Benefit to aid injured Navy vet

Shadyside resident hurt in dog attack


SHADYSIDE — American Legion Post 521 plans to hold a benefit dinner for a veteran who recently lost his arms due to a dog attack.

About six months ago, Shadyside resident Jim Mann, a U.S. Navy veteran, was attacked by his dog, a stray Australian shepherd he had owned for three years. Mann, who had recently undergone treatment for cancer, was weak and could not fend off the dog, Post Commander Roger Burkhart said.

“The dog torn into both of his arms,” Burkhart said.

In an online video posted by his employer at the time, Panhandle Cleaning & Restoration, Mann described the attack, noting he had come downstairs one morning and noticed some Christmas wrapping paper and other items strewn about the floor in the living room. He said he asked his pet Harvey what he was doing and then slapped the dog on the nose with a disposable plate. The dog then began biting him.

“It was on; he just flipped,” Mann said in the video posted on Feb. 12. “It seemed like forever, but it was probably 40 minutes. Sometimes he would lay off and I would just lay there. Then if I moved, he was back shredding on me. I heard bones crunching.”

Mann said in the video that he was finally able to get up and go to his upstairs bedroom. Since he was unable to use a phone to call for help, he had to wait for his wife to arrive home from work.

The scene was a confusing one for his spouse, he said, as the dog greeted her at the door like it always did, but this time it was covered in Mann’s blood. The woman found her husband upstairs and called 911 for help. The damage to his limbs resulted in both of his arms having to be amputated above the elbow.

In response to one person’s criticism online, wife Donna Mann wrote that she did not know why the dog attacked her husband so viciously.

“… it was not a beating as you put it. My husband tapped (the dog) on the snout. We have rescued several dogs and we treat them very well.

“This dog was taken in as a stray. He was well fed and well taken care of. And he was never abused. We do not know why the dog reacted in that manner, but I can assure you the animal was not abused.

“Far from it,” she wrote.

To help raise money to pay for new artificial limbs, the legion is hosting a chicken and pork dinner starting at noon Saturday at the legion home, 3801 Central Ave., Shadyside. The proceeds also will help Mann cover the cost of travel to the doctor and other related costs.

A donation is requested for the meal. The dinner also includes side dishes. There will be a DJ playing music, a 50-50 raffle, other raffles, a chance auction and more.

For more information, call 304-281-1318, Burkhart at 740-676-6073 or the legion at 740-676-9142. Those who cannot attend the dinner but would like to make a donation can drop it off at the post home or call the legion.

A Go Fund Me page, “Raising hope for Jim (Cecil) Mann,” has been set up on Mann’s behalf.

“Jim (Cecil) Mann is a great guy. If you have had the pleasure to meet him you would immediately know that he is kind, a good family man and a hard worker in home cleaning and restoration helping others who have had to deal with personal disasters,” according to the page.

“In 2001, Jim survived a head on collision with a car driving close to 100 mph followed by a long recovery. Then in 2018 following a two-year battle with cancer he was informed he had won that battle and was ready to return to work on a full-time basis. Sadly, on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, he was mauled by a dog that caused severe injuries. Both arms have had to be amputated above the elbow and he has many large lacerations on his head, neck and legs.”

The page goes on to note that at that time of his injuries he was put into a medically induced coma and required more surgery.

“Anyone who is looking for a worthwhile cause, consider giving anything you can to help with the long road of recovery he now faces. He is a kind and deserving individual who could really use a good deed to help him get through yet another trial in life. For all of the time he spent working hard with his hands for others in their time of need. My hope is that we could afford to buy him the best of what is available in prosthetics, but it is not possible for us alone. I am just asking for help to get as close as we can to restore him to as much mobility as possible,” the page concludes.

Burkhart said he did not know if the family still has the dog, and the Manns could not be reached for comment. According to published reports, the dog was taken to the Belmont County Animal Shelter to be quarantined. A shelter official said Monday the dog was put down humanely by a local veterinarian.