Family Dog Mauls Grandmother to Death

An elderly woman from Indiana has died after being mauled to death by her family's dog.

As first reported by WTHR, grandmother Kathleen Bartram was attacked and killed by the canine at a home in Matthews on Monday.

The attack occurred after Bartram fell from an uneven chair in the living room of the property.

Police told the news outlet the fall prompted Bartram's granddaughter to start crying, at which point their family dog came "charging" into the room.

The authorities say the dog attacked Bartram as she lay stricken on the floor.

Her daughter, Leta Webb, called out to her husband and brother for help during the attack.

Despite their best efforts, Bartram sustained serious injuries.

Deputies arriving on the scene from the Grant County Sheriff's Department found Bartram bleeding from both sides of her neck.

CPR was administered by first responders before Grant County Emergency Medical Services and the Marion General Hospital Ambulance Service arrived soon after, but Bartram was pronounced dead at the scene.

Matthews Fire Department and Grant County Coroner's Office also responded to the incident. Marion Animal Care and Control was called in to deal with the dog. Its current status is unknown.

Newsweek has contacted Grant County Sheriff's Department for comment.

The attack may fall under what the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals terms as "protective aggression."

According to the ASPCA, pet dogs can show this type of aggressive behavior "when they think that one of their family members or friends (human or animal) is in peril."

"Sometimes dogs reserve protective aggression for individuals they consider particularly vulnerable," they explain.

"A dog might first show protective aggression when her pet parents bring a human child into the family. While this behavior sounds appealing at first glance, problems arise when the protective dog starts to treat everyone outside the family, including friends and relatives, as threats."

The attack is the latest example of a domesticated dog turning on its owners with fatal consequences.

Earlier this month in Tennessee a six-month-old baby ended up being killed by a family dog. Prior to that, a 16-month old girl was mauled to death by a dog that had become agitated by a nearby argument involving two men.

A dog wearing a muzzle.
Stock image of a dog wearing a muzzle - an elderly woman in Indiana has been killed after being mauled by her family's dog. VICHAILAO/Getty