Wisconsin Mom has her Arms Ripped, Dies While Saving 4-Year-Old Son from Pit Bull

The 4-year-old boy received 70 stitches to his leg after being bitten by the pit bull.

A Wisconsin mother died while saving her 4-year-old son from a pit bull's vicious attack. Heather Pingel, 35, had her arms ripped off by the savage dog and sustained severe injuries while attempting to save her son. The horrifying incident took place at her home in Bowler, northwest of Milwaukee, on December 8. Heather succumbed to her injuries in the hospital on Thursday, December 16.

According to Wasau Daily Herald, Heather's sister Shanon noted that the 4-year-old's father reached home on the fateful day of December 8 to find his son sitting on a chair in the dining room with blood pouring from his leg incessantly. Heather, on the other hand, was found heavily injured, lying on the bathroom floor. "I have no arms, and I'm dying," she said.

Heather suffered kidney failure from her extensive injuries and had both her arms amputated. According to her family, she fought hard for her life during the one week spent in the hospital before taking her last breath on Thursday.

Heather Pingel
Heather Pingel GoFundMe

The 4-year-old had 70 stitches on his leg

Heather's son, Damion, had 70 stitches to his leg after being bitten by the dog. He, however, was later released from the hospital. According to the family, Heather was attacked by the dog when she found him biting her 4-year-old and tried to shield her son from further injuries. The dog then turned on her ripping her arms off.

'We don't know how long she [Heather] was fighting him [the dog] off'

The boy's father and Heather's boyfriend, Shane Bernarde, reached home to find the dog still ravaging her in the bathroom. "We don't know how long she was in there fighting him off," he said. Bernarde, who was also bitten by the dog while trying to get him off Heather, told the cops that he dragged the dog out to the yard and shot it.

Heather's injuries were so severe that she couldn't give a full account of the horrible incident to the authorities before she died. The family, however, has a theory on what might have gone down that day. Heather's sister, Shannon noted that the dog was always kinda skittish when loud noises happen and had previously shown signs of aggression. "We are guessing Damion fell down the stairs and was crying and might have even kicked up towards the dog, and the dog grabbed his leg and Heather did everything she could to save her son," Shannon said.

She also noted that despite the dog's aggressive nature, Heather didn't get rid of it. "My sister has the biggest heart for animals and just couldn't get rid of it. ... Her heart was too big, and they thought they could fix him," she said.

This article was first published on December 21, 2021