A Mississippi teen is recovering after her family says she was attacked by a pack of dogs while running in her neighborhood Sunday.
Tess Lancaster, a 2020 graduate of Alcorn Central High School and class valedictorian, suffered severe injuries to her face and head in the incident, Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell told McClatchy News. She was hospitalized and has since been released, though relatives say she has a long road ahead of her.
“She is strong and is trying to make the best of this, but I don’t want to minimize at all the trauma she has been through and will continue to deal with,” the teen’s mother, Anna Janzen Lancaster, wrote in a Facebook post. “I cannot begin describe the damage that was done externally and I know that her soul has endured the same wounds her body has.”
“Please continue to pray,” she added.
Tess Lancaster’s grandmother, Darla Nash, told local station WTVA that the teen will likely need plastic surgery.
Tess Lancaster was flown to a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, after Sunday’s attack, the station reported.
A passing mail carrier is credited with saving the teen’s life by fending off the dogs with pepper spray, her mother said in the Facebook post.
“It is no exaggeration that she saved Tess’s life at risk to her own,” Anna Janzen Lancaster said of the mail carrier.
The canines involved were turned over to the local animal shelter by the owner, Caldwell told McClatchy News. No charges have been filed as of Aug. 10.
The incident remains under investigation, the sheriff’s office said.