Mom-Of-Two Dies Fighting Off Family Pit Bull Trying To Get At Her 4-Year-Old Son: "She Is A Hero"

Mom-Of-Two Dies Fighting Off Family Pit Bull Trying To Get At Her 4-Year-Old Son: "She Is A Hero"

The dog had been abused by its previous owners and attacked the woman when she tried to separate the dog from the child.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 21, 2021. It has since been updated.

A mother-of-two sacrificed her life to save her child from a vicious dog attack in a tragic incident earlier this month in Wisconsin. Heather Pingel was initially reported to have lost both her arms in the attack but days later, she was confirmed to have passed away from injuries sustained in the attack. The incident happened at Pingel's home that she shared with her longtime boyfriend and their sons, reported PEOPLE. "Her kids were everything to her. She loved them so fiercely, as she demonstrated by giving her life so her son would survive," said Pingel's cousin, Jennifer Person. 

Getty Images/Thomas Winz


It all started after one of their children fell down the stairs. Pingel called her boyfriend to let him know their son had fallen down the stairs. According to reports, the dog had bitten the injured boy, and Pingel intervened to move the dog, a pit bull, away from the child. The pit bull had been abused by a previous owner, and this probably triggered the dog as Pingel tried to separate the dog from her child. The dog turned on Pingel and started attacking her. Pingel's boyfriend came home to see her lying in a pool of blood in their home. “We don't know how long she was in there fighting him off," said Pingel's sister, Shannon, reported Wausau Daily Herald. "Shane got home to find her lying on the bathroom floor. She said, ‘I have no arms and I'm dying.'" He grabbed a gun and killed the dog. 



Pingel's boyfriend then rushed her to a hospital in Wausau, where she was being treated. She lost both her arms and then eight days later, she passed away from the injuries. Heather Pingel's relatives praised her actions to save the child and hailed her as an amazing mom. Shannon started a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the costs of her sister's medical expenses and funeral. She added that Pingel's boyfriend had also lost his job, compounding the family's worries. 

"A dog attacked their son and she did what any amazing mother would and sacrificed herself to save him," Shannon wrote. She said that the boy was doing good but had a lot of stitches. Pingel's son was in no danger, she added. "My sister was not so lucky, she lost her life saving her sons. She is nothing but a hero. She was way too young to leave and this is all so sudden and shocking," wrote Shannon. At the time of writing this article, the campaign had raised more than $35,000 of its $50,000 goal.  



"I'm going to miss how wonderful she was as a mother," Shannon told WSAW. "She did anything and everything for her two kids. She was a stay-at-home who loved her job. And her kids adore her. I'm going to miss calling her and asking when she was going to be here... because she was always running late. I'm just going to miss everything about her." Pingel's cousin, Jennifer Person, described her as a "kind and loving" person and said she was always around to help whoever she could.

A witness told the cops that the pit bull had been beaten before it came to live with the couple and reportedly had a history of aggression as a result. According to a study by Pubmed that sampled 5,239 companion dogs, it was found that abused dogs were reported as displaying significantly higher rates of aggression and fear including excitability, hyperactivity, attachment and attention-seeking behaviors, persistent barking, and miscellaneous strange or repetitive behaviors.


Cover image source: GoFundMe