Four dogs mauled and killed a 77-year-old Arizona woman sitting on her porch and authorities have charged the animals’ owner in connection to her death.
Around 7 a.m. July 6, the Staffordshire Terrier mix dogs, without provocation, pounced on Maria Eliza Sebastian Ruiz, Phoenix police said, according to radio station KTAR-FM.
Ruiz was rushed to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead from injuries she suffered in the attack.
Alejandro Hernandez, 33, who owns the pets, was booked into jail on a negligent homicide charge.
According to police, Maricopa County Animal Care and Control had responded to complaints at least twice before about the animals escaping from Hernandez’s property and he was instructed to fix a broken gate.
Hernandez allegedly told police the animals had bitten neighbors in the past.
According to the victim’s family, the dogs had chased the elderly grandmother in February but they were able to stop an attack, KPNX reported.
“It’s a tragedy what we are going through,” said Ruiz’s daughter, Refugia Alonzo. “It makes me very sad that my mom died in that tragedy, how it happened.”
“We never expected that my mom would leave us that way, it’s too painful, we didn’t get to say goodbye,” she added.
Animal Control took custody of the dogs, which were then euthanized.