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Hawley woman rescued after being attacked by own dog

Billie Wegner had clipped her dog's toenails before and sometimes it earned her a growl or a snap from Noah, her 10-year-old Great Pyrenees.

But the Hawley woman wasn't prepared for what happened Monday when she tried to groom her dog.

"I couldn't sleep, so I was brushing him and trimming his nails," Wegner said.

"His paws have always been very, very touchy. He would growl and generally I could say, 'Noah, stop it,' and get him to stop. This morning, it didn't stop," she said.

For reasons Wegner said remain unclear, the dog she has owned for eight years attacked her, inflicting a number of bite wounds, including several on her arm.

Wegner was able to reach another room and closed the door, keeping the dog out.

She called 911 and a Hawley police officer and a Clay County sheriff's deputy showed up.

They could see the dog in the home's front entryway, so they went around to the window of the room where Wegner was hiding and helped her out through the window.

After Wegner received medical attention, she returned home with a Moorhead community service officer to transport the dog to a veterinarian. By then, the dog had calmed down and willingly jumped into a patrol car for the trip to the vet.

Hawley Police Chief Ernest Rhodes said the plan was to quarantine the animal for a number of days to watch it for signs of disease. Wegner said, however, that for safety reasons she decided to have the dog put down.

She said as a puppy Noah lived in a situation that was not healthy and that may have planted the seeds of aggressive behavior she said were showing signs of escalating.

"He had attacked mildly before, but we could get him to stop. This time he didn't stop," Wegner said.