HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN)– The dispatcher who took the call on a vicious pitbull attack has been handling emergency calls for 19 years, and this is the first time she’s dealt with an active dog attack.
Listening to Angela Richendollar, it sounded like her training was kicking in. What’s surprising was that she said her advice did not come from a class.
Answering anywhere from 50 to 100 calls a day at the Huber Heights Police Department, Richendollar said you could call it instinct.
“You have to visualize in your mind what you’re hearing. So you maybe won’t see it, but you can picture and imagine what’s going on.”
Last Wednesday, she was forced to imagine a pitbull attacking a utility worker on Sebring Drive.
His owner let him outside, having no idea the woman was working in the backyard.
“This lady was hysterical, and to get information out of her, you have to be calm.”
Richendollar said that day, it was her own life experience and hands-on training that helped her, “I have a dog, so I think my dog responds when I say treat, different things like that. So I was just thinking of things she could do to get the dog’s attention, and at least if the dog took it’s attention off the person, maybe it would come back to her.”
For her, it’s like going into auto pilot– almost like she’s tapping into a different part of the brain.
“You might think about it for a minute, but then another line’s ringing, or maybe you turn around and somebody’s ordering lunch.”
Huber Heights Police said the victim was holding onto a tree during the attack, which prevented the dog from going for her throat or head.
The pitbull is in custody of animal control.