Animal Rights

Elderly Woman Attacked And Killed By Pet Mastiff

| by Michael Howard

An elderly woman from Queens, New York, is dead after being attacked by her own dog.

Louise Hermida, 75, was mauled by the dog, a mastiff named Boss, in her home on the night of Feb. 12, WABC reports.

Hermida, who neighbors say owned as many as eight dogs, suffered severe trauma to her upper torso and was transported to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead hours later.

Her 39-year-old autistic son was also mauled by the dog, resulting in non-life threatening injuries to his left leg.

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Hermida was reportedly planning to return the dog on account of its aggression. She had adopted it in 2011 from an Animal Care and Control Center, according to the New York Daily News.

Neighbors said they could tell Boss was dangerous.

"If you see the dog, he’s vicious, like he wants to eat a human being," Bayardo Zarate told the New York Daily News. "I keep my distance."

Fatal attacks by mastiffs are rare. A study performed by DogsBite.org found that, of the 42 dog bite-related fatalities in the U.S. in 2014, only four were caused by "mastiff-type guard dogs and war dogs," while 27 were caused by pit bulls.

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Sources: WABC, New York Daily NewsDogsBite.org / Photo credit: Max Pixel

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