February 3, 2010 / 6:10 PM / 9 years ago

Pet owner killed by dogs after saving them from death

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - A Slovenian who saved his three dogs from being put down for attacking humans was himself mauled to death by them, police said Wednesday.

“Three dogs bit their 52-year-old owner to death in Ljubljana yesterday,” police spokeswoman Maja Adlesic said.

Four years ago, the three bullmastiffs attacked and seriously injured a passer-by outside their owner’s house. They spent years in custody pending legal hearings, but when one of them attacked a dog handler, authorities ordered them to be put down.

Their owner, a doctor, succeeded last June in his legal appeals to get the dogs back, sparking a national controversy. After his death, an opposition party said the agriculture minister should resign for failing to stop the dogs from being released.

The dogs attacked the man in his garden Tuesday, killing him before the police arrived. All three dogs were put down following the attack.

Reporting by Marja Novak; edited by Robin Pomeroy

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