SHAMOKIN — An early afternoon dog attack that occurred Monday at 112A W. Sunbury St. left a woman, identified by family as Gidget Matuszewski, hospitalized at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville. The dog, named "Pork Chop," and identified as a large American Bulldog, had to be killed by police at the scene to stop the attack.
According to Chief of Police Darwin Tobias III, at 12:53 p.m. police responded to a dispatch for a reported dog attack.
"The dog was actively mauling a female on the front porch of her residence when we arrived," reported Tobias. "Several bystanders tried to extricate her but to no avail. We first tasered the animal with no results. Sadly, we had no other options left but to euthanize the animal in order to protect the victim."
Tobias said that he had no further update on the condition of the victim, but indicated that both the Northumberland County Dog Warden and Humane Society were notified of the incident.
Family, neighbors, bystanders respond
The victim's mother, Linda Matuszewski, of Sunbury, witnessed most of the attack.
"I came to visit my daughter and she was coming to open the door for me after she had secured Pork Chop. Moments later I heard her screaming that he was attacking her. They then came out to the front porch area where she was bleeding badly with the dog still attacking her," said Linda Matuszewski, who along with others, suffered minor injuries while trying to assist.
Tom and Rose Bickert, next door neighbors of the victim who lives with her boyfriend, said that she had been attacked by the same dog several months ago but it was apparently never reported.
"We were inside our home when we first heard someone next door pounding on the front door. When we came outside we saw the dog viciously attacking our neighbor on her front porch," said Tom Bickert.
A passerby, Jessica Snyder, of Shamokin, along with two other unidentified individuals, also witnessed the attack and said that the dog was behaving very aggressively.
"I saw one woman throw a stroller at (the dog), but nothing fazed him. He was clearly out to do (Matuszewski) harm," said Snyder.
Tobias emphasized that everything possible was done by law enforcement to save both the victim and dog's life but in the end no alternatives remained but to euthanize the animal in order to stop the aggressive attack.
Sunbury Street was closed to traffic for a short period of time due to the incident.