Pit Bulls Maul Owner to Death in Her Home

A 59-year-old woman was attacked and killed by her family's two pit bull dogs while at home in Texas over the weekend.

The incident took place at about 6 p.m. on Sunday at the 7200 block of Royal Arms Drive in West El Paso, Texas, according to a statement from the El Paso Police Department on Monday.

The woman's body was discovered by her daughter, after she arrived back at the residence.

The authorities were alerted and went to the scene. Crimes Against Persons detectives found that the pets had been generally well looked after with dog bowls full of water and food seen at the property.

Although the police still aren't sure what provoked the attack on Sunday, the department confirmed in the news release that "all indications are that the two pit bull dogs killed the woman."

The El Paso Times reported that the two dogs were impounded by Animal Control officers, while the department confirmed that an investigation is continuing into the incident.

According to National Pit Bull Victim Awareness (NPBVA), an organization that advocates for groups in the U.S. and Canada that support victims of pit bull attacks, 31 people were killed by the dogs in the first nine months of last year.

The organization's data also shows that 10 people have so far died from pit bull attacks in 2021, while 129 incidents have been reported to have involved the animals.

However, despite the dogs' violent reputation, Sara Ondrako, a certified dog behavior consultant who is the founder and CEO of the American Pit Bull Foundation, told Newsweek in June that "pit bull-type dogs are innately no more likely to bite or attack humans, in fact, quite the opposite.

"They have been selectively bred over centuries to be human-friendly, despite also being bred for some dog-aggressive traits."

Pit bulls, which consist of four separate breeds, are descendants of the original English bull-baiting dog that were bred to "bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head," according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Information on the ASPCA's website acknowledges that the dogs are prone to fighting, but echoes the NPBVA by stating that pit bulls aren't aggressive by nature.

"Some pit bulls were selected and bred for their fighting ability. That means that they may be more likely than other breeds to fight with dogs," the ASPCA writes.

However, the organization states that the history of the breed does not "mean that they can't be around other dogs or that they're unpredictably aggressive," and adds that "these dogs have long been popular family pets, noted for their gentleness, affection and loyalty."

Newsweek has contacted the El Paso Police Department and the NPBVA for comment.

Pit Bulls killed woman
File photo of a pitbull dog in Heredia Costa Rica. A 59-year-old woman was attacked and killed by her family’s two pit bull terriers while at her home in Texas over the weekend. GabyCalvo/iStock / Getty Images Plus