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Shelter employee seriously injured in pit bull attack

Dog fatally shot to save employee

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published December 13, 2019


An employee of the Oakland County Animal Shelter is recovering after an unprovoked attack Dec. 12 by a pit bull being held at the facility.

According to Bill Mullan, a media and communications officer for the Oakland County Executive’s Office, a veteran staffer at the county’s animal control and pet adoption center was with the dog in the facility’s quarantine area when the dog attacked.

“The dog gave no indication of aggression, and suddenly latched onto the employee,” Mullan said. “An animal control officer was there and tried to (intervene), but he was unarmed. A second officer came over and had to shoot the dog in order to save the employee.”

County officials would not elaborate on the details of the injury, except to say they are “serious, but not life-threatening.” The employee was treated at a local hospital. 

The pit bull, who was killed by the shot, had been at the shelter since last week due to several incidents of biting within its family. A court hearing was scheduled for next week, because the owner reportedly did not want to surrender ownership of the dog. 

“It’s a veteran employee who has dealt with animals for a long time, and there was no indication (the dog) was going to be aggressive,” he continued. “I can tell you the employee has a long road to recovery, and the county will be with our employee every step of the way during that process.”

The animal is being tested for rabies, per standard procedure with such an attack. 

Call Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at (586) 498-1095.