Rowley Regis dog attack: Elderly woman mauled to death by escaped dogs

An elderly woman has been mauled to death by two escaped dogs in Rowley Regis.

Armed police and a vet with a tranquiliser gun were sent to the scene where two dogs were taken away. Photos: SnapperSK
Armed police and a vet with a tranquiliser gun were sent to the scene where two dogs were taken away. Photos: SnapperSK

The woman, in her 80s, died after being attacked by two dogs which are thought to have escaped from a nearby house into her back garden in Boundary Avenue.

Armed police, paramedics and an air ambulance were sent to the scene at around 3.20pm on Good Friday but the woman could not be saved.

A 43-year-old local man has been arrested and two dogs have been seized.

Photos from the scene showed officers putting the dogs into the back of an unmarked police van after a vet arrived with a tranquiliser gun.

Neighbours said the dogs appeared to be pit bulls, however this has not been confirmed and a police spokesman said the animals would be examined to establish their breed.

Armed police at the scene in Rowley Regis. Photo: SnapperSK
One of the dogs being taken away by police. Photo: SnapperSK

Crowds gathered as an air ambulance landed in Britannia Park, around half a mile from the semi-detached house where the attack happened.

Meanwhile police armed with semi-detached weapons and shields made their way towards the house where the dogs were seized and carried out in orange bags.

Boundary Avenue, a cul-de-sac off Oldbury Road, was initially blocked off by police but was reopened at around 7pm.

Two dogs were taken from the scene. Photo: SnapperSK
Police at the scene on Boundary Avenue, off Oldbury Road. Photo: SnapperSK

Police tape was put up around the house, where specialist forensic teams were on site searching for evidence.

Meanwhile the alleged owner remained in custody, accused of being the person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control when death is caused.

A neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said he knew the woman well and described her as "very friendly".

"I saw her often - I've known her since I've been here," the man said.

"There were lots of them [police cars] -- I've never known there to be so many. The area is usually quiet. I couldn't get down the road because it was all blocked by police cars.

"She was very friendly and she was in her 80s. You don't expect things like this to happen, it's definitely a shock."

A vet with a tranquiliser gun was sent to the scene. Photo: SnapperSK
Police at the scene on Boundary Avenue. Photo: SnapperSK

The resident questioned why such dogs were permitted, adding: "I don't understand why they are allowed to keep those dogs, they looked like pit bulls to me.

"A lot of people have dogs but I don't think those sort of dogs should be kept by people."

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act, pit bull terriers are banned from being kept unless the owner is granted a specific exemption.

Other banned breeds are Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.

Police at the scene in Boundary Avenue. Photo: SnapperSK

A West Midlands Police spokesman said:

"It's understood two dogs - which did not belong to the woman who was aged in her 80s - had managed to get into her garden and she was attacked.

"She sustained dog bite injuries although a post mortem will take place in due course to establish the cause of death.

"A 43-year-old local man has been detained on suspicion of being the person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control and death is caused. He remains in custody for questioning.

"Two dogs have been seized and will undergo examination to establish their breed.

"A police scene and presence will remain in place in the area as we work to establish the full circumstances of what happened.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the woman at this deeply distressing time."

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