Ottawa Co. deputies shot dog that attacked shelter volunteers

A pit bull mix attacked and injured two volunteers at an animal rescue shelter Tuesday night, then attacked sheriff’s deputies as they tried to rescue one of the women.
Tom Jackson
Feb 14, 2013

Deputies tried nonviolent methods to subdue the dog at Island Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary before ultimately shooting it. Buffi Novotney, 40, was taken to the hospital, where she received 18 stitches in her arm and four stitches in her finger. A second volunteer did not require medical treatment.

Sheriff Stephen Levorchick said the wounds could have been life-threatening if the dog had bit an artery.

The dog that attacked the volunteers was a pit bull-boxer mix named Reese. It had not been aggressive before, said Nancy Benevento-Brown, Safe Harbor’s CEO.

“I’ve got pictures of him riding in the car, going to the vet,” she said. “We don’t take in aggressive animals.”

For more on the incident and the deputies response, pick up a copy of Thursday's Register.

Click the video box to the right to listen to the 911 tape. [WARNING: The audio recording is graphic and could be disturbing to some listeners.]



dont worry, if i see you being attacked by a pit bull i will yell out "mikeylikesit is here to help you", if you dont want to hurt the sweet little puppy just yell back " im going to disneyland!" i will re holster my sidearm and let you be a scooby snack for fido..


Mr. Jackson,
Shelter pictured is located in Portage Twp.


Wow! We abort babies yet worry more about animals.


yeah, these people are stupid. too much disney..


All kinds of problems in this world but WHY HATE on innocent animals. NOT good to hate on animals~makes you kind of strange from the get go


big difference between hating on animals and defending human life from any kind of animal.. i dont hate animals, i love steak!


From what i have heard the dog liked everybody but for some reason buffi, she was told not to do anything with that dog. But kids will be kids.


When I lived in Huron the next door neighbor bought a Rottweiler, it was solid and very friendly but could knock down an adult just playing. My kid was about six at the time; they told me they were planning a tall fence. I gave them a month, the fence went up. When he was out I was nervous, should we have to live like that? 9MM was not too far away that month!


My Rottweiler does NOT leave my yard. Does your KID leave his? No reason to threaten violence. Keep your kid out of my yard, I will keep my PIT and my ROTTIE out of yours.




With no fence and their dog came into our yard daily, LOOSE! Love your dogs but keep them on your property, my kid stayed on ours so don't judge here. I was making a comment about how powerfull they are and how the owner was responsible to contain it and yes I would shoot it in one half of a second if it attacked my kid, zero stitch policy!


That first girl did something that scared the HE!! out of that dog


Uhm, dogs can run, and jump....just sayin.


I can't believe that some are blaming the young girls that were attacked. They would not be working in a shelter unless they are very caring individuals. The dog was vicious. Nobody would have anything to say had the dog not been a Pit. Dogs can be vicious and most of us want to think that it can only happen when the dog was abused or neglected.

Sometimes the dog is just nuts. It's true of people. Why not dogs? Some people even breed Pits to be nuts, so yes we have every reason to fear the breed. We fear that a nuts person bred a nuts dog and we can't tell the difference by just looking at it.


Pitt bulls at their best. Always in the news......shoot away.


Many shoot happy people~maybe we do need to get more guns off of the street


you can rest easy, this morning i traded my gun for a mace and a spear. just as effective on attacking dogs

nosey rosey

All of you commenting that you should fear all dogs of a specfic breed have no knowledge of dog behavior and would be best to not own and to stay away from any dog. No puppy is ever born vicious. It rest solely on their experiences in how they were trained and treated throughout their life. If you want to say I live in disney world, I'd rather be there than in ignorance world. Unfortunately this dog was in a rescue which speaks volumes as to it's prior life experiences. Personally, I have never met a pitbull that gave me any reason to fear for my safety.


From another story I read, this dog was rescued (from where or what conditions I did not see), and only at the shelter for 2 weeks. DO NOT trust any animal that you do not know. 2 weeks is NOT long enough to trust a rescued dog. They are already scared, probably abused, new surroundings and new people. I wish the girls a speeedy recovery.