TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. — A woman from Truth or Consequences has died after being attacked by four pit bull dogs while taking a walk Easter Sunday, New Mexico authorities said.
Officer James Harrington said he found four pit bulls mauling Margaret Salcedo, 48, when he arrived in response to a 911 call.
The department said his attempt to drive the animals off was unsuccessful, and he fired several shots at one of the dogs when it threatened him. That animal fled, and Harrington was able to scatter the remaining dogs.
Harrington and emergency technicians gave first aid to Salcedo, but she died later at Sierra Vista Hospital in the central New Mexico community.
Three of the dogs were located a short time later and taken to the Hot Springs Animal Shelter, where they are quarantined. The fourth dog, shot by Harrington, was later found dead under a house.
The dogs’ owners were not home when the attack occurred.
State police, who are handling the investigation, are working with the District Attorney’s Office to determine whether charges will be filed.
New Mexico had fatal dog attacks in 2010 and 2006.
Bites from a relentless pack of dogs last December killed a 55-year-old man who had a history of seizures. He was found lying unconscious by the side of a road while the animals mauled him in the small community of Sundance, on Navajo Nation land in northwestern New Mexico.
In May 2006, a 53-year-old Gallina man was fatally mauled by dogs in northern New Mexico’s Rio Arriba County.