Editor’s note: A previous version of the story identified the woman as 83-years-old, updated information from Calgary Police Service states the victim is in fact 86-years-old, the story has been updated to reflect the correct information.
An 86-year-old woman has died after being attacked by three dogs in the Calgary community of Capitol Hill Sunday.
The Calgary Police Service said the woman was found in the 1500 block of 21 Avenue N.W. at about 2 p.m.
Neighbours attempted to intervene in the attack, including the owner of the dogs who was able to remove the animals from the scene prior to the arrival of first responders, police said.
CPS have confirmed the breeds of the dogs as a North American pitbull-terrier mix, a North American Staffordshire mix and an American pitbull.
Police said it’s believed the woman was gardening in a back alley when the dogs escaped from a neighbouring property and attacked her.
The woman was taken to hospital by emergency medical services personnel in life-threatening condition and she later died from her injuries. Police said the woman’s identity was not being released at this time.
“This was an extremely tragic event that resulted in the death of an innocent woman,” said Det. Kerry Parsons, of the CPS’ general investigations unit. “Our condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the victim as we continue to investigate this incident.”
Police said Calgary Community Standards officers seized the three dogs involved in the attack and added the animals will continue to be held throughout the investigation.
Barbara Walmer with Good as Gold Dog Training said attacks like these almost always include multiple dogs.
“When you have a group of dogs together, often they have energy as a group, they feed off each other,” said Walmer, who is also the former head of the behaviour department at the Calgary Humane Society. “We are guessing that’s what happened, but that’s not to say every time a group of dogs get together it’s going to catastrophic.
“We need to be aware when this seems to happen, it does happen with multiples.”
Walmer added that these kinds of incidents usually end in the animals being euthanized.
“Most people wouldn’t feel comfortable living next to a dog that has killed someone,” she said. “Many of these are, unfortunately, euthanized.”
CPS said it is currently speaking to witnesses and working with its partners at Calgary Community Standards to determine potential charges in relation to the case.
“At this time, a criminal investigation is underway and we are unable to provide further details as this would compromise the integrity of the investigation,” a statement from the City of Calgary Bylaw Services read.
“We can share that the animals have been seized, and there is no current community safety risk.”
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact police at 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or online.