Relatives mourn 86-year-old woman killed by family pit bulls
by: Alexa Ashwell, Paul Boyd Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – An 86-year-old woman died after a dog attack in a south Charlotte home Monday afternoon, according to police.
The call came in around 12:56 p.m. on Luke Crossing Drive in the Springs Village Town Homes community.
What led up to the attack remains unclear. Officials said it is the first deadly dog attack in Mecklenburg County since 2004.
Officials said Bessie Flowers was found suffering from fatal dog bite injuries and that she had been bitten several times and died at the scene. Her nephew described her as a wonderful woman.
Chopper 9 Sky Zoom captured video of her two dogs quarantined on the back deck after the attack.
Neighbors told reporter Paul Boyd that the dogs were pit bulls and apparently have shown aggressive behavior in the past.
Neighbors also described Flowers as a very sweet woman who always gave a friendly smile and a wave while walking the dogs.
The two American pit bull terriers, properly licensed and vaccinated, were placed under a 10-day quarantine while the investigation is ongoing, CMPD said.
Officials responded to 744 calls for service this year. of those, officials said 160 calls were specifically for dog attacks on humans or other animals. A majority of the calls were reports of a dog being aggressive.
The statistics did not specify the dog’s breed.
Animal Care and Control officers have responded to one previous call at the same address in April of 2013 in reference to a complaint of two aggressive animals.
Woman, 86, is mauled to death by her daughter’s two pit bulls after she fell over and the dogs bit her head and neck
- Bessie Flowers, 86, died from neck wound after being attacked by pit bulls
- Flowers was visiting daughter in Charlotte, North Carolina, when she fell
- Police say the animals started playing with her before turning aggressive
- Neighbors say authorities were warned about the pets, but took no action
An 86-year-old woman has been mauled to death by her daughter’s two American pit bull terriers after she tripped over and the animals attacked.
Bessie Flowers, from Charlotte, North Carolina, was visiting her daughter at home on the city’s south side on Monday afternoon when the attack happened, police said.
Flowers was making her way inside from a back deck area when she tripped and fell on to a dog bed which attracted the attention of her daughter’s pets.
The animals initially began playing with Flowers, according to WBTV, but their playfulness quickly turned to aggression and then violence.
Flowers was bitten in the head and neck during the attack before her daughter managed to separate the animals and lock them outside.
The daughter called for help after finding Flowers was bleeding heavily from a neck wound, but by the time police arrived she was already dead.
Captain Todd Lontz said: ‘After [officers] arrived on scene, they located a female deceased – possibly resulting from the dog bites.
‘The female is not a stranger or third party just walking down the street. This actually occurred at a family home. The dogs that are involved in this are actually family dogs.’
Who’s to blame? Bessie Flowers, 86 mauled to death by daughter’s two pit bulls
Of note, a report via WCCB told of neighbors telling that the animals had shown aggressive behavior in the past and had warned authorities about them.
One male neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said: ‘There have been two incidents with those dogs. They attacked other dogs here. No one has done anything about it. I constantly told people that they are going to kill someone.’
Police records show that officers were called to the home once before in 2013 to reports of two aggressive animals, but the reports were not substantiated.
2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bulls Kill Visiting Elderly Family Member in Charlotte, North Carolina
Fifth Fatal Pit Bull Attack
This still unnamed elderly victim is the third fatal pit bull attack in North Carolina since January 2016 and the fifth since July 2015, when 6-year old Joshua Strother was fatally attacked by a pit bull that was adopted out three weeks earlier by the Asheville Humane Society. These victims include: Suzanne Story, 36, of Perquimans County, Talan West, 7, of Robeson County, Cathy Wheatcraft, 48, of Davie County and Joshua Strother, 6, of Henderson County, North Carolina.
American Pit Bull Terrier
The American Pit Bull Terrier is, like all the ‘bully’ breeds, one of this group of descendants of the British ‘bull and terrier’ type fighting bulldogs. Once imported into the United States, it was bred up to be bigger again, and again used in baiting animals and in dogfighting. The American Kennel Club (founded 1884) was unwilling to register these fighting dogs, so in 1898 the United Kennel Club was founded specifically to register working pit-fighting dogs and to promote dogfighting. In order to be registered, a dog had to first win three pit fights7,8,9. The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) became a ‘breed’. As dogfighting declined in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, Colby (the most famous and prolific breeder of these dogs) began to search for a new market and began promoting the APBT as family pets10,11. This despite the fact that his breeding lines included child killers12.
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