Last Friday, 56-year-old Baltimore resident Terry Douglass was fatally attacked by her pit bull.
The woman, who raised her dog since it was a puppy, was attacked by the dog after she fell from her wheelchair. A family member was at the house during the attack and tried unsuccessfully to intervene. The same family attempted to perform CPR on Douglass, but the attack proved too vicious to overcome.
The Huffington Post reported today that this is not the first time Douglass’s dog had attacked. Several family members have come forward saying the dog has attacked multiple people in the past.
"The dog was a vicious dog," Douglass’s nephew Torian Wellsey said. "She thought she could control it and she couldn't."
Douglass’s daughter, Tamathia Davis, says Friday’s attack wasn’t even the first time the dog had attacked her mother. The first attack left Terry Douglass with a hole in her cheek.
"Whenever my mom would open her mouth, her cheek would open with it,” she said.
Animal Control officials from the Baltimore City Health Department confirmed the dog’s prior attacks today. The dog was detained by Animal Control in April after it bit one of Douglass’s nephews.
The officials said they “did not feel that the dog was a threat to the public…[Douglass] was adamant in getting the dog back, so after vaccinating it for rabies, we returned the dog after the quarantine period was up.”
Baltimore City Animal Control released a statement on the fatal attack today.
"Baltimore City Animal Control supports responsible pet ownership and not laws that single out a specific breed," the statement read. "According to the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Dog attacks often result from multiple factors; it is not necessarily the breeds themselves that are dangerous. This is a tragic situation for Ms. Douglass and her family."