TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4) — Police in Taylorsville say they were forced to fatally shoot and kill a pit bull after a 63-year-old woman was attacked and critically injured in her backyard on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
The woman called the police after the attack, reporting she had been bitten by several dogs, all of whom are owned by her 38-year-old son who lives with her. The family of pit bulls, which included five puppies and their mother and father were still in the backyard.
First responders said when they arrived on scene the dogs “aggressively confronted” paramedics and police who were assessing the situation on the other side of a neighbor’s fence. Police first reportedly used pepper spray to drive the dogs away so paramedics could get to the woman.
Officers and paramedics were able to help the woman in her backyard by corraling the dogs against an opposite fence. The woman reportedly suffered “extensive injuries” to her legs, hands and face and was taken to Intermountain Medical Center where she remains in critical condition. One of her legs required amputation, according to the TVPD.
“This is a tragic situation involving a mother and her son’s dogs in the backyard of their home,” said Police Chief Brady Cottam. “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.”
Police say the puppies’ mother “broke loose” when animal control arrived to wrangle the pit bulls, endangering the safety of both Taylorsville Police and animal control officers. In response, officers shot and killed the dog.
The woman’s son gave up the remaining dogs – the father and five puppies – to West Valley City Animal Services, which is investigating the attack alongside Taylorsville PD. According to police, none of the dogs were licensed and Taylorsville has a two-dog per household limit.