A Myrtle Point woman has died after she was attacked by a dog left in her care.
According to a press release issued by District Attorney R. Paul Frazier, Amber Dawn LaBelle, 42, died Saturday, one day after she was attacked by the pit bull/American bulldog mix that weighed more than 120 pounds. The dog was shot and killed after it attempted to attack a responding police officer.
Frasier reported at around 10:15 a.m. Friday, a 9-1-1 call was made reporting the dog attack in the 1700 block of Spruce Street in Myrtle Point. Myrtle Point police and ambulance responded to the scene. A police officer who is a trained military medic was the first on scene and immediately went to treat LaBelle. As he was trying to assist, the dog attempted to attack the officer, and the officer shot the dog and killed it.
The dog was owned by a Springfield resident, who had left it in the care of Jeremy Robertson. Robertson is a friend of LaBelle's and spent the night at her home with the dog the night before the incident.
On Friday, Robertson left the dog with LaBelle, locking it in a bedroom at the house. After Robertson left the home, LaBelle's ex-husband brought their two minor children for visitation. The 8- and 5-year-old children were in the home with LaBelle, when she opened the bedroom door and was immediately attacked by the dog.
The two children witnessed the attack and one was able to leave the home to get help. Two neighbors, identified as April Shaw and Cherokee McKenzie, immediately ran into the home to help.
McKenzie was able to grab the dog by its collar and pull the dog off LaBelle while Shaw pulled LaBelle away from the dog. When the first officer arrived on the scene, the dog began pulling McKenzie toward the officer and Shaw, so the officer shot the dog.
LaBelle was transported to Coquille Valley Hospital by ambulance and later flown to Riverbend Hospital. She died around 4 a.m. Saturday.
Frasier said law enforcement learned the dog had previously attacked two minor children in July in Springfield.
Frasier commended the two neighbors who ran into the home to attempt to save LaBelle, saying they showed extreme courage in an attempt to help a neighbor.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing. Frasier said one question officers are attempting to answer is how and why the dog came to be in Coos County. Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact the Myrtle Point Police Department at 541-572-2124.