Two pit bulls mauled a homeless woman to death in Southeast Houston on Sunday morning, and then turned on the two men that came to her aid. The violent attack occurred around 2 a.m. on Glen Prairie and Leonora.
The dogs involved were two young female Pit Bulls, about one-year old, and weighing about 30 pounds each, according to the Daily Mail.
The victim has been identified as Christina Bell Burleson, 43, according to the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office. She and her husband are homeless, KHOU-TV reports.
Her last known address was at the Servants of Christ United Methodist Church in southeast Houston, where Christina Burleson had been a member for about ten years. She was a volunteer for the Crossroads Outreach program for the homeless and was well liked and well loved in the community, said Pastor Will Reed.
“Christine was a wonderful person. She loved animals. She loved people. and she always spoke to everyone when she saw them. Here in the community everybody knew her,” the pastor said.
Christina Burleson was described as petite and non-threatening. She had been seen panhandling around dusk.
A 21-year-old man, Osby Pineles, said he was on his way to the corner store to buy cigarettes with a friend when they saw the woman on the ground, with the two dogs pulling at her body.
Pineles said he tried to get the dogs off the woman but they turned on him, bloodying his legs, arms and hands.
"The dog knocked me down," said Pineles, who was treated at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital.
His friend had started knocking on nearby houses for help. He received minor injuries when he tried to help get the dogs away from Christina.
One of the Pit Bulls was caught by animal control officers immediately after the attack. It lived in a nearby apartment complex. Neighbors said the dog had a history of biting.
BARC Animal Shelter reported on Tuesday that is has impounded a second dog in the case. It is uknown if the second dog was actually involved in the attack, but the owners have surrendered it.
They also surrendered another dog, a Pit Bull mix, which is being quarantined because it was known to be involved in the mauling KHOU reported.
“The owners of the animals have received a number of citations both for the conditions in which the animals were being kept, which were deplorable and for allowing the animals to run at large, for not having their city required pet licenses and for not being current on their vaccinations,” Chris Newport, spokesman for BARC, told reporters.
Homicide detectives with the Houston Police Department have been working with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to determine whether or not to pursue criminal charges for the death of Christina Bell Burleson.