Woman mauled to death by pit bulls in New Mexico

SANTA FE, New Mexico Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:31pm EDT

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SANTA FE, New Mexico (Reuters) - A woman has been mauled to death by a pack of four pit bulls in the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, authorities said on Monday.

Margaret Salcedo, 48, was walking alone when the dogs, which had escaped from a fenced yard at a private home, attacked her at an intersection on Sunday afternoon, Truth or Consequences Police Chief Patrick Gallagher said.

A passerby in a car opened his door to intervene, but he stayed in the vehicle when a dog charged him, police said.

"The officer arrived on the scene in less than three minutes, but it must have felt like an eternity to the poor woman being attacked," Gallagher told Reuters.

One of the dogs charged the officer, who shot and injured the animal, police said. All four dogs ran off, and the officer administered first aid to the wounded woman.

Salcedo was bitten on all her extremities and lost a lot of blood, Gallagher said. She was taken to a hospital, where she died within hours, he said.

The dogs were later located, and the animal that had been shot was dead from its injuries.

The other three dogs were taken to an animal shelter, but authorities said they will not make a determination on whether to destroy them until the conclusion of their investigation.

The dogs belonged to a couple named John and Maria Hardiman, who were not present during the attack, police said.

New Mexico State Police officials were conferring with the local District Attorney's Office to determine if criminal charges are warranted.

Truth or Consequences is about 150 miles south of Albuquerque, and the town named after a television game show in 1950 is popular for its hot springs.

(Reporting by Zelie Polon; Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Jerry Norton)

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Comments (53)
james88 wrote:
…and the animal rights folks keep saying pits are not bad animals- just their owners. while they whine about so-called “breed specific legislation” the fact remains that pits are extremely dangerous fighting dogs. how many more innocent people have to die before every town in america finally bans vicious dogs?

Apr 25, 2011 11:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Hako wrote:
Press charges. If people insist on owning breeds that are know to be dangerous, they are responsible for properly containing them. This poor women must have suffered horribly, and now her family it without her. If dog owners are incarcerated when their dogs run amok, maybe they will think twice before acquiring a known dangerous breed. If they had chosen a
golden retriever, or dozens of other breeds, this women would be alive today.

Apr 25, 2011 11:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
boonhower wrote:
“The other three dogs were taken to an animal shelter, but authorities said they will not make a determination on whether to destroy them until the conclusion of their investigation.”

Are you kidding me? Really? Really? Pit bulls now have fifth amendment rights?

Apr 25, 2011 11:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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