CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Woman in critical condition after being attacked by multiple pit bulls

Nov 2, 2023, 10:00 PM | Updated: Nov 3, 2023, 8:46 am

Image of the Taylorsville Police station. A 63-year-old woman was attacked by a family of pit bulls...

A 63-year-old woman was attacked by a family of pit bulls yesterday and is in critical condition. (TVPD Facebook)

(TVPD Facebook)

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — A 63-year-old woman is in critical condition after police said a family of seven pit bulls attacked her Wednesday afternoon near 4800 South and 2900 West. 

The woman was feeding the pack of five puppies and two adult pit bulls in her backyard before the adult female of the pack began to attack her. According to a release from the Taylorsville Police Department, the pit bulls belonged to the woman’s 38-year-old son.

 

The victim of the attack was able to call 911 during the attack.

When police officers, paramedics, and animal control officers responded to the call, police said they were aggressively confronted by the dogs.

Police then pepper sprayed the dogs and jumped the fence.

“From there, they were able to get the dogs away from the woman, containing them in a group along the opposite fence,” according to the release. 

However, police said in order to protect those on the scene, they fatally shot one of the dogs. 

Once emergency medical personnel got to the victim, she was rushed to Intermountain Medical Center and underwent a 12-hour surgery.

At the time of this publication, the victim remained in critical condition.

The Taylorsville police department, along with West Valley City Animal Services, is investigating the attack.

What happens to the rest of the pit bull pack

The son has surrendered the dogs to West Valley City Animal Services according to police.

The dogs that attacked the 63-year-old were not licensed, despite a Taylorsville City requirement that all animals over four months of age should be licensed.

Also, the city restricts the number of dogs per household to no more than two.

The liability of a dog attack

Greg Skordas, KSL Legal Analyst, told KSL NewsRadio that under Utah law, dog owners are responsible for any injury that their pet causes.

“And there are very, very few exceptions to an owner whose dog causes injury to another person or to another animal,” he said. 


 

Skordas also said that Utah law does not distinguish between dog breeds when someone is attacked by a dog. 

“Utah law specifically says that it doesn’t matter if the dog is a particularly vicious dog or just a playful dog that did something bad … any dog that causes injuries, the owner is absolutely responsible for that.”

Lawsuits from dog attacks aren’t typical, although Skordas said they happen sometimes. Instead, homeowners insurance is often relied upon to cover the cost of injuries — unless the dog is specifically listed by the insurance company as a “dangerous breed,” and therefore, is not covered. 

According to reporting from Forbes Magazine, the three dogs most often precluded from homeowners insurance are Doberman Pinschers, Pit Bulls, and Rottweilers. 

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Woman in critical condition after being attacked by multiple pit bulls