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Updated: 6:53 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 | Posted: 5:13 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014

Dog involved in fatal attack euthanized


Dog involved in fatal attack will be euthanized photo
The dog who attacked and killed 59-year-old Cindy Whisman at her Madison Twp. home. The dog, named Polo, belonged to Whisman’s daughter, Julie Whisman. Julie Whisman has relinquished the dog to the county following the completion of the investigation by Butler County Sheriffs deputies. It will be euthanized.

By Lauren Pack

Staff Writer


The dog that killed a 59-year-old Madison Twp. woman Monday has been euthanized.

Polo, described as a pit bull mix, was euthanized Thursday at the Animal Friends Humane Society, according to Sgt. Melissa Gerhardt of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

Julie Whisman, the daughter of the woman killed and the owner of the dog, relinquished the dog to the county Wednesday following the completion of the investigation by Butler County Sheriff’s deputies.

“At this time no charges will be filed. The detectives found no evidence that this dog had been aggressive in the past,” Capt. Mike Craft said.

Because the dog killed a person, it was considered vicious and unadoptable and ordered euthanized, Craft said.

Meg Stephenson, executive director of Animal Friends Humane Society, said given the scenario that “placement of the dog is not an option. We will proceed with euthanasia.”

Detectives did take DNA from the dog, described as a pit bull by the owner, to determine the exact breed of the dog, which the dog wardens believe may be part Preso Canario.

But exactly what caused the dog to attack remains unknown, according to Craft. He said it is likely that will never be known.

Cindy Whisman, 59, of 4743 Eck Road, was found dead by Butler County Sheriff’s deputies around 1:10 p.m. the victim of a vicious attack by the family’s pet. Whisman was in the back yard of her ranch-style home with her grandson when Polo attacked and bit her multiple times in the face, neck and body.

A neighbor who witnessed the attack placed a frantic 911 call in which she told dispatchers: “Hurry! My neighbor’s dog is biting her … It’s a pit bull, she’s all bloody.”

Julie Whisman and her son Marcus, who will be 2 years old Friday, had just moved in with her mother and father in the past two months. Despite that, she said her mother had known the dog for years. Polo had never shown any signs of aggression with her son or anyone else, Julie Whisman said.

Butler County Coroner Dr. Lisa Mannix ruled Whisman’s death accidental from a dog bite following an autopsy Tuesday morning.

Merbs said because of the dog’s history of violence, the county would opposed the dog being returned to the owner.

Polo is believed to be a pit bull mix, but the dog’s behavior is what moves him into the vicious category, according Assistant Butler County Dog Warden Supervisor Kurt Merbs.

“We would proceed the same in any case in which a dog had killed someone, not matter what the breed,” Merbs said.

Monday’s dog attack marks the fourth serious dog mauling — and third fatality — to happen in southwest Ohio this year. It is the first fatal dog attack in Butler County since 1998, according to sheriff’s officials.

Merbs said the red-and-white colored dog had blood on its chest when deputies arrived and was “very aggressive” as attempts were made to remove it from the home A second dog — a black Labrador Retriever — was also removed from the home as a safety precaution, Merbs said.

Sgt. Melissa Gerhardt, of the sheriff’s office, said Whisman’s husband was home at the time of the attack, but he told investigators that he did not hear any screams. Detectives said the woman suffered injuries to her face, neck, body and hands.

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