A 77-year-old woman was apparently killed by one of her dogs while she was home alone on Nov. 13, according to reports.
Police said the woman had disabilities: She was missing a leg and had cancer while being confined to a wheelchair. One of the three family dogs, which were described as pit bulls in the report, was home alone with Daniels.
State police investigators said it appears the dog bit her repeatedly, leading to her death. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.
“Multiple dog bites coupled with some underlying health issues contributed to that being a fatal accident,” police spokesman Matthew Kanitz said Wednesday, WOOD-TV reported.
It’s not clear what caused the attack. “Those dogs have been in the house and they’re part of the family,” Kanitz said. “She knew those dogs and those dogs knew her.”
“Everybody that met her, instantly there was a bond,” Adi Huedepohl, a friend, said of the deceased woman. “She once told me, ‘There’s not too many strangers that I don’t like.’”
“She was one of the good ones,” Huedepohl explained. “Mom, I know you’re going to be with us, but it’s still going to be hard. A lot of people are going to miss her.”
Huedepohl said the dogs were owned by one of Daniels’ family members.
She said she doesn’t blame the pit bull for the tragedy. “It’s not the animal,” Huedepohl continued. “It’s the owner.”
The Newaygo County Animal Control has seized the three animals. They’re currently being held at Newaygo County Animal Shelter, according to MLive.com.
‘Most Abused Dogs on Earth’
“Pit bulls are left at shelters in record numbers—and since they are difficult to adopt out, reputable shelters (that don’t slam the door in the dogs’ faces) are finding that they must euthanize more pit bulls and pit bull mixes than all other dogs combined,” the group said.
Karen Delise, research director for the National Canine Research Council and author of “The Pitbull Placebo,” has investigated hundreds of dog bite incidents.
She wrote in a now-taken down article: “My study of dog bite-related fatalities occurring over the past five decades has identified the poor ownership/management practices involved in the overwhelming majority of these incidents: owners obtaining dogs, and maintaining them as resident dogs outside of regular, positive human interaction, often for negative functions (i.e. guarding/protection, fighting, intimidation/status).”
Also contributing negative functions include “owners failing to humanely contain, control and maintain their dogs (chained dogs, loose roaming dogs, cases of abuse/neglect); owners failing to knowledgably supervise interaction between children and dogs; and owners failing to spay or neuter dogs not used for competition, show, or in a responsible breeding program,” she added.
Dog Bite Statistics
“In the 13-year period of January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2017, canines killed at least 433 Americans. Pit bulls contributed to 66% of these deaths. Rottweilers, the second leading canine killer, inflicted 10% of attacks that resulted in human death. Combined, two dog breeds accounted for 76% of the total recorded deaths,” says Dogsbite.org.
Meanwhile, the state of Maryland determined that pit bulls are “inherently dangerous” and owners are liable for injuries that might cause, the Baltimore Sun reported. The U.S. Army also acknowledged that pit bulls are high-risk dogs, and the animals are prohibited in some military housing areas.