Butler Township woman released from hospital after bear attack, reunites with beloved dog

A woman who feared for her life after coming face-to-face with a bear in her own yard was just released from the hospital.

>> Woman attacked by bear in Butler Township

Only Channel 11 was there as Lee Ann Galante returned home on Thursday for the first time since the attack.

“I feel so grateful to be home with my baby. That bear wasn’t going to get you no mommy was making sure of that,” said Lee Ann Galante.

She walked us through that terrifying attack on Tuesday night when she let her dog out around 8:30 p.m., not knowing there was a bear and its three cubs in her backyard.

“I look and see the bears in the trees. Smoky was in the corner,” said Galante. “She came over right out of the darkness and I was like oh my gosh.”

>> Pittsburgh-area bear attack survivor speaks out from hospital bed

She showed Channel 11 where the bear jumped over their fence and chased Smoky. When she ran over to save him, the bear attacked her from behind.

“Knocked me over and I just went face first onto that concrete pad. I tried to get back up and that’s when she grabbed the back of my head and just started pulling my hair and I just thought she was going to scalp me,” said Galante.

Galante said the bear then went after Smokie again and cornered him on their porch.

“That’s when I’m yelling Smokey calling him and she came after me again and knocked me down,” said Galante. “She was just on top of me. I was screaming, ‘Somebody, help me, help me!’ I thought you know, ‘This might be it, I might die.’”

The bear bit her arm and then ran across their porch. She said they only had seconds to get back inside.

“If we didn’t have that break from her, we’d both be dead I know it. You could just tell she was just ready to attack me again,” said Galante. “It was terrifying. It happened so fast. She was so aggressive, so mean, so strong.”

Galante called 911 and was rushed to the hospital. She has injuries to her face, head and arm. Smoky is OK, too. He has a scratch on his back. She is just thankful they both survived.

“He saved me and I saved him, said Galante.

Galante said she will have to have facial surgery next week. She is expected to fully recover and still plans to go on her big Italy trip next month.

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