Thursday, 27 Jan 2022

Mother dies days after saving son, 4, from family pitbull who ‘ripped her arms off’

Heather Pingel, 35, from Bowler, Wisconsin, was attacked by her family’s pitbull after saving her son Damian from the dog on December 8. Ms Pingel needed both her arms amputated following the attack and was also left with kidney failure and lung damage. The 35-year-old was rushed to Aspirus Wausau Hospital and sadly died from her injuries on December 16.

Her son, Damian, survived the attack, however, was given 70 stitches to his leg.

Damian is now at home recovering from the horrific ordeal.

Shannon Pingel, Heather’s sister, paid tribute following her sad death.

She said: “I just want people to know she died a hero.

“I hate that this happened, but I’m thankful she saved my nephew … she is the best mom.

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“She did everything for her babies.”

She added: “If you saw Heather you saw the kids too, especially Damion.

“From the day he was born he was attached to mom’s hip. Such a mommy’s boy.

“She will always be our hero and will forever be missed.”

Shannon recalled a separate incident which took place around six years ago involving the dog – adding her sister feared the dog would be killed if it went into a shelter.

Shannon said: “She was worried he would get killed if taken to a shelter.

“He wasn’t a scary, aggressive animal.

“We all were around him, which is why this is all so unbelievable.”

Shawano County Sheriff Office reported that Heather’s boyfriend, Shane Bernarde, came home to the scene following the attack.

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According to reports by The Wasau Daily Herald, Mr Bernarde grabbed the dog and took it outside where he shot it – while being bitten in the process.

A funeral service is set to take place on Thursday, 23 December.

A GoFundMe page has since been set up by Shannon to cover funeral costs after it was revealed that Shane had lost his job just a day before.

The description on the page says: “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.

“Any and all help is greatly appreciated.”

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