LAGRANGE, Maine — A woman who was attacked by a neighbor’s American bulldog Friday evening was in critical condition Saturday.
Karen Stewart, 41, was mauled and dragged by the bulldog around 6 p.m. Friday while she was out for a walk on a dirt road that serves as a driveway connecting three different residences off Forest Street.
Police characterized her injuries as “life-threatening.”
“She was walking down a dirt driveway and it was dark,” Maine State Trooper Barry Meserve said Sunday. “The neighbor’s dog apparently attacked her for some reason, but we don’t know why because we haven’t talked to her. She’s still unable to talk.
“The dog is a little bit bigger than a standard bulldog and is maybe 70 to 80 pounds,” Meserve added. “I believe the dog is a purebred, but I haven’t seen any papers. The dog was not chained.”
The dog’s owner is 28-year-old Alden Bemis of 18 Forest St.
“The dog’s owner has been charged with keeping a dangerous dog, but it’s safe to say there may be more charges once the investigation is finished,” said Meserve. “In a normal dog bite case, we wouldn’t be involved, but this is a life-threatening case. We get the occasional dog bite call, but nothing like this.”
Meserve said there was evidence that the dog dragged Stewart during the attack.
“She was dragged some ways, and evidently was able to crawl back to the residence she was staying at and yell for help and they tried to give her as much aid as they could,” Meserve said.
Stewart was taken by ambulance to Penquis Valley High School in Milo, where she was picked up by a LifeFlight helicopter and flown to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
“I guess you can assume the dog knocked her down somehow, but we don’t know what provoked the attack,” Meserve said. “She’s still unable to talk. When I last spoke to her boyfriend Saturday morning, it was pretty much touch-and-go.”
Stewart had been staying with friends nearby, and her permanent residence was not known, according to Meserve.
A nursing supervisor from Eastern Maine Medical Center had no information available on Stewart or her condition Sunday afternoon.
The dog has been quarantined at a public facility while police investigate the attack and the dog’s history and status.