A California woman is in the hospital on life support after being attacked by three dogs, family members and friends have said.
Angela Johnson is hospitalized at the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, a GoFundMe page to help Johnson and her husband said, reported the Mercury News. The three dogs, described by the Riverside County Animal Services as pit bulls or pit bull mixes, attacked Johnson as she was hanging laundry on her property.
Detectives do not believe the dogs were intentionally set on Johnson but they are still investigating, Lt. Zach Hall said Dec. 19. The owner of the animals violated a leash law, which could result in a citation, Animal Services officials said.
Tim Platt, Johnson’s son, said he was told that he has to make the decision to leave his critically injured mother on life support or to allow doctors to remove her from the machines keeping her alive, MyValleyNews reported.
“I was asked to let my mother die today, by doctors and family,” Platt said on Dec. 17. “Everyone tried to convince me today to just let her die as one side of her brain swelled into the other side. But I just could not let my mother go.”
“The dogs basically ate my mom alive, ripping out a main artery in her throat, causing a severe stroke to the left side of her brain, leaving her half brain-dead,” Platt said, describing the attack.
All three dogs were pit bulls or pit bull mixes, according to Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh.
Platt said he is not ready to let his mother die, despite what doctors and other family members have said. “I just want my mom to stay alive,” he said.
Animal Services did a sweep of the area near the woman’s house to find any stray dogs.
“This is something we have been dealing with for a long time,” Animal Services spokesman John Welsh told the Mercury News. “In light of what happened last week, we thought it was important.”
The dogs are being held at the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus, where animal control staff members are seeking to euthanize the dogs. Welsh said a decision is expected within the next 10 days.
There were no witnesses in the attack and investigators are trying to figure out why it happened.
“This is another preventable attack on an innocent person and one we find very upsetting,” Riverside County Department of Animal Services Director Robert Miller also said. “It’s imperative that owners of these types of dogs do everything in their power to prevent such horrific attacks.”
Other details about the incident are not clear.
‘Most Abused Dogs on Earth’
Animal rights group PETA has said that pit bulls are “the 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),” according to a prior report from The Epoch Times.
But Dogbite.org, a website dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of pit bulls, wrote: “In the 13-year period of January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2017, canines killed at least 433 Americans. Pit bulls contributed to 66 percent of these deaths. Rottweilers, the second leading canine killer, inflicted 10 percent of attacks that resulted in human death. Combined, two dog breeds accounted for 76 percent of the total recorded deaths.”
The state of Maryland has also determined that pit bulls are “inherently dangerous” and owners are liable for injuries that they might cause, according to the Baltimore Sun. The U.S. Army also acknowledged that pit bulls are high-risk dogs and the animals are prohibited in some military housing areas.