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TODAY staff and wire
updated 2/10/2012 4:19:59 PM ET 2012-02-10T21:19:59

A television anchor who was bitten in the face by an 85-pound Argentine Mastiff during a live broadcast was released from a hospital on Thursday.

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Kyle Dyer of KUSA-TV was bitten Wednesday while doing a story about the dog's rescue from an icy pond by a firefighter in suburban Lakewood.

Dyer was interviewing firefighter Tyler Sugaski and the dog's owner, Michael Robinson, when the dog, named Max, bit her on the face. Sugaski tended to Dyer in the studio until paramedics arrived and took her to the hospital.

According to Colorado's 9NEWS, Kyle was not able to talk due to her injuries but seemed to be in good spirits.

Video: News anchor bitten in face by dog on live TV (on this page)

KUSA reported Thursday that Dyer was released from Denver Health Medical Center, where she had reconstructive surgery to her lip.

Robinson was cited with failure to have his dog on a leash — Max was off-leash when he fell into the pond — allowing his dog to bite, and failure to have a vaccinated dog. Robinson insisted that Max's vaccinations are up to date.

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"Max is a gentle, loving, family dog," Robinson said. "This incident truly is unfortunate and does not reflect Max's disposition towards people."

"Our family and friends pray for a quick recovery and look forward to seeing Ms. Dyer back on-air soon," he said.

According to Jefferson County Animal Control, Max and his owner have not been previously cited in their jurisdiction. Robinson will appear in court on April. 4.

Max was impounded at the Denver Animal Shelter, where he was expected to be released back to his owner after a precautionary 10-day quarantine, said Doug Kelley, director of Denver Animal Care and Control.

Story: Rescued dog bites TV anchor during broadcast

"We're just checking where the dog has been to make sure there is no other (bite) history or anything else we need to know about," Kelley said.

TVSpy reported that in a story leading KUSA-TV's Thursday evening broadcast, Kelley said Max will “most likely” not be put down. The story emphasized that there were potentially stressful circumstances surrounding the bite, particularly Dyer getting close to Max when it was less than 24 hours since the dog had been rescued from icy waters.

"The dog bite accident that happened [Wednesday] at 9NEWS was unfortunate and certainly not expected based on what we knew about the dog and his owner," Patti Dennis, Vice President of News at 9NEWS, said on Wednesday. "We love Kyle and what she and her family do for this community. We also love animals and will continue to do all we can to use 9NEWS to improve animal welfare in Colorado."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: News anchor bitten in face by dog on live TV

  1. Closed captioning of: News anchor bitten in face by dog on live TV

    >>> a popular news anchor in denver , colorado is recovering from reconstructive surgery this morning after she was bitten by a dog live on the air. it all started as a feel-good story about a dramatic ice rescue . nbc's kristen dahlgren has the details. kristen , good morning to you.

    >> good morning, matt. yeah, kyle dyer seemed to be excited about the interview. enjoying petting the dog as she talked to his owner and then things turned. it started as a feel-good story. a dog who fell through the ice rescued in dramatic fashion. there was the heroic firefighter.

    >> can't write it any better. he recognized that he was going towards safety. and once we got him out, he was friendly and happy to be in a warmer place.

    >> the ecstatic owner.

    >> i'm beyond happy. our family member, he's like a son in a sense. he's a rock-solid dog.

    >> but when the 8 5-pound mastiff called max joined the morning show to share the story. things went terribly wrong. shortly after anchor kyle dyer knelt on the floor, petting max, the huge dog lunged and bit her. the anchor was rushed to the hospital and animal control was called. video of the bite went viral, but kusa fought to get it off the internet. adding the incident was traumatizing for staffers. nbc news is not showing video of the bite. now 3-year-old max is being quarantined at a denver animal shelter for ten days. his owner, michael robinson , has been cited for failure to have his dog on a leash, allowing a dog to bite and failure to have a vaccinated dog. dyer is known for a weekly feature spotlighting animals, at the denver zoo . wednesday, she was operated on by surgeons.

    >> kyle went through reconstructive surgery and i think that from what i heard, the surgeon was pleased with the outcome of the surgery.

    >> in the moments before she was bitten. dyer's face was several inches from the dog's mouth.

    >> basically she did everything wrong. she went up to a dog she didn't know, who didn't know her and she either tried to kiss him, hug him on put her face much too close to his face, he felt threatened and bit her.

    >> a story that was supposed to have a very different ending. leaving a popular anchor recovering and the once-rescued dog now at an animal shelter .

    >> now dyer is expected back here at work within a few weeks. max's owner had no comment. but animal control said it's investigating and has found no evidence of any previous bites, so it's likely that max will go home. and the station says it plans to rewrite policies when it comes to interacting with animals. but matt pointed out it does not plan to stop doing animal stories .

    >> we just hope she's okay, kristen dahlgren out in denver , thanks very much.

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