Texas Dog Trainer Found Dead With Bite Marks: Police

February 13, 2019 Updated: February 13, 2019

A 66-year-old dog trainer’s body was discovered in the backyard of her Texas home covered in bite marks, according to police.

Elaine Richman was found dead on the morning of Friday, Feb. 8, by authorities conducting a welfare check, news station KPRC reported.

Houston police were dispatched to Richman’s home after it was reported she had missed two dog training classes.

When authorities arrived at the residence—located on the 12800 block of Susanna Lane—they found Richman in the backyard, apparently having been mauled by a dog. Police said her body bore signs of dog bites on the face, arms, and hands.

Emergency responders pronounced the woman dead at the scene.

Richman died of sharp force injuries, according to the Houston Chronicle, and officials have called her death accidental.

The victim’s brother told the Chronicle that a full medical report on her death was still pending.

“It is tragic and unfortunate that she’s leaving us at such a young age,” Bruce Richman said. “It is just a very, very sad event that has taken place, but you know you have to remember the joy that she brought to so many of these dogs.”

Doberman Pinschers Trained for Title

Authorities said responding officers found two full-grown Doberman Pinschers inside the woman’s home. Police did not say if those dogs were responsible for the bites on the woman’s body or played a role in her death.

Both dogs were confiscated by authorities, according to KTRK, and were said to have been remanded to the City of Houston’s Animal Control.

“She actually has a closeness to Dobermanns and she spent a big part of her life training and showing the dogs,” said Bruce Richman, the victim’s brother, speaking to KTRK. “It takes a special person to be very kind to animals, which she was. All of her brothers and sisters were shocked and surprised. We’ll miss her greatly.”

According to people who worked with Richman, she was training her dogs for American Kennel Club (AKC) obedience titles.

“They were purebred Dobermanns, beautiful dogs,” said a neighbor, as cited by KTRK. “She did training with them. They were show dogs.”

two doberman pinschers
Detectives found these two Doberman Pinschers inside Richman’s home on Feb. 8, 2019. According to reports, Richman she was training her dogs for American Kennel Club (AKC) obedience titles. (Facebook)

‘Very Sad News’

Photos on Richman’s Facebook page shows her with two Dobermans that appear to regularly compete in dog shows and competitions.

Richman also belonged to a group called the North Texas Nosework Club.

“Some very sad news. Elaine Richman has died. Read it from a couple of posts. I met her at the OK Classic in November, crated next to her & her Doberman,” Georgann Hughes wrote in the group.

According to Hughes, she had just seen Richman in Tyler, Texas, the previous weekend.

“I don’t know any details, but in November she had talked about upcoming heart surgery to get a stint. Please keep her & her family & friends in your prayers,” Hughes added.

Several people in the group who knew Richman commented on Hughes’s post.

“So sad. I had a nice visit with her last weekend in Tyler,” said Margie Fedderly. “She had another recent fall with bad complications.”

Another Facebook user said Richman had fallen during the Paris trials last November.

Another user said of Richman, “A very nice lady who was crazy about her dog. Trialed with her at ASCA trials too.”

Richman’s brother told the Chronicle that she was an accountant by trade, but the dogs were her life.

“What she liked to do was to be with her dogs,” he said. “I always say that whenever I talked to her, her voice would light up in discussion on what this dog or that dog did.”

‘Extremely Unusual’

Houston Kennel Club president, Tom Pincus, told the Chronicle it’s rare a dog would cause their owner’s death.

“That is extremely unusual, that a person is attacked by their personal dogs,” Pincus told the publication. “I would not believe that for a second until I heard that from a coroner’s report.”

Theresa Nail, who handled one of Richman’s Dobermanns in competitions, told the Chronicle that Richman’s dogs were “champions” that were very well-behaved and sweet.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a study in the mid-90s into dog bite-related deaths, which placed Dobermans in the top 10 of dog-bite deaths by breed.

According to the Chronicle, Richman had a sign on her fence that said, “Beware of dog.”


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