2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman, 85, Fatally Attacked by Her Own Dog in Rural Hidalgo County, Texas

Monte Alto, rural Hidalgo county, Texas
An 85-year old woman was killed by her own dog in rural Hidalgo County.

Victim Identified
UPDATE 06/24/24: An 85-year old woman who was killed by a dog Friday has been identified as Gerónima Florez. The attack occurred at her home in the 22000 block of Jesus Flores Road. Florez was attacked by her own dog -- a black pit bull-mix breed -- as she was feeding it, the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) said. On Monday, HCSO clarified that only one of the dogs was involved in the lethal attack -- the dog her brother shot and killed at the scene. The second dog was recovered.

06/22/24: Woman Killed by Dogs
Monte Alto, TX - An elderly woman is dead after being attacked by dogs Friday evening. At approximately 6:00 pm, Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) deputies responded to a residence in the 22000 Block of Jesus Flores Road in Monte Alto, which is about 40 miles north of the border, for a report of an animal bite. Arriving deputies found an 85-year old woman lying on the ground in the rear of the home. She was "bleeding from her neck and the left side of her head," states a news release.

Deputies and a relative provided medical aid to her until EMS arrived. She was transported to a hospital, where she died of her injuries. HCSO investigators spoke to the victim's brother, who said his sister had gone outside to feed the dogs when he heard her screaming. He went outside and saw two of their dogs attacking her. He tried to intervene, but the dogs tried to attack him. He shot and killed one of the dogs with a shotgun, the other dog fled. Animal control secured the second dog involved.

The victim's identity was not released. The breed of dogs involved was not released. The most recent fatal dog mauling reported in Hidalgo County occurred in 2022, when 59-year old Maria Rachel Perez was killed by two pit bulls inside her home. The dogs belonged to family members. Previous to this, was the death of a 5-year old boy in 2008, who was killed by his uncle's pit bull "Greco" in Weslaco, and the death of a 3-year old girl in 2006, who was killed by a family pit bull and rottweiler in Hargill.

In January of this year, a man was found dead in the 7500 block of West Military Highway in Mission. The 911 caller said that dogs were biting the corpse. Rogelio Garza, 59, was found with multiple animal bites on his arms and legs, according to a release from HCSO. An aggressive stray dog with blood around its mouth was seized by authorities. In March, our nonprofit sent a FOIA to the Justice of the Peace in Mission, inquiring about his cause of death. Our FOIA request remains outstanding.

rural Hidalgo county fatal dog mauling

An elderly woman was killed by multiple dogs in rural Hidalgo County, near Monte Alto.

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map iconView the DogsBite.org Google State Map: Texas Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Related articles:
04/22/22: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bulls Suspected After Woman Found Dead in Mission, Texas

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Rampage Attack in West Baltimore Leaves One Women Dead, Two Others Injured

A pit bull rampage attack in West Baltimore left one woman dead and two others injured. The audio dispatch logs of the Baltimore City Police Western District were provided by Broadcastify.com.

Mauling Victim Identified
UPDATE 06/17/24: The woman mauled and killed by two pit bulls Friday has been identified as 54-year old Sheila Jones. Two other victims have been treated for their injuries and released: a 67-year old woman, who sustained a bite wound to her arm, and a 42-year old man, who sustained bite injuries to his arm, leg and face. "As officers began to clear the area for anybody walking around for their safety, the dogs returned and started to attack another victim," Det. Vernon Davis told WJZ.

Police continue to search for the dogs' owner(s). The pit bulls were not wearing identification tags when they were captured. The pit bull that was shot by police has since been euthanized. The other pit bull remains in custody at Baltimore City Animal Control. Marvin Cheatham, President of the Matthew Henson Neighborhood Association, said there are at least 30 pit bulls living in the area. "They all belong to somebody. No such thing as a stray pit bull in the Western District," he said.

Cheatham and other residents want to know the physical description of each dog involved in the multi-victim attack to help track down their owners, as well as other dogs that may be related to (or offspring of) these pit bulls. "I've been here 73 years, it's not like the police don't know who I am," Cheatham said. "All we are asking for is, to give us some information so we can let the neighbors know what these dogs look like because then we can probably pinpoint who owns them," he told WJZ.

The Baltimore Sun spoke to Melton Montgomery, who has lived in the area for about two months and witnessed part of the incident. Montgomery said that four pit bulls were involved, and they all had collars, indicating ownership. "There were four of them [pit bulls] and two of them were chasing after the police. Police were running for their life," Montgomery said. Only two of the dogs were caught, he said. Two remain loose. "We saw four dogs. I was right here, and they were trying to kill," he said.

06/14/24: Multi-Victim Pit Bull Attack
Baltimore, MD - On Friday evening, a multi-victim pit bull rampage attack was reported in a West Baltimore neighborhood, several blocks from the Mondawmin Mall. The attack occurred just after 9:00 pm near the intersection of North Pulaski Street and Clifton Avenue. A 50-year old woman died from the injuries she sustained, a 30-year old female was not conscious, and a third victim sustained unknown injuries. Officers shot one of the pit bulls; both pit bulls were collected by animal control.

We obtained the audio dispatch logs of the Baltimore City Police Western District from Broadcastify. In total, we reviewed the first 25 minutes (9:06 pm to 9:30 pm). There are more minutes to review. Because of the late hour we are only releasing the below. This was a rampage attack by two pit bulls, apparently, over multiple blocks. It is unknown if any of the victims knew each other. The 30-year old victim, who was found "not conscious, not breathing," did not sustain life-threatening injuries.

Officer: "I am en route to the animal bite on Pulaski..."

Dispatcher: "I have two tickets in reference. Ticket number one. I have an animal bite at 2016 North Pulaski Street ... states that two pit bulls have severely injured a female at the location. The victim does not appear to be breathing. The pit bulls are still roaming the area. The second ticket in reference is coming in as a police notify ... 30-year old female, not conscious, not breathing. Female bit by several dogs. The pit bulls are still on scene in the alley at the location. And I just had a third ticket of reference come in ... Same location, 2016 North Pulaski Street..."

Condensed minutes 9:10 pm to 9:30 pm: There is an officer screaming in the background, "We need a medic, unresponsive female in the alley!" ... "2113 Clifton Avenue, requesting an additional unit" (for the second victim) ... "The [dogs] are running south bound through the alley ... Someone try to get eyes on them" ... Officer shouts: "Have medics respond to the alley, she is unresponsive!" A second later, "Medics are on scene." The dogs fled the scene after attacking the victims and police are looking for them. Officers say a "public safety announcement" is needed. "I've got children out on the sidewalks in the surrounding block"... Officer asks, "Do we have the owner of the dog?" There is no answer...

Police officers continue to search for the dogs in the dark with flashlights. One shouts: "They just ran down the alley!" They are "going to be north of Clifton in the 2100 block of Fulton." Police devise a plan to "box the dogs in" and remain cautious of "crossfire." Shot fired, "shot fired" at approximately 9:16 pm. "Watch your crossfire!" Officer states, "I did discharge my firearm in the alley." Another asks, "Did you get the dog?" ... "The dogs are still up on their feet it looks like behind 2128 Fulton. One dog is bleeding" ... The dogs are now at 2134 Fulton in the rear underneath the awning ... "Do we have animal control responding?" ...

At 9:19 pm, "We've got a dog!" One dog is laying down, bleeding after being struck by gunfire. Second dog is underneath the porch ... At 9:21 pm, police "have eyes on both dogs," and they are trying to get an officer with a shotgun to the area, "that's going to be the preferred weapon." Police set up a discharge plan, in case they do need to fire on remaining dog ... Dogs are heard barking in the background ... officers are closing in ... animal control is en route. Officers requesting a dog pole. At 9:29 pm, "Get animal control out here with a dog pole!" One police unit is responding with a dog pole. "Citywide, once again, ANY unit with a shotgun, ballistic shield, or dog pole, now it is ASAP, respond to the Western district."]

As of Saturday afternoon, none of the victims have been identified. One was taken to the Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland. The other victim was taken to St. Agnes hospital. During the two 30 minute segments of the audio dispatch log files, officers asked several times, "Do we know the owner of the dogs?" The question is not answered. During the last 30 minute segment, the remaining pit bull is hiding underneath a porch. Police are waiting on animal control to lure it out.

pit bull rampage attack Baltimore

Area of the pit bull rampage attack in West Baltimore. Victims primarily attacked in alleys near North Pulaski Street and Clifton Avenue, last dog captured on North Fulton Avenue.

pit bull rampage attack Baltimore

Alley entrance near North Pulaski Street where a large police and fire presence was seen during the nighttime pit bull rampage attack in West Baltimore on June 14, 2024.

Sheila Jones - pit bull rampage attack Baltimore

Sheila Jones, 54-years old, was mauled and killed by two loose pit bulls in West Baltimore.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Maryland and D.C. Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
06/02/14: Maryland Legislature Mutes Landmark Ruling, Tracey v. Solesky, During 2014 Session

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

San Francisco Man Scales Tall Fence to Escape Violent Pit Bulls Captured on Video; Dog Owners Lived in RV Under Overpass

San Francisco man scales tall fence to escape violent pit bulls in SoMa neighborhood.

Dramatic Survelliance Video
San Francisco, CA - On May 25, a man survived a vicious attack by two pit bulls by scaling a tall fence. Pablo Rocha, who stands at 6'6", told KTVU, "I just remember the noise of my bicep muscle being stretched." In that moment, "I thought I would die," he said. The attack occurred just after 6:00 pm near Alameda and Vermont Streets as Rocha walked home from his gym in SoMa. The attack was captured on surveillance cameras. The dogs repeatedly attacked Rocha prior to him reaching the fence.

When he did make it to safety on the other side of the fence, no one stopped to help him. Police informed him that the majority of 911 callers thought a robbery was in progress, Rocha being the suspect. "The bites of the dogs hurt a lot," Rocha said. "But to know the reason they didn't stop to help me? That was very painful." The city has been riddled with crime and homelessness for years. The dogs belonged to an RV dwelling couple that had been parked under an overpass for months.

The victim's husband, Robert Fountain, has lived in the neighborhood for 15 years. He has witnessed the degradation. "It's been the better part of seven years that we have been fighting to get our neighborhood cleaned up," he said. "It gets cleaned up; it comes back. It gets cleaned up; it comes back." If Rocha "had not been 6'6", 220 pounds, and healthy, I'd be planning a funeral today," he said. We agree. Each time the pit bulls knocked Rocha down, he was able to quickly get back up.

"I had 11 bites and 30 stitches," Rocha said. “Two pit bulls were trying to push me down and kill me." Rocha underwent surgery for two hours.

San Francisco police officers arrested two suspects. Charges against 39-year-old Hilary Flynn include failure to control a dangerous dog, resisting arrest and false impersonation. Flynn also had outstanding warrants outside of the city. Charges against 31-year-old Jesse Ali include resisting arrest and harboring, concealing, or aiding another person when it is known they committed a felony crime. Notably, San Francisco Animal Care and Control is located four blocks from the attack scene.

From 2018 to 2019 we reported on a multi-part documentary series about how San Francisco Animal Care and Control (SFACC) fails to properly manage the risks posed by vicious and dangerous dogs in the city. The third and final installment, in part, focused on the new SFACC facility, which grew to a price tag of over $100 million. From this same documentarist, we've also reported on dangerous dog hearings in the city, including attacks in Chinatown, Sunset District, and the central public library.

If Rocha's attack does result in a Vicious and Dangerous Dog hearing, we wanted our readers to know the case history. The separate criminal charges will complicate matters. Flynn faced a criminal hearing on June 12, and Ali was released on his own recognizance with electronic monitoring. It's unknown if either will fight to save their dogs from certain euthanasia due to the unprovoked, off-property, violent nature of the attack. Certainly, Rocha's testimony, if there is a VDD hearing, will be powerful.

Unusual Optics, Chain of Events

The San Francisco Standard shows the independent surveillance footage. Eduardo Pajeú, who is seen in the video, tries to pull the dogs away, but fails. Pajeú saw Flynn call the dogs away, but she did not leave the RV to help Rocha, he said. Given the unusual optics and chain of events, Rocha said SFPD officers were initially suspicious. "The cops were like, 'How did you get there?' but very aggressively," Rocha said. "And I was like, 'Hey, I was attacked by two fucking pit bulls; what are you asking for?'"

However, an SFPD spokesperson disputed Rocha's characterization after reviewing body camera video from responding officers. "At no point did officers treat the victim as a suspect," the spokesperson said. "The victim was immediately treated by paramedics as officers gathered information about the attack, which they used to quickly track down the dogs. Police and paramedics acted professionally." Officers also arrested Flynn and Ali near the scene, and SFACC took both pit bulls into custody.

Initially, Rocha told KVTU that pit bulls were part of the problem. "I think the city of San Francisco is a beautiful place and we don't need to lose this. Can you imagine that you travel to a city that is so famous, and you can be attacked by a pit bull and be killed by a pit bull from someone that lived on the street?" Rocha then "self-corrected" in the Standard article saying, "The problem is not the pit bull. The problem is the city does not take care of our safety." Truthfully, the problem is both.

The RV dwellers chose to own two pit bulls -- a dog breed that kills more people than all other breeds combined each year in the United States.

Fountain would not have said, "It’s amazing he’s alive," and "If he wasn’t as healthy and tall as he is, he’d be dead," if two hounds had been chasing and biting him. The specific attack manner of a pit bull is exactly how Rocha describes: The smaller dog tried to knock him down, while the larger one "was trying to kill" him. The pit bulls took him to the ground at least three times. These were coordinated efforts among "team players" in a multi-pit bull attack bent on killing, not to "bite and release."

Dogs Euthanized

After publishing this post, we learned that San Francisco Animal Care and Control confirmed that both pit bulls have been euthanized. Presumably, the owners surrendered ownership of the dogs to the city, and SFACC euthanized without a need for a Vicious and Dangerous Dog hearing. This is how many cases involving "vividly clear" vicious dogs should result: dog(s) surrendered and euthanasia. There is no need for the "owner drama" and extensive city resources that VDD hearings often require.

San Francisco Man Scales Tall Fence to Escape Violent Pit Bulls

Pablo Rocha seen scaling the 8-foot fence of Aga John Oriental Rugs on May 25, 2024 to escape two attacking pit bulls in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco.

Related articles:
05/28/19: Conflict of Interest: San Francisco Animal Control and Virginia Donohue -- Final Installment
12/06/18: San Francisco Animal Control: Vicious and Dangerous Dogs -- Second Installment 

2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Canines in Letcher County, Eastern Kentucky

letcher county fatal dog attack, Jeremiah
A woman was found dead after being attacked by dogs in Letcher County, Kentucky.

Woman Found Dead
Letcher County, KY - A woman is dead after being attacked by canines -- dogs presumably, not the rare "death by coyote" possibility. Trina Sandlin, 57, left her home on the evening of June 9 and never returned. "Family members located Sandlin near her home over an embankment and had suffered injuries consistent with an animal attack," states a release by the Kentucky State Police (KSP). The attack site is located about 20 miles from where Corey Godsey, 13, was killed by dogs in 2020.

Kentucky State Police - Jeremiah, Ky (June 10, 2024) – On Sunday, June 9, 2024, at approximately 12:58 A.M, Kentucky State Police, Post 13, Hazard, received a 911 call in reference to a female being located deceased on Doty Creek in the Jeremiah community of Letcher County.

Troopers, along with detectives responded to the scene. The deceased female was identified as Trina Sandlin, 57 of Jerimiah. Preliminary investigation indicates that Sandlin had left her residence earlier in the evening to go to a neighbor’s residence but never returned. Family members located Sandlin near her home over an embankment and had suffered injuries consistent with an animal attack.

Sandlin was pronounced deceased on scene by the Letcher County Coroner’s Office and transported to the Medial Examiners Office in Frankfort for an autopsy. This incident remains under investigation by Detective Brandon Thomas.

Letcher County Coroner Perry Fowler said Sandlin was attacked by canines, but could not say if they were dogs or coyotes, reports the Lexington Herald Leader. Sandlin had rented a house in the Doty Creek Road area. She currently has a PO Box address in Blackey, about 10 miles away. According to the rental property's landlord, Sandlin had gone out that evening to visit a nearby home to get some paint. Her body was discovered near the path of the rental house. She was found about 1:00 am.

WYMT sent a reporter to Jeremiah, who spoke to KSP Trooper Matt Gayheart. "The female left her residence to go to a neighboring residence just up the road," Gayheart said. "Family members got concerned when she did not return. So, they went out looking for her and they actually located her over an embankment." No foul play is suspected. he added that animal attacks are not common in the area. Her body was transported the state Medical Examiner's Office in Frankfort for an autopsy.

On Sandlin's most recent Facebook page, she mentions friends living just a few miles away in Red Fox. One day before her death, she posted a sepia toned pit bull photograph with the words, "RIP Achille's Lee McIntosh." Its meaning is unknown. After the death of Godsey, who was discovered in a wooded area 1,500 feet up a hillside in Knott County, it took police six months to determine his cause of death. Inevitably, this gave rise to different paranormal theories that continued years after his death.

Relative Speaks Out

Late Tuesday, Sandlin's grandson, Austin McIntosh, left comments on a "freelance journalist" post. "It was Carlos Bentley's dogs that killed my grandmother. The police were called months before this to put his dogs down after they attacked a little boy and he had to be sent to Lexington but the police were too scared to do anything alongside with the dog warden. Now my grandmother Trina Sandlin is dead because of the dogs." He said the dogs involved were, "pit bulls mixed and starved to death."

According to online offender searches, Bentley is currently serving out a probation term. Past addresses include residences in the 1600 and 1700 block of Doty Creek Road in Jeremiah. According to McIntosh, the dogs attacked and "almost killed" the little boy in the past few months. "I need help getting justice for her cause ... the owner of the dogs and the law is going to let him get away with this," he said. McIntosh left similar comments on Trooper Gayheart's post about Sandlin's death.

Grandson of Letcher county woman killed by dogs

The grandson of a Letcher county woman killed by dogs calls out alleged dog owner.

letcher county fatal dog attack, Eastern Kentucky

Eastern Kentucky area of Letcher County, Knott County and Doty Creek Road.

Related articles:
08/13/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Cause of Death Determined - Teenager Killed by Dogs in Knott County, Eastern Kentucky

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.