Three Pit Bulls Maul 60-Year-Old Woman to Death

Three pit bull terriers have been euthanized after they mauled a 60-year-old woman to death in Pennsylvania, state police said.

Rhoda Wagner was found dead on the lawn outside her home in Miller Township on July 28, WHTM reported.

Pennsylvania State Police said a passerby alerted authorities after seeing the woman's body on the ground while the three dogs were running loose through the yard.

She was already dead by the time paramedics and police arrived at the scene.

The pitbull terriers belonged to Wagner's roommate and she had been taking care of them in her home for over a month, police said, adding that they didn't know why the dogs had suddenly attacked her.

The dogs were euthanized at the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area with the consent of their owner, the state police said. A spokesperson for the shelter confirmed to Newsweek that the dogs had been euthanized.

The state police have been contacted for additional comment.

Wagner's killing came after other recent fatal attacks by pit bulls. A 66-year-old man in Louisiana died following an attack by a pit bull last month.

Police in New Orleans said they believe the attack occurred after the man climbed through the window of a family member's home on July 18.

Residents found him inside the property with wounds on both his arms, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The family's pit bull also had what appeared to be blood on its body, a police spokesperson said.

The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (LASPCA) took custody of the dog after the man's death.

Similar Attack in Texas

That took place on the same day that a 59-year-old Texas woman was mauled to death by her family's two pit bulls. It was unclear what prompted the attack, the El Paso Police Department said, adding 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, and an investigation is underway.

According to a database maintained by the 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, at least 11 people were killed by pit bulls in the U.S. in the first six months of 2021.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says that while some pit bulls are selected and bred for their fighting ability, it doesn't mean that they are "unpredictably aggressive" pets.

"These dogs have long been popular family pets, noted for their gentleness, affection and loyalty. And even those pit bulls bred to fight other animals were not prone to aggressiveness toward people," the ASPCA said in a statement on its website.

stock photo pit bull
A file photo of a pit bull. Three pit bulls mauled a 60-year-old woman to death in Pennsylvania. Mary Swift/iStock