Mum killed trying to protect her son from pitbull attack

·2-min read

A woman who threw herself in front of the family dog to save her son has died in hospital following complications due to her injuries.

On December 8, Heather Pingel, 35, from Wisconsin, was at home with her four-year-old son when the family dog bit him.

Ms Pingel tried to get in between her dog and her son when the dog turned on her, WSAW reported.

At the time of the attack Ms Pingel's other child was at school and her boyfriend, Shane Bernarde, returned home to find her being attacked by the pit bull in the bathroom.

The couple's son Damion was found in the living room with severe leg injuries, the Associated Press reported.

According to WSAW, when emergency services arrived at the scene, Ms Pingel had lost her arms and she was reportedly struggling to breathe.

Heather Pingel was mauled by her dog while she tried to save her four-year-old child. Source: GoFundMe
Heather Pingel was mauled by her dog while she tried to save her four-year-old child. Source: GoFundMe

“We don't know how long she was in there fighting him off," Ms Pingel's sister Shannon Pingel told the Wausau Daily Herald.

"Shane got home to find her lying on the bathroom floor. She said, ‘I have no arms and I'm dying'."

To make matters worse, just the day before the attack, Mr Bernarde lost his job, Shannon said on the GoFundMe she set up.

Shannon said Ms Pingel was an "amazing mother" who "sacrificed herself" to save her child, who needed about 70 stitches following the attack.

Ms Pingel was taken to hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries on December 16.

"My sister was not so lucky, she lost her life saving her sons," Shannon wrote on the GoFundMe. 

"She is nothing but a hero. We need help with medical bills, funeral costs, and help raising her two beautiful babies. She was way too young to leave and this is all so sudden and shocking."

The dog was reportedly shot by Mr Bernarde following the attack.

Shannon had a theory as to what happened.

“The dog was always kinda skittish when loud noises happen, so we are guessing Damion fell down the stairs and was crying and might have even kicked up towards the dog, and the dog grabbed his leg and Heather did everything she could to save her son,” Shannon told the Wausau Daily Herald.

The Associated Press reported the dog had a history of being aggressive and before Ms Pingel and Mr Bernarde took the dog in, he had been physically abused.

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