A 70-year-old British grandmother was mauled to death by her family’s dog as she sunbathed in her backyard Friday — making her at least the fifth person to die from dog attacks in the UK this year.
The woman, who has not been identified, died after the canine pounced on her outside her home in Bedworth, Warwickshire.
Her 49-year-old daughter desperately tried to fight off the dog as it attacked her mother, but she was also bitten and unable to stop the fatal mauling, the DailyMail reported.
The daughter was treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, and both she and her husband, 52, were arrested for allegedly owning a banned breed of dog.
The couple has not been identified.
It is unclear what breed of dog attacked the woman, but UK legislation has banned American pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentinos, and Fila Brasileiro breeds.
UK law also bans any dogs that are dangerously out of control, and a neighbor told the Daily Mail the pet resembled a Mastiff.
“Police say it was a banned breed but I’m not sure,” the neighbor said. “I don’t know what it was — quite a size with a big head, a bulldog-Mastiff type.”
“When [the dog’s owner] said he got it, he said it was a rare breed and there were only six in the country,” added the neighbor, who did not want to be named.
The man, who lives across the street from where the grandmother was killed, said the family kept the dog in the back garden and he never saw it show signs of aggression.
“No one knows why it attacked and killed the poor woman, it could have gone crazy after being stung by a bee or it could have had something wrong with its brain,” he said. “It could be anything.”
Another neighbor who refused to be named said the septuagenarian appeared healthy before the fatal attack.
“I heard the air ambulance coming over and then saw all the other emergency services turn up,” they said. “I have no idea of the breed of dog but it was a big one and lived outside.”
Warwickshire Police Superintendent Sutherland Lane said the investigation is still ongoing and urged anyone with information about the incident to come forward.
‘Thankfully dog attacks of this nature are exceedingly rare, but I recognized this will be deeply upsetting for the local community,” he said.