85-Year-Old Woman Dies After Being Attacked by Multiple Dogs

An 85-year-old Hawaiian woman who died after being attacked by dogs has been identified by police. Dolores Teresa Oskins of Keaau, Hawai'i County, Hawaii, was pronounced dead on Sunday at Hilo Medical Center.

She had been treated in the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital since the attack, which occurred at around 5:45 pm on Saturday, August 14, in the Hawaiian Paradise Park area of Puna on Hawaii's Big Island.

Police say two dogs attacked Oskins as she was searching for her lost dog. She suffered several puncture wounds and lacerations to her head, neck, and arms.

Hawai'i Police Department (HPD) Captain Scott Amaral told Local News 8: "This is one of the worst dog bite cases that I've seen in 20 years,"

The victim's 89-year-old husband and another male relative, 88, were also set upon by the dogs as they attempted to get them away from the victim. Both sustained injuries and were treated for multiple bite wounds on their arms, face, neck, and ears, also at Hilo Medical Centre. They were later discharged.

Police say that the two dogs escaped from a property with only a partially fenced yard, but they are still trying to piece together the exact order of events surrounding the attack.

This includes why the dogs, which were collected by the HPD and are currently being held, attacked the victim. The police had no prior reports regarding incidents involving the dogs.

The attack was classified as a dangerous dog incident according to the Hawaii County Code 4-31. Newsweek could not find any information regarding the breeds of the two dogs involved in the attack.

In addition to calling for witnesses to the event, Amaral has asked dog owners to take preventative measures to prevent future attacks.

"They can easily escape, going over the fence, digging underneath the fence, so the best way to contain them is to put them in a kennel when you're not at home," said the HPD captain.

In the U.S., around 30 to 50 fatal dog attacks occur each year, but incidents do seem to be on the rise according to a 2019 study.

"It's a tragic situation, and our hearts and our prayers go out to the victims and their family," Amaral said.

An autopsy has been scheduled for Friday in order to determine Oskins' cause of death.

Homeless Dog
A stock image shows a dog's paws against a fence. Police say 85 year-old Dolores Teresa Oskins was attacked by two dogs that escaped from a partially fenced-off property. She was pronounced dead on Sunday. Marta Urbańska/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty