Dog attacks teenager

WELLSVILLE – Wellsville authorities have confined a dog that attacked a teenage girl Saturday afternoon, biting her in the throat, officials said.

The girl, Tina Springer, 18, of Hammondsville was listed in stable condition at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh on Sunday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The attack occurred around noon Saturday at 1006 1/2 Anderson Ave., Wellsville. Glenn Bender, who lives at 1006 Anderson Ave., said the dog belongs to his son, Turk Bender.

“It was just a freak thing – a dog taking up for its master,” Glenn Bender said. Although he lives next door, Bender said he did not witness the incident.

Wellsville police responded to the scene on a report of a possible domestic dispute between a husband and wife, said police Lt. Ed Wilson.

Police are still putting together the details and have to interview witnesses, Wilson said. One thing they are trying to determine is if Springer got in the middle of the dispute, which reportedly was an argument over cell phones, he said.

Neighbor Sheryl Colgrove, who lives across the street, said she is familiar with the dog and, at one time, wanted to buy it. “He’s not vicious. He knows me,” she said, identifying the dog as an American bulldog named Hoss.

“This is the first time he’s ever done anything likes this. He’s not aggressive at all,” she said. “That took everybody by surprise.”

Colgrove said she did not witness the attack but ran over to the house when she saw the ambulance. There she saw a woman she identified as Amanda Bender holding a towel to Springer’s throat in an attempt to stop the bleeding, she said.

“They were both on the porch when I got over there,” she said.

Springer was taken by ambulance to a landing zone near Wellsville High School. Springer and was flown by Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter to Allegheny General.

The dog will be held at the Wellsville dog pound for 10 days, said Wellsville Animal Control Officer Heidi Pecorelli.

“We’ll find out what has to be done with the dog, whether it’s humanely put to sleep or returned to its owner,” she said.