Riverhead Town animal control officer Jessica Eibs-Stankaitis is lucky to be alive after a pit bull attack on Friday that left her badly injured.
Eibs-Stankaitis was mauled by a pit bull at the Riverhead Town animal shelter on Friday just after 3 p.m., Police Chief David Hegermiller said Saturday.
The ACO, who suffered lacerations to her face, has undetermined damage to her hip, Hegermiller said. "That's where the dog latched on. It wouldn't let go."
Animal shelter staff had no clue the dog would attack. "They thought it was a good dog," Hegermiller said. The dog, he added, was found on Wading River-Manor Road in a crate, on the side of the road. The male pit bull had been at the town animal shelter for a few days.
"She was walking back to the kennel and the dog just attacked her out of nowhere," Hegermiller said. "She was very fortunate the dog didn't latch onto her neck."
Trying to get the dog off Eibs-Stankaitis wasn't easy, Hegermiller said. "It bad," he said. "It was a battle."
First, he said, after Eibs-Stankaitis screamed for help, a kennel attendant tried to use a snare pole on the animal's hind leg. "It didn't work," Hegermiller said. "Jessica, with the dog still hanging on her hip, was able to get something around its head and break it free."
Hegermiller said he saw Eibs-Stankaitis at Peconic Bay Medical Center last night; she has since been released. "It was upsetting to see her in the hospital," he said.
The dog, the police chief said, is currently in confinement at the town animal shelter and will be put down in ten days.