Donora boy, 6, recovering after being mauled by dogs

March 27, 2014
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Scott Beveridge / Observer-Reporter
Carol Kelemen talks to reporters Thursday about being bitten by a pack of dogs a day earlier outside her Donora home. Order a Print
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Scott Beveridge/Observer-Reporter
The Borough of Donora posted a sign Wednesday declaring this house at 665 Thompson Ave. unsafe for occupancy, shortly after two people were attacked by dogs that lived in the home. Order a Print

DONORA – A 6-year-old Donora boy was recovering from surgery Thursday at a Pittsburgh hospital a day after he and a woman were attacked by a pack of dogs outside a Donora house.

Julius Harvey underwent surgery to repair wounds on his right ear at Children’s Hospital following the mauling by as many as eight mixed-breed pit bulls at about 6 p.m. Wednesday outside 665 Thompson Ave., his mother, Megan Efaw, confirmed.

The boy also suffered severe injuries to his right arm, while the other victim, Carol Kelemen, said she was treated for dog bites to her ankles at Mon Valley Hospital.

“I was just standing there. They just came after me and bit my legs,” said Kelemen, 64, who is not related to the boy and lives two doors away from where the dogs were kept.

Kelemen identified the owner of the dogs as Brandy Pritchard, who didn’t return a message seeking comment Thursday.

No one was living at that house Thursday because Donora Borough deemed it unfit for occupancy Wednesday night, a sign on the front porch indicated.

Neighbors said the injured boy lives nearby on Seventh Street and plays with a friend who lives in the house where the dogs were kept.

Gary Hoover Jr., who lives across the street, said he got all but one of the dogs off of the boy upon hearing his screams and the barking.

“I did what a normal person would do. I put my fist up and they all backed off except for one,” Hoover said.

At that point, Hoover said, a Donora police officer arrived and rescued the boy.

Donora patrolman William Dennison said Wednesday he used pepper spray in the rescue and took the child and injured woman into a nearby house until paramedics arrived.

No charges were filed against Pritchard Thursday, and it was not immediately known if any criminal charges would be filed.

Kelemen said animal control took the dogs away in cages to quarantine them, and she was told the older animals had rabies vaccinations.

“I feel so bad,” she said.

Scott Beveridge is a North Charleroi native who has lived most of his life in nearby Rostraver Township. He is a general assignments reporter focusing on investigative journalism and writing stories about the mid-Mon Valley. He has a bachelor's degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a master's from Duquesne University. Scott spent three weeks in Vietnam in 2004 as a foreign correspondent under an International Center for Journalists fellowship.

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