Great Britain

Woman killed by pitbulls she was dogsitting, police say

An Oklahoma mother of two was killed following an attack from four pit bull dogs she was looking after, according to law enforcement

Rebecca McCurdy, 28, was discovered dead in Skiatook, west of Tulsa, officials from the Osage County Sherriff’s Office said, noting that she was attacked by pit bulls as witnesses tried to save her after the dogs began “ripping at her” on 19 June.

Ms McCurdy was apparently looking after the dogs for their owner, who is believed to have been out of town and a breeder of the animal, according to reporting by news outlet KTUL on Tuesday. They are awaiting confirmation from the Oklahoma state medical examiner.

Witnesses appeared on the local news to discuss what they had seen and heard of the dogs’ vicious attack.

“Four pits had just attacked her,” Kwasi Stephens told News 9. “I ain’t gonna lie, it got a little graphic, like some limbs, you seen some bones, some blood, like they got her, her arm, leg. They were just kinda ripping at her.”

He described the attempt to rescue Ms McCurdy: “One dude had a bat, one dude was just hitting on him, but them dogs were not giving up, and that’s when the cops were called.” He went on to say that the cops began shooting at the animals, killing one of them, hitting another and rounding up the rest.

The three surviving dogs are currently being held by animal welfare authorities, according to the Sherriff’s office. They had a previous history of running away and being “aggressive”, according to News 9’s report.

McCurdy was the mother to two small children and leaves behind her husband, according to her cousin Sheila McCallister Meinhardt, who established a crowdfunder in her honour.

This particular breed of dog has a violent reputation and a pit bull attack advocacy group the National Pit Bull Victim Awareness group said that there were 31 media reports of deaths due to due to pitbulls in the first nine months of 2020.

Traditionally, pit bulls were bred for fighting, but a statement by the ASPCA on pit bulls outlines their opposition to blanket banning them as a breed, as often it is a matter of luck of how they are raised.

“Treating them as such, providing them with the care, training and supervision they require, and judging them by their actions and not by their DNA or their physical appearance is the best way to ensure that dogs and people can continue to share safe and happy lives together,” they wrote.

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