Elderly Roselawn woman undergoes surgery after pit bull attack

CINCINNATI – An elderly Roselawn woman who was attacked by two pit bulls Saturday underwent surgery Wednesday.

Authorities said 73-year-old Bulah Shaef was mauled by her neighbor's two pit bulls in the 1800 block of Sunnybrook Drive.

“I was like screaming. It was really close to my car. It was hard to get out. They would, like, bite her and go back and bite her again. They were just roaming,” her friend Sarah Guerrant said.

Guerrant watched as the pit bulls attacked her friend. Trapped in her car, she did all she could do without endangering herself in the process. She called 911.

“Her clothes were off of her. Her jacket, everything, they were tearing into her,” she said.

Despite all that she has gone through, Shaef's spirit is still strong, her daughter Susan George said.

“My mom is really strong so I know that she is going to get through this and be okay,” George said.

George said this is not first time her mom has had trouble with her neighbor’s dogs.

They once went through her mother's fence and attacked her two bulldogs, she said.

George said her mother is terrified to go home after her surgery.

“She remembers everything that happened Saturday,” George said.

On that day, Sgt. Dan McShane with the Cincinnati Police Department said Shaef was walking on the sidewalk outside her home when the dogs charged through the front door of a house and took her down. After stopping for a few moments, the pit bulls continued their attack when the woman tried to stand up and get away.

"It appears as if the animals acquired her, attacked her at one location, let go and then attacked her again at a second location, then possibly a third," McShane said

Even the pit bulls’ owner, Sylvester Forte, tried to physically restrain the dogs with no luck. They bit and clawed him as well.

In the end, Cincinnati police arrived and shot one of the dogs dead on the scene. The other was taken away to the SPCA. Shaef was transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where she was still listed in serious condition on Monday, fighting for her life.

“There was nobody outside,” Guerrant said. “If I hadn't gotten there when I got there, and called police it's possible the dogs would've killed her. It was that bad. They would've killed.”

Johnathan Palmore has lived on Sunnybrook Drive for about four years. He says he has never seen the pit bulls get loose.

"(The dogs are) usually out barking at everybody. I've never seen them get loose... I'm shocked they got out," he said.

Police have not charged the owner of the dogs.

Pit bulls were once considered a vicious dog breed and banned in Cincinnati's city limits. That changed in 2012 when City Council approved a motion that removed them from the language of the ordinance that defines a vicious dog.

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