Child Has Reconstructive Surgery After Donora Dog Attack
DONORA (KDKA) — A young boy is recovering in a local hospital after a pack of dogs attacked him in Donora on Wednesday evening.
“I’ve warned all the kids around here not to go there,” said Rich Webster, a neighbor. “The dogs are out there all the time – always growling at people.”
But a little boy who came to the house on Thompson Avenue hadn’t heard. He was just looking for his friend. Seconds later, a pack of dogs came rushing out at 6-year-old Julius Harvey in a frenzy.
Neighbor Roni Scott saw the boy at the center of a vicious attack.
“I just heard some yelling and screaming,” said Scott.
Stella Banahasky’s daughter, 64-year-old Carol Kelemen, was also bitten on her legs and ankles trying to help, but couldn’t get boy away.
“She said that they were really chewing on him,” said Banahasky.
Officer William Dennison, patrolling nearby, saw the commotion and pulled up. Approaching from the sidewalk, the dogs initially backed off. Dennison motioned to the boy.
“I grabbed him and I started backpedaling across the street,” said Officer Dennison.
But the dogs continued to come after them. That’s when Officer Dennison discharged his pepper spray. It was enough to hand the child to Scott.
“He was in shock,” said Scott. “He had a lot of blood, but he was conscious.”
The child’s ear and face were ragged. The dogs had torn off his jacket and a shoe.
Julius was transported by medical helicopter to Children’s Hospital for reconstructive surgery on his ear and arm. The boy’s condition is not being released.
The dog’s owner, Brandy Pritchard, was not home when the attack occurred, but arrived at the police station as her dogs were being collected by animal control. The investigation continues.
“As soon as we can determine what charges and how to go about prosecuting the people,” said Officer Keith Charlton, of the Donora Police Department.