A mother is dead and two others were injured after a family pit bull rampage attack.
Pit Bull Kills Mother
Bowler, WI - On December 9, a GoFundMe was started for a woman by her sister. The original text stated in part: "My sister was not so lucky this dog mauled her arms. She lost so much blood on the way to the hospital her heart stopped. She was in surgery over 6 hours and they had to amputate her left arm and are hoping the right will heal." The next day, the fund posted an update, "Unfortunately they were not able to save her right arm and had to take it above the elbow."
Today, multiple news outlets are reporting this multi-victim attack. 35-year old Heather Pingel, a stay-at-home mother of two, was rushed by paramedics to Aspirus Wausau Hospital following the December 8 rampage attack at the family's home in Bowler. Her injuries were extensive, including suffering two arm amputations. She died about noon on December 16. Her son, Damion Bernarde, received about 70 stitches to his leg following the attack, but is back home from the hospital.
The Wausau Daily Herald spoke to Heather's sister, Shannon Pingel. “She is the bravest, strongest mother I know to do that for her child; she risked her life to save him," she said. "She is a hero." At the time of the attack, only Heather and Damion were at the home with the dog. Her 5-year old daughter was at school and the children's father, Shane Bernarde, was at his brother's home. When Shane returned that afternoon, he found the dog attacking Heather in the bathroom.
When Shane returned home that afternoon, he said Heather was in the bathroom with the door closed and she told him that Damion had fallen down the steps and she didn't know where he was, according to a police report from the Shawano County Sheriff's Office. After he located the boy in the living room, Shane returned to the bathroom and found the family's pit bull attacking Heather.
“We don't know how long she was in there fighting him off," Shannon said. "Shane got home to find her lying on the bathroom floor. She said, ‘I have no arms and I'm dying.'" - Wausau Daily Herald, December 17, 2021
Shane told police he grabbed the dog, dragged it outside then shot and killed it. Shane was bitten by the dog as well. When officers arrived at the scene just before 3:00 pm, they found Heather on the bathroom floor barely able to breath. Damion was sitting in a chair in the living room with a severe injury to his leg. The dog was dead. Heather, Damion and Shane were all transported to a hospital for treatment. A single family pit bull rampage attack resulted in three human victims.
Last year, there were three family pit bull rampage attacks that resulted in death. The death of 86-year old Coco in Florida, involved a pair of family pit bulls attacking three family members, requiring three ambulances. The death of 1-year old Scarlett Pereira involved a single family pit bull attacking the baby and two adults who tried to intervene. The death of 25-year old Devon White involved a single family pit bull attacking four family members, requiring four ambulances.
Since the majority of the attack occurred in the bathroom, the family believes that Heather found the dog attacking her son and struggled to pull the dog away from him and into the bathroom. According to the police report, the December 8 attack was not the first time the dog displayed aggression, but Heather couldn't give the dog up. "My sister has the biggest heart for animals and just couldn't get rid of it...her heart was too big and they thought they could fix him," Shannon said.
09/13/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dies After Pit Bulls Attack Three Family Members
02/11/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Attacks Four Family Members, Killing One...
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.