ROCKVILLE, MD (WJLA/CNN) - Animal Services officers in Maryland seized five pit bull mixes after police say the dogs viciously attacked a 28-year-old woman and her pet dog, who was left in critical condition.
The victim told officers she was walking her dog in a Rockville, MD, neighborhood Thursday evening when she saw the five dogs barking and jumping within a fenced-in yard. She crossed the street with her 7-year-old foxhound-retriever mix, Addie.
But somehow the pit bulls escaped the yard and attacked the two.
Witnesses heard shrill screams for help as the dogs mauled Addie. The foxhound’s owner ultimately picked her up and locked her arms around her, which is when the pit bulls began attacking the woman.
Officers responding to the scene found the 28-year-old and Addie on the front porch of a home, with three dogs in the front yard. The woman had a wound to her lower leg, and Addie was bleeding from the abdomen, according to a Montgomery County Police Department press release.
While the victim was talking to the officers, the pit bulls ran on to the porch and again began biting the 28-year-old and her dog.
Officers stopped the attack and contained the pit bulls in the yard.
The 28-year-old victim was transported to the hospital for treatment of multiple severe bite wounds, while Addie was transported to an emergency-care animal clinic in critical condition. The foxhound suffered multiple life-threatening puncture wounds and lacerations, according to the press release.
Montgomery County Animal Services took the aggressive dogs into custody, deeming all five of them dangerous in a letter to the owners Friday.
Animal Services plans to euthanize the attack dogs. The owners, however, may appeal that decision within five days.
Officers are investigating how the dogs escaped the yard. Criminal charges have not been filed but are possible. The county may also issue citations against the owners, which would result in fines.
The 28-year-old victim was released from the hospital Thursday night. Her dog remained in critical condition as of Friday’s press release.
Officials in the area say the pit bulls were most likely set off by a pack mentality and were displaying classic territorial behavior. In this case, the behavior was likely a result of seeing the victim’s dog.