Officials: School secretary brutally attacked by pit bull

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Personal Injury News

Article Date: 6/9/2010 | Resource: MLG

Officials: School secretary brutally attacked by pit bull

GARDEN GROVE – A long-time school secretary at Woodbury Elementary had to undergo emergency surgery Tuesday afternoon for a punctured artery after a pit bull wandered into the school office and brutally attacked her, school officials said.

The incident occurred about 3 p.m. when school was out and there were still about 200 children in the Boys and Girls Club’s after-school program, said Alan Trudell, spokesman for the Garden Grove Unified School District.

“The dog followed a parent into the office,” he said.
The dog owner lives close to the school and told officials that his dog appears to have gotten out of the house because one of the children may have left a door open, Trudell said. The dog owner is a former parent, he said.

The employee was identified as 65-year-old Marilyn Reyes by her daughter, Denise Orcher. Orcher said her mother tried to get the dog out of the office when it turned around and bit her in the arm and leg.

The bite punctured an artery in Reyes’ arm, sending blood squirting up to the ceiling and all over her work desk, Orcher said.
Trudell said three employees, including the school’s principal, Olivia Silva, got the dog off Reyes, restrained it and called 911. Some other employees tried to help Reyes until emergency personnel arrived, he said.

The dog, which was still aggressive, was shot by animal control officers with a tranquilizer and taken into custody, Trudell said. No dogs are allowed into a school, according to a county ordinance, he said.

Ryan Drabek, spokesman for Orange County Animal Care, said the dog has been placed in quarantine at the county facility and will remain there for 10 days as required by the law. No charges have been filed yet against the owner, pending an investigation. The dog will be euthanized if the owner “surrenders” it to officials. Otherwise, the dog’s fate will be decided after the 10-day period, Drabek said.
Orcher said the dog wandered in through the open office door.

Reyes was transported to Fountain Valley Hospital Tuesday where she underwent a two-hour surgery to repair the ruptured artery, Orcher said.

Orcher said her family is devastated by the attack and is looking into how and why this incident occurred. Her mother was expected back from the hospital Wednesday, Orcher said.

“She’s doing OK emotionally I guess,” she said. “She just feels grateful that the dog got her and not one of the kids. If the dog had gotten hold of a child, it could’ve been fatal.”

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Jeffrey Marquart