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Woman loses leg in attack by pit bulls in her yard

By Pat Reavy,

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    TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (KSL) — A Taylorsville woman was hospitalized in critical condition after police say she was attacked by her son’s dogs in her own yard, leaving her with “extensive injuries” to her legs, hands and face.

One of the 63-year-old woman’s legs had to be amputated by doctors, according to Taylorsville police. Officers were forced to fatally shoot one of the “violent” pit bulls when it also threatened officers, according to police.

As of Thursday afternoon, the woman remained hospitalized in critical condition and police had not yet been able to speak to her to ask what led up to the attack.

The incident happened about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the woman’s home near 4800 South and 2900 West. The woman called 911 while injured and still in her backyard to report “she had been attacked and bitten by several dogs who are owned by her son,” according to a prepared statement from police.

“The woman also reported that the family of pit bulls, including the mother and father dogs and five puppies, were still in the backyard with her. She was able to call 911 on a mobile phone she had with her,” police said.

According to a spokeswoman for Taylorsville, the adult male dog was 1 year old, the female was 3 years old, and the puppies were 3 months old. The woman was attacked after she went to the backyard to feed them. The dogs have lived at the home their entire lives and the woman was familiar with them, according to the city. What prompted the attack on Tuesday was still under investigation.

Officers arrived to find the woman injured, semiconscious and still surrounded by the pack.

“The dogs also aggressively confronted paramedics and police, who deployed pepper spray to drive them away so they could jump the fence. From there, they were able to get the dogs away from the woman, containing them in a group along the opposite fence,” police said.

After the woman was taken to a local hospital, her 38-year-old son surrendered his dogs to the city. But as officers attempted to secure the two adult dogs, the female “broke loose, endangering both Taylorsville police and animal control officers on scene, (and) was fatally shot by police,” according to the city.

The dogs were in the custody of animal control on Thursday afternoon. Police were speaking to their owner to determine if they were aggressive before the attack.

Police say none of the dogs were licensed. Taylorsville allows two dogs per household.

Taylorsville Police Chief Brady Cottam called it a tragic incident.

“Our hearts are heavy following this incident, and we are grateful the victim was able to call 911 for help as quickly as she did — even as the attack was happening. It likely did save her life,” he said in a statement.

The woman’s family in a statement thanked the 911 dispatcher “for staying on the phone with our mother” and “the police officers that didn’t hesitate to get to her as soon as possible.”

The family also thanked the paramedics, nurses, doctors “and everyone that helped our mother survive this horrible event.”

Contributing: Alex Cabrero

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

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