Nova Scotia RCMP are investigating after a fatal pit bull attack left one woman dead on Tuesday.
Police say shortly after 8:00 a.m., officers responded to the report of a possibly deceased woman off Wittenburg Road in Middle Musquodoboit, N.S., a rural community northeast of Halifax.
A jogger was the first to come across the scene. She flagged down a passing vehicle and called 911.
A dog was reported to be near the woman but the canine ran away before police arrived.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police determined that the woman, a resident of Middle Musquodoboit, N.S., was walking her dog when it attacked her.
The dog was described as a large pit bull and officers alerted the public and asked them to stay indoors as they searched for the dog.
The animal was on the loose for a little more than an hour before police were notified that the dog had died after it was struck by a vehicle near Highway 224.
Many in the community were shocked by what happened.
“Attacked by her own dog, that is absolutely surprising, I’m astonished,” said Bianca Massarella, a resident of Middle Musquodoboit.
“I don’t know if the dog was rabid or what was wrong with the dog to attack its owner. That’s absolutely insane.”
The Mounties are unable to provide any further information on the woman who died as her family has yet to be notified.
Halifax Coun. Steve Streatch, whose district encompasses Middle Musquodoboit, said the tragedy is reigniting a debate over pit bulls.
“There are a lot of suggestions from some that regulations need to be brought in,” said Streatch.
“I don’t think right now is the time to speak to that, this is very raw, it’s something that’s evolving.”
The Halifax Regional Municipality currently has no breed-specific regulations.
But across the country, hundreds of municipalities have introduced dangerous breed regulations or banned pit bulls all together.
“As much as there are people saying it’s the dog’s fault there are other people that are saying it’s the upbringing the training and indeed the owner,” Streatch said.
“Who am I to say? All I can say is that this is a great tragedy and a loss for our community.”