An 85-year-old woman was mauled to death by her pet pit bull Saturday at her home near Etowah, Tenn., officials said.
Mattie Daugherty was outside with some family members who were helping her renovate her home on County Road 492 when she went inside to check on her dog, said Sheriff Joe Guy.
When she went inside, the dog attacked her head and neck, Guy said.
"It couldn't have taken long because the family said they didn't hear anything," Guy said.
Her daughter found her shortly after the attack and called a neighbor to come help. The neighbor attempted to kill the dog, but was unsuccessful. Officers responded around 11:45 a.m., Guy said.
"Although every effort had been made to rescue the victim, it was apparent that she had already deceased due to her severe wounds," he said in a news release.
A K-9 officer, Deputy Randy Gabrel attempted to shoot the dog but failed to kill it. He finally hauled the dog off Daugherty before Deputy Tim Davis was finally able to shoot and kill it, Guy said.
Daugherty had owned the dog for nine years and family members told Guy it had never caused a problem before.