Pit bull allegedly mauls Silt woman
Glenwood Springs correspondent
SILT ” A 74-year-old Silt woman was allegedly mauled by a pit bull Friday afternoon, which sent her to the hospital, where she remained Sunday evening with multiple wounds and about 200 stitches.
Judy McGruder was on the way to pick up her grandson, but accidentally ended up at the wrong residence about a mile west of Silt. When she knocked on the door, a man answered and four dogs came out of the home.
“I knocked on the door looking for my grandson and the dogs ran out of the door,” McGruder said from her hospital room at Grand River Medical Center. “I talked to this guy for about five minutes while he tried to give me directions to where I was supposed to go.”
After that, McGruder headed back to her car and hadn’t gotten inside yet when one of the dogs ” a 3-year-old male pit bull named Butterbean ” began to attack her.
“It wasn’t a pit bull bite, it was a maul,” McGruder said. “He attacked me four times.”
The dog allegedly attacked the back side of her left arm and past the elbow and her forearm, tearing the muscle, according to McGruder. The man at the door, who was not the dog’s owner, tried to pull the dog off, but the animal then allegedly attacked her in the leg and the backside ” while the man again tried to pull the dog off several more times ” before the dog attacked her head.
“He [the dog] took some of my scalp and hair off my head,” McGruder said. “The guy was trying to pull him off.”
McGruder was taken to the Grand River Medical Center emergency room and was hospitalized.
McGruder said she did nothing to provoke the attack.
Because the residence where the attack occurred was outside town limits, about one mile west of Silt, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office responded.
Aimee Chappelle, a sheriff’s deputy who handles animal control, said she got the call about the incident around 3:19 p.m. on Friday.
“It was an older woman who went to pick up her grandson and went out to where she thought [the address] was,” Chappelle said. “She walked up to the house and a man answered the door and let four dogs out. The woman and the guy were talking and it wasn’t the right address and while they were having a conversation, the dogs were milling around being dogs.”
Chappelle said that when the woman went back to her car, the dog grabbed her by the arm.
But why, is the question.
“Something happened between the time she walked down the driveway and went to get in her car,” Chappelle said. “Something happened between step A and step B that went wrong. We don’t know what happened.”
Chappelle, who owns a pit bull herself, said there has not been a pit bull attack in Garfield County for nearly three years and doesn’t believe pit bulls are any more vicious than other breeds.
“It’s not just pit bulls ” we get more calls for Labrador or Golden Retriever bites,” she said. “This dog was a pet and was neutered and vaccinated. The family had cared for him. It really is a shame ” I feel terrible for the family and the pet.”
The dog’s owner has not yet been named and was apparently not present at the time of the attack.
However, Butterbean remains in a 10-day quarantine at the Garfield County CARE center to ensure he does not have rabies.
To prevent such situations from happening, Chappelle warned owners to keep their dogs under control.
“Don’t let them out,” she said. “Especially if there are other people on your property.”
Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said Saturday night that it was unclear whether charges will be filed.
“We’re certainly going to see if [the dog] has current shots and we may do a home quarantine if they can show that they can keep it contained,” Vallario said.
But McGruder wants to make sure that no one else has to go through what she has.
“I’m really upset. I’m furious,” she said. “This is something nobody wants to experience. People ought to know there are pit bulls out there and they are not safe.”
McGruder is expected to be released from the hospital this week.
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