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California Woman Dies After Dog Bite

Experienced Attorney

A 74-year-old woman died after being bitten in the face by a dog, according to the Siskiyou Daily News.

Teena Mawhorter was attacked by a dog owned by one of her family members at her home in the city of Mount Shasta, California. According to Jon Lopey, the sheriff of Siskiyou County, Mawhorter died on the same day of the attack due to the severe blunt facial trauma she endured at the Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta, with her hypertensive heart disease also listed as a contributing factor.

According to county officials, the dog who attacked the elderly woman was a collie terrier and pit bull mix that belonged to the victim’s daughter. The animal has since been euthanized by Animal Control of Siskiyou County because of the deadly attack.

Kim Latos, shelter manager of the local Humane Society, said that although the dog has been labeled as a pit bull mix, it’s not possible to identify a dog’s true breed without using a DNA test to confirm it. As with humans, Latos noted, you can’t “judge a book by its cover.” She also added that in her more than three decades in the industry, she has seen several dog breeds behave aggressively, including cattle dogs, chihuahuas and golden retrievers. When she was shown photos of the dog that attacked Mawhorter, she reiterated that it is not possible for her to positively identity its breed based on its appearance alone.

DogBite.org, an organization that works on behalf of dog bite victims and aims to reduce serious dog attacks in the US, reports that dog bites were the culprit behind the deaths of more than 400 people between 2005 and 2017. According to the organization, pit bulls were responsible for around 66 percent of all those deaths, with rottweilers coming in second at 10 percent. According to Dog Bite.org, shelters are unable to verify whether a dog is actually aggressive before the animal is offered for adoption because there is no foolproof way to test a dog for vicious behavior.

According to police reports, the local county sheriff’s office responded to a call from Mawhorter’s home at around 10:45 in the morning. It was reported that an elderly woman and another person had been bitten by a dog, with the elderly woman suffering a severe bite and requiring immediate medical help. Both of the dog bite victims received care from emergency responders at the scene and were then brought to the hospital, where Mawhorter died just past noon on the same day. Since the dog was not hostile to responding officers at the scene, it was not immediately put down at the home. Instead, it was euthanized by Animal Control later.

Dog bite deaths are not unheard of, and even a dog that seems friendly can suddenly turn hostile and attack. If you have been harmed by a dangerous dog, its owner may be liable for your pain, suffering and losses tied to the attack. It is highly suggested to find a dog bite lawyer Denver, CO offers about your injury as soon as you can.


Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into dog bites and personal injury cases.

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