since they cannot keep UP with their dogs.

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