Doctors removed 27-year-old Emma Bennett from a life support machine on Tuesday. She was savagely attacked on Monday by the two American Pit Bull Terriers belonging to her 33-year-old boyfriend. Emma’s brother, sister, mother, grandparents and her four children were at her bedside when she was declared legally dead.
Emma had suffered severe injuries to her face and head but, at their request, was kept alive long enough for her entire family to gather at the hospital in Leeds, England, so that she would not die alone.
Lee Horner, the owner of the dogs, who lived with Emma and is believed to be her boyfriend, was also at the hospital to say his goodbyes to her, according to the report. Horner was arrested at the hospital on suspicion of offenses under the Dangerous Dogs Act and is being questioned by detectives about the circumstances of Emma’s death.
The family’s anguish grew yesterday when they discovered epileptic Emma was pregnant with her fifth child.
Her boyfriend posted on Facebook: "R.I.P emma and our bump u was deeply loved by all and will sadly be missed by me and all that knew u know ur with the angels love u u will always be in my heart and on my mind to the day we meet again xx".
West Yorkshire Police found Emma unconscious on the floor at her terraced home after they were called by a neighbor on Monday afternoon. The distraught woman said she had heard screams of "No, No, No!" coming from Emma's home and she called for help.
When officers arrived at the house in Osmondthorpe, Leeds, they found one of the two dogs running in the street and the other still in the kitchen. Emma had suffered horrific injuries to her face and head, the officers said. It is not known if they were caused by one or both of the dogs.
The neighbor said she believed Emma may have been attacked while she was suffering an epileptic seizure. She said, "We'd heard that a few weeks back the pit bull started getting really nasty with her because she is epileptic.” The neighbor said that, apparently at least one of the dogs became very upset when Emma suffered a seizure. Apparently, it wanted to go for her…,” she said.
Emma moved to the home about two years ago and reportedly suffered so badly from epilepsy it stopped her from working. She was alone with the dogs on Monday. It is not known if she knew she was pregnant, according to the report.
Detective Superintendent Simon Beldon, who is leading the investigation for West Yorkshire Police, said: "Early indications are that the two dogs seized from the address are American Pit Bull Terriers although tests are still ongoing to establish their exact make up.
"Dogs of this type are legal but are subject to restrictions under the Dangerous Dogs Act and our enquiries are focused on this aspect,” he said. They must be neutered, insured, muzzled and kept on a lead at all times in public.
Starting next year irresponsible owners could face up to two years in jail if their pets attack on private property. Emma’s brother told the Mirror, “The law should change immediately, whether its private property or not you should still be responsible for your dogs’ actions. I would also like to see the law toughened up on people who breed dogs like this. I would not want anyone to go through the hell we have.”
The Brtish government has announced another new law which will mean people convicted of owning a dog that kills a human can face life sentences, according to the Mirror.