Woman attacked by bear in Butler Township on road to recovery

BUTLER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Channel 11 caught up with Lee Ann Galante and her dog Smokie here the terrible bear attack outside her home about two months ago. Galante said they are both doing really well and are happy things are getting back to normal.

>> Woman attacked by bear in Butler Township

“This wasn’t going to stop me or get me down. I can get over this,” said Lee Ann Galante. “It’s just some scars and pain.”

Galante was all smiles when Channel 11 checked in with her Friday. She’s made a lot of progress since that terrifying attack. On March 5th, Galante let her dog Smokie out, not knowing there was a bear and its three cubs in her backyard. The bear attacked both of them. The bear injured Galante’s face, head and arm trying to save Smokie. He had a small claw mark on his back that has gone away.

“He’s doing well. He never missed a beat,” said “It’s like they are just part of the family. I couldn’t let him get ripped apart.”

Galante had to get facial surgery shortly after to fix some broken bones. Besides some pain and a few scars, she has had a remarkable recovery.

“It’s right here on my lip. It’s a little battle scar for sure,” said Galante.

She thanks everyone for the overwhelming support that helped her heal quickly.

“I’m very blessed. People came out of nowhere and sent me cards and all the prayers,” Galante said.

She said her family’s Italy trip a few weeks after the attack really helped her move forward. She also wore a shirt saying, ‘I survived a bear attack. What’s your superpower?’ The one thing that has changed though, she is being extra careful when letting Smokie out.

“I haven’t had any nightmares and I’m not afraid to go outside. I think I do look around a little bit more,” said Galante. We hold him until the coast is clear and then we put him down. I just wonder if he appreciates it, thinking, ‘Hey, that’s the lady that saved my life.’”

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