A woman who was viciously attacked by a pit bull is suing the star of TV’s The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, claiming Millan released the dog from his Dog Psychology Center too early.
According to the complaint, Alison Bitney, a critical care nurse in Florida, permanently lost feeling and function in her left hand after the dog attacked her in September at the owner’s home in Santa Clarita, California, reports the Los Angeles Times. Additionally, Bitney suffered “disfiguring open wounds, deep muscle and tendon lacerations,” and bone fractures in the attack.
The pit bull, named Gus, was reportedly impounded in Texas in 2013 with orders to put it down, as it was deemed a danger to society, the complaint notes. Instead, Millan’s Dog Psychology Center agreed to take in the pit bull for rehabilitation.
“When the dog’s owner fell behind on monthly payments to keep it housed at the Dog Psychology Center, the center prematurely released the vicious and dangerous pit bull back into the public domain and entrusted it to someone with no training or experience in the handling of vicious and dangerous dogs,” the complaint says.
Bitney was reportedly attacked six days later.
Dog Psychology Center director Jen Woodard told the Times that Millan had never trained the animal, and had not even come into contact with it. Woodard said the dog’s owner disregarded the trainer’s advice to keep it at the Center. The dog has since been returned to the Center, where it has been quarantined.
In 2006, Millan was sued by a client who claimed his dog was injured at the Center by being suffocated with a choke collar and forced to run on a treadmill.