67-Year-Old Woman Mauled to Death by Her Own Dogs on Daughter's Birthday

A New York woman died last weekend after being found unconscious at her home with wounds that were "consistent with a dog attack," police say.

Officials from the New York State Police and Pleasant Valley Fire Department were dispatched to a home in the town in Dutchess County at roughly 4:00 p.m. on September 7 after the victim was found on the living room floor of a Barkit Kennel Road residence by her husband.

The woman was positively identified as Arlene Renna, 67. State police confirmed in a media release yesterday that she passed away at the scene after suffering life threatening injuries. Without elaborating, investigators said "circumstances" indicated it was a dog attack.

Two coonhounds were kept in the home as pets, police said, adding that both dogs had been secured at an animal shelter. No one else was in the home at the time of the attack.

"The investigation conducted...did not reveal any indications of foul play," said New York State Police major Richard L. Mazzone. "The fate of the dogs will be determined by a court judge." It remains unclear whether one or both of the animals are believed to be responsible for the death.

A spokesperson for the state police confirmed to Newsweek that one of the dogs was a Redbone Coonhound and the other a Black and Tan Coonhound, both known for hunting skills.

Online, the American Kennel Club describes the Redbone Coonhound as "even-tempered, mellow and kindly at home but a tiger on the trail." The Black and Tan Coonhound is described as being "snoozy by the fireside but tenacious when on the trail of the wily raccoon." It adds: "They can be trained, but it's best to expect compliance rather than blind obedience."

This is the hardest post I've ever had to write. My heart and my family's hearts are shattered at the sudden,...

Posted by John Taylor on Sunday, September 8, 2019

In an emotional Facebook tribute yesterday, the victim's ex-husband, John Taylor, said Renna had died on the same day as their daughter's 31st birthday.

He wrote: "It is nothing short of a nightmare. Arlene was the kindest, most gentle, giving and wonderful woman, there was no better mother, no better grandmother.

"People like Arlene can never be replaced, they can only live in our hearts forever, and we should all learn by their example to be better people, to try to be more like them," Taylor added alongside a single photo of the victim taken when they were younger. "Rest in peace, beautiful, ever-so-kind lady. Everyone who knew you loved you more than you could ever imagine."

According to Taylor, he was married to Renna for 21 years and they had three children together before separating. "My heart and my family's hearts are shattered," the ex-husband wrote.

According to the law enforcement media release, the Dutchess County Medical Examiner and District Attorney's Office also responded to assist with the probe, which remains ongoing.