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Woman sues after being attacked by police dog

A California woman who previously worked as a sheriff's deputy was recently attacked by a police dog in her own home, and she's hoping a lawsuit she filed will prevent others from being injured by police dogs.

The dog attack happened in April. Police apparently came to the woman's home to issue a search warrant related to the arrest of a relative who turned out not to live there. Police apparently announced their presence, but she did not hear them since she was asleep.

The 60-year-old woman says she thought she saw an outline of a wolf in her bedroom, but figured she must have been dreaming. But the animal was all too real. Before she knew what was happening, the police K-9 attacked her, gripping her head with its teeth. An officer ordered the dog to stop, but it attacked her a second time.

The attack was so severe that the woman says she could hear bones in her head crunching. The dog nearly tore off her ear, but it was later fully reattached. The woman also suffered hearing loss and bone fractures in the attack. She also says that she is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is afraid of dogs and asks friends to put theirs away when she visits.

Her lawsuit, which was filed in Federal District Court, names the city and police chief as defendants. She says she is on a mission to change the city's K-9 policy, and hopes to do so with the lawsuit. "I want to be that voice," she says.

Source: Bakersfield Now, "Sheriff's estranged wife sues after police dog attack," Jose Gaspar, July 12, 2012

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