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Donora woman will not face charges in dog-mauling case

| Wednesday, April 2, 2014, 12:26 a.m.

The Donora woman whose dogs mauled a 6-year-old boy last week will not face criminal charges related to the attack.

“I'm comfortable Pritchard did nothing wrong,” police Superintendent Jim Brice said of Brandy Pritchard. “They were attending a funeral. It was a freak accident.

“Thank God the kid is going to be OK. It could have been a whole lot worse. Officer Dennison deserves credit for saving that boy's life.”

Donora police Officer William Dennison was on patrol 6:15 p.m. March 27 when he encountered a man yelling on Thompson Avenue.

Dennison said he saw Julius Harvey being attacked by several dogs. He pulled the child to safety, using pepper spray to ward off the attacking pit bull-mix canines.

When Carol Kelemen opened a fence gate to allow the officer to carry the child in, she was attacked. Dennison grabbed Kelemen and pulled her to safety inside a house.

Julius underwent reconstructive surgery on his ear at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where he was flown by emergency helicopter following the attack.

His mother, Megan Efaw, told Brice the child suffered puncture wounds all over his body, the most severe to the triceps muscle on his right arm.

Julius is recuperating at home.

The boy's family thanked Dennison.

Brice said the boy apparently told his mother he was going to play with a friend, and Efaw thought he intended to go next door, not down the street. He was on the porch of Pritchard's 665 Thompson Ave. home when the dogs attacked.

Brice said he filed a complaint with Washington County Children & Youth Services because of deplorable conditions in the 665 Thompson Ave. house.

Brandy Pritchard, Eric Wayubik and children ages 18, 11 and 9 live there.

“There was dog feces throughout the house,” Brice said. “I didn't think it was habitable for children.”

The borough has since condemned the house.

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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