Woman dies following pit bull attack

Published: Jul. 13, 2015 at 1:27 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2015 at 7:50 PM EDT
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SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - A woman attacked by a dog around 2 p.m. Sunday has died.

Annie Williams, 71, of Cleveland, died at South Pointe Hospital after being attacked by a pit bull on Pennington Road. Crews transported Williams to the hospital, but it was too late.

Williams was picking up her two granddaughters from their father when the dog attacked. A 13-year-old relative was inside the car at the time of the incident.

Family members say the dog's owner lives in the home where she was picking up her grandchildren. The pit bull was not licensed in Cuyahoga County.

911 dispatch: What's the dog doing?

Caller: I don't know. He's on top of a lady! Somebody's trying to get him off, but they can't get him off!

The dog jumped on Williams as she got out of her car onto the sidewalk. Witnesses say at least two neighbors tried to get the pit bull off her.

"There is a man hitting the dog, and apparently, the dog wasn't moving to get up off of her. But, eventually, the other neighbor came and scared it with the shots," said Darlene White, who lives two doors away.

Police say the animal was wounded by a neighbor, who shot at the dog after witnessing the attack. The wounded dog was then shot and killed by officers in a backyard in the 3600 block of Pennington.

Shaker Heights Police is investigating and awaiting autopsy results from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office.

"I didn't get to see her before this happened. She was always there for everybody. As stranger in the street, it didn't matter who it was. She was the sweetest person and her grandkids loved her," said Annie's daughter, Tequila.

Williams moved to Cleveland from Mobile, AL, at 21. She worked 30 years at University Hospitals as a dietician's aide. More recently, she worked on Saturdays at McDonald's in Cleveland. Management said she was an amazing employee.

2014 dog bite fatality statistics

  • 42 U.S. dog bite-related fatalities occurred in 2014. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 700 U.S. cities, pit bulls contributed to 64% (27) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up about 6% of the total U.S. dog population.
  • Together, pit bulls (27) and rottweilers (4), the second most lethal dog breed, accounted for 74% of the total recorded deaths in 2014. This same combination also accounted for 74% of all fatal attacks during the 10-year period of 2005 to 2014.
  • The breakdown between these two breeds is substantial over this 10-year period. From 2005 to 2014, pit bulls killed 203 Americans, about one citizen every 18 days, versus rottweilers, which killed 38, about one citizen every 96 days.
  • In the year of 2014, the combination of pit bulls (27), rottweilers (4) and mastiff-type guard dogs and war dogs (4) -- the types used to create "baiting" bull breeds and fighting breeds -- accounted for 83% (35) of all dog bite-related fatalities.
  • Annual data from 2014 shows that 48% (20) of the fatality victims were children 13 years and younger, and 52% (22) were adults, 20 years and older. Of the total adults killed by dogs in 2014, 73% (16) were ages 50 years and older.

Several cities have their own laws when it comes to dog ownership.

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