(BIVN) – A Puna resident was hospitalized on Saturday after a neighboring dog attacked her on her Ainaloa Estates subdivision property. The dog’s owner was arrested and charged following the incident.
Supporters say Amber Clausen, a volunteer animal rescuer, suffered multiple severe injuries during the attack. Clausen’s mother, Helen, was also bitten during the incident. A fundraiser has been set up on the gofundme website to help Clausen in her recovery.
Supporters of Clausen say this was the third attack from this dog. Following the arrest of the dog’s owner, police issued this news release:
Hawai‘i Island police arrested and charged a Pahoa man following an investigation into a vicious dog attack that occurred around 4:50 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, 2023, in Pahoa, that left a 32-year-old woman hospitalized and her 52-year-old mother injured.
The 32-year-old woman and her dog were on her property on Bamboo Drive in the Ainaloa Estates subdivision in Pahoa when a neighboring dog attacked her. The victim’s mother reported that she was also bitten, possibly by another unknown dog, on her arm and shoulder area while trying to fend off the dog during the attack.
The 32-year-old woman suffered bite wounds to her arms, resulting in fractures to both arms, multiple puncture wounds, and lacerations. She was taken to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of her injuries, where she remains in stable condition.
Following the incident, a bystander successfully secured the dog to a post, enabling the County of Hawai‘i Animal Control Officers to take custody of the dog and transfer it to a secure location.
The property in question where the dog came from has a partially fenced yard, the dog was not secured, and was able to get beyond the property. Prior to this incident, authorities reported no previous reports or incidents involving the dogs being loose in the area of where the attack occurred.
It has not been determined at this time what provoked the dog to attack the woman.
The incident is classified as a felony Dangerous Dog incident in accordance with Hawai‘i County Code 4-4-32.
On Sunday, May 28, 2023, the dog’s owner, 51-year-old Frederick Kassebeer, turned himself in at the Pahoa Police Station.
After conferring with the County Prosecutor’s Office, officers charged Kassebeer with:
- Permitting Dog to Stray, HCC 4-4-30
- Negligent Failure to Control a Dangerous Dog, HCC 4-4-32
Police say Kassebeer was released after posting the $2,000 bail.
Police ask anyone with information on this incident to call the department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311. Members of the public wanting to report vicious dogs can call the department’s non-emergency number to report those incidents as well at (808) 935-3311.
Dog attacks in Puna neighborhoods have been an ongoing issue for the last few years. The issue was discussed at the Hawaiʻi County Council in November 2019.