Elderly Woman Attacked By 2 Of 15 Dogs Found In Her Home

GAMBRILLS, Md. (WJZ) — An elderly woman is at Shock Trauma Wednesday after being mauled by pit bulls in her Gambrills home.

Suzanne Collins reports two of 15 dogs found in the house are being deemed dangerous.

The 84-year-old woman was mauled by two of her granddaughter’s pit bulls, which are now being held in quarantine, declared to be “dangerous dogs” by the county. In all, 15 dogs were removed from the Gambrills home.

“There were a total of five adult pit bulls, there were six pit bull puppies under 4 months old, and there were four dogs that belonged to the elderly woman,” said Lt. Glenn Shanahan with Anne Arundel County Animal Control.

The shelter says some of the dogs are sick. One has eye problems. The shelter also says the puppies were underfed, but have recovered.

“They were emaciated, dirty, seemed like they were very hungry,” said Mindi Brocato, shelter employee.

The elderly woman tells police that the pit bull named Trinity started to attack her lab. That’s when the second pit bull joined in. There was a melee.  She was mauled and her lab was killed.

The victim, who’s still in serious condition, was finally able to tell officers exactly which dogs attacked her.

“The owner of the dogs—the granddaughter— has decided to take this before the Animal Control Commission to fight the danger orders,” Shanahan said.

To get the dogs back she must pay nearly $1,000 in fines. Dangerous dogs must be kenneled or muzzled, otherwise they’ll be euthanized.

Neighbors say they didn’t know so many dogs were inside. 

“A little 4-year-old child in a house with 15 dogs, 11 pit bulls. That’s pretty dangerous, I would think. Dogs react to children differently because they are small,” said Jerry Shai, neighbor.

“They could be dangerous if they got out,” said Bob Gruss, neighbor. “They could attack a child, I would think.”

No one answered the door Wednesday.

The granddaughter has also been charged with having unlicensed dogs and no proof of rabies vaccinations.

  • Pitbullsarentpets

    Like i’ve been saying all along, Pitbulls are killers from birth!!! Only an idiot would try an make a pet out of one…

    • Linda Fiore

      any dog can be akiller dont blame it on one breed u idiot

      • Pam Eckloff

        i agree…we have a pit bull and hes like a baby…i think its all in how the owner raises the dog…pits have a bad rep but they really can be sweet dogs and most people dont give them a chance…

      • Bullfrog

        I have had German Shepherds, Pit Bulls, Pomeranian, Poodles, Mixed Breeds, Collies, and BLACK Labs  over the last forty years and my ownership of these dogs tell me that Pit Bulls are by far the most dangerous. I also worked  for a few years at the Maryland S.P.C.A  and have had several years experience at veterinarian Hospitals.  My ownership of different breeds and experience at different jobs tells me that I am RIGHT.

      • pitbulllove

        umm no they are not killers its all on who the owners are!!

    • Kerrie

      i feel like you just posted this comment hoping to get a flood of frantic responses…. you obviously have no personal experience with pits based on your statements, just anecdotes about a pit you may have encountered once and a few stories from news sources that know blood sells and as such only print articles about violence. Any responsible owner of any dog breed would never be in the situation as this woman, hoarding and neglecting dogs (which are the start of a good recipe for vicious dog attacks). She should not be allowed to own any dogs, although since she never bothered to get any of her dogs licensed i’m sure it won’t be long before she has more dangerous and malnourished dogs in her home

      • Cheryl Sherpinski

        from what the article said 11 of the dogs were not hers but her granddaughter’s; who seems to be irresponsible. Leaving that many dogs with someone who is probably on a fixed income and not providing adequate food to care for them or additional money to care for them. If she has the $1000 for the fines why didn’t she take care of them herself instead of dumping them on her elderly grandmother?

      • Hope HouseofPeace Everywhere

        If the dogs were starving, just like you, they would try to get food in any way they could.

        It may be that the lab was being fed, but the other dogs weren’t, in which case, it would explain why the pits went after the lab. In addition, if the woman tried to interfere with the fight, she would not have been mailed on purpose, but because she was in the way of nature’s method of feeding animals…the strongest survive…kill or be killed.

        In addition, if the pits were just recently brought into the home, and the lab was there, originally, and the pups belonged to the pits, then, the dogs might see the attack as trying to supply for the puppies. Try to remember, pits, like any animal, with canines, are carnivorous.

        Normally, pits don’t go after ‘just’ any animal, though, unless they haven’t been taken care of, properly.

    • Chris

      pit bulls are not killers from birth, but they are more aggressive than most dogs. They become killers from being mistreated and made mean by the worthless owners. I don’t like pit bulls or most domesticated animals anyway, but animals are made the way they are by the owners being neglectful and stupid!!

    • rlk

      The fact that the dogs were pits doesnt matter. Anyone who has 15 starving dogs in their house was asking for it. Instead of banning breeds we should be banning stupid people from pet ownership (and for that matter from being parents).

      • marylandbrowngirl

        FOR THE WIN!!! Best comment! Could not have said it better myself.

      • ShannonW

        Very well said! I love the idiots who blame the dogs…..the people are to blame, not the dogs!

    • Nanci Ryan

      Please check baltimore bullies…and start nuetering idiots.

    • Sarah Sams

      you dont know nothing.. i have two and they are the best pets ive ever had. your just close minded and probably had a personal experience w/ a pit and are now on the band wagon w/. the media

  • Alla Bradley

    You can’t get homeowners if you have a pitbull, I guess there are alot of people who don’t have it, or they lied when they got it. They are a dangerous breed by all accounts.

    • Nicole

      That is actually false, and you can infact obtain both homeowners and renters insurance with pit bulls!!! I will also assume that you have never had the pleasure of being around any pit bulls. They are not dangerous by all accounts. I don’t feel like going into detail here as I do not feel like being bashed. As with your first statement being wrong, your second one is as well!

      • Bullfrog

        Nicole, I do not know what your experience is but mine goes back 40 years and you my dear are WRONG! CASE CLOSED!

      • Jay Reynolds

        Pitbulls ar e not dangerous..RATHER THE PEOPLE are just stupid. They are the most loyal animals. Why don’t we underfeed you and see how cranky you become?

      • JQP

        Bullfrog, you can spew any “fact” about yourself to convince us that you’re credible, but unless you put out statistics with some method of backing up your case… sources, etc… you are just one more fool who follows the party line and can’t think for himself.

        I have a pit bull and she is 14. She is the best dog a family could ever have the pleasure of living with. She has helped me every day with loving and protecting and playing with my small children, and…OH, by the way, I have homeowners insurance… and, yes, we bought the house after we rescued the pup.

        NICOLE, you rock, sister.

    • ha ha!

      while I’m not sure about INSURANCE, I DO KNOW that you would be hard-pressed to find a renter to accept a pitbull :-)

      • hairchick1803

        Yep, it’s called discrimination!

    • brenda walsh

      wrong, i have a pitbull, and statefarm gladly insures my home. suck on that.

    • Mz.B

      Alla I am a home owner in Baltimore County, I am a pit bull (mix) owner with a licensed dog and my home owners increased by a whopping $19 per year when I adopted. I am not sure where you got this info, but it is not correct.

    • ha ha

      yes, you can. where do you get your info?

  • Pat

    Any dog can be vicious. The Pits and the Rotties get the brunt of it. These dogs are wonderful animals. If they are treated badly, and not fed, any dog will do the same.There are NO bad dogs, just Bad Owners….

    • PitbullsArentPets

      @Pat, Rotts are not in the same arena as Pitbulls!! Pitbulls will kill you, your kid, your other pet (if you have one) and I know that you idiots know exactly what i’m talking about!! No dog stands a chance with them in the ring!!

  • Pat

    Ex-Baltimore, you don’t know what the hell you are talking about. I have 10 dogs, mostly all rescues, and my dogs are treated better than most people. And its not only women….

  • JoeFromAACounty


    • Nicole Pelkey

      Joe.. I have a 13 year old Pit Bull. She was NOT bred to fight, and she has NEVER been unpredictable! Have you ever tried to educate yourself on the breed? Something that DIDN’T come from the evening news, or your local paper? Dogs of ANY breed can be made aggressive. They are not born that way. And even the ones who are fought in dog fighting operations are proving that they can be rehabilitated. Take a look at Handsome Dan. But I know, I know. You won’t, but instead, you will come back with the some line that you probably heard from a recent media story. Or some false statistic. But it’s funny, that years ago, it was the Doberman that was vicious, then the Rottie, and the German Shepherd. How can anyone truly think that judging a dog, based on it’s breed, is any different from racial profiling? Are you also a racist Joe? Take the time to educate yourself on Pit Bulls before you spew your garbage!

    • Coaster

      Joe, obviously you ARE from AA county, as it seems that pit bulls in AAC are only bred for that reason in Anne Arundel County. When you grow up and travel outside of this area, you will go to places where you will see other dogs that are treated badly, and inbred to the point where they become overloyal and sometimes snap. They will also become paranoid and defend against perceived aggressors.

      In your future travels, you will also see loyal breeds treated the way dogs should be treated. They are raised well, and trained properly. They do not attack, and they do not kill other animals or people. The owners of these dogs are the ones you read posts from so vehemently (that means to say strongly) protesting those people who say that all pit bulls, or rotts or german shepards (before your time) are bred only to kill.

      Enjoy your spring break!

    • Amanda

      Pit bulls are an intelligent, LOYAL breed. They will do whatever their owner wants them to. If you train them to fight, then yes, they will fight tooth and nail to satisfy their owner. If you teach them to be calm, friendly dogs, they will be the most gentle, caring animals you’ve ever met. An animal is not evil just for being born, it’s the stupid PEOPLE that make them that way. Don’t bash the dogs, blame the idiots that teach them.

      • Coaster

        Yeah, I wonder if she knew the guys that were seen up by Loving Rd. fighting Pitts in February….maybe she supplied the puppy they were using.

    • candace

      I don’t know where you are getting your information from but you are VERY wrong! Pits were NOT originally bred to fight and kill. While obviously there are exceptions, and breeding dogs then fighting them does occur the breed does not have a genetic predisposition to fighting or killing. Pits were originally bred as weight pulling dogs because of their amazing strength. I have had the pleasure of owning pits and currently have a 5 year old red nose who is the most docile, loving, loyal dog I have ever owned or met. I am also active in the local bull breed rescues. I have been around many pits, including abused ones, and have met very few aggressive ones. It is all in how the dog is treated. You can make any dog or animal for that matter mean and aggressive by starving and abusing it. As far as unpredictability goes; any animal can be unpredictable, including human beings. You may want to get your facts straight prior to posting and perpetuating the stereotypes.

  • urnotfunny

    AA County WFT? What I want to know is…………..why in the hell would they even consider giving her these animals back? They were undernourished and were not up to date on vaccinations. The puppies are probably for her to sell to fight. What the hell is wrong with you people at animal control, don’t give those dogs back to this beast. The poor grandmother is in shock trauma, WAKE UP!!!

    • Iva Bolden

      I agree She should not be allowed to own any pets. I would have child welfare check her out too. A young child with all those dogs?

  • JR

    Very well stated Nicole and Pat, some people will speak without any knowledge or facts..

  • TR

    I agree with Nicole and Pat…..Any Dog can be dangerous…its all in how the owner treats or mistreats them….It is not any different than some of the children on our streets these days that Kill…..Abusers attacking or killing abusers…
    Signed, A Proud Pitbull owner.

  • randc

    Do you hear of any other maulings from Collies, Poodles, Labs, no. Please don’t say it’s because they don’t broadcast those maulings in the media. I’m sure if a Poodle mauled someone it would be all over the news. All animals are unpredictable and ANYONE that has any sense to them knows this. I learned that from working as a vet tech for 10 years. You may have a great pitbull as a pet that hasn’t hurt anyone – you just love your animal and are ignorant to the fact that there is a just reason why people are afraid of them.

    • Cheryl Sherpinski

      poodles were actually bred to kill mice and rats; the daushound was bred to go after badgers and many of your collies and shepherds were bred to protect the flocks against wolves, bears and coyotes. So most of the breeds of dogs were bred to fight!!!!

      • Gael O

        Umm……..Dog knowledge: FAIL. Poodles are birding dogs. They were bred to point out the birds to the hunter, then swim out and retrieve the bird the hunter shot. Just like Labs. Herding dogs were bred to *herd*. They naturally group things together. I had one years ago who would circle people in the back yard and shove them until everyone was in a group. Most dogs are NOT bred to fight. At most, they are bred to defend. These attacks aren’t a matter of defense in most of the cases I know of. Including the psycho pit that used to live up the street from me. Raised by experienced dog people, never knew a harsh word his whole life. They opened the door, he saw someone walking their dog a few blogs down the street and off he went. No warning. No previous misbehavior, no previous interaction w/ this other dog aside from seeing it walked down the street. His little brain just snapped.

        I think there are lines of pit bulls with some sort of mental defect – too many are reported being raised by caring people in good homes and they still go off. Something like human psychosis. The problem is that you don’t know if your dog has the problem until they do it. I’d love to see some vet school start a brain study on these animals, if it is a defect, then it could be bred out. Or at the least, you’d know that the dog had it.

        And as a side note re: other dog bites. Other dogs may bite, but they tend to bite and let go. Pit Bulls tend to bite and lock down. Their jaw strength makes it next to impossible to pry their mouths open, which is possible on a German Shepard. Their “bite and dig in” style makes them more dangerous than a “bite and let go” dog.

      • Coaster

        Gael O:

        Yes, in a sense there are some pit bulls that have mental defects. In a nutshell, it’s a case of overbreeding. In the “loyalty” breeds – not just pit bulls, you can get this where they are just the best thing ever, and do just what you’d want, bark at the door, don’t let strangers near the kids, don’t let tresspassers inside the fenced yard without making a huge ruckus, but then that inbreeding gets a little overdone in some of them. And you know, for all the ones that make the news, that’s really a small percent compared to the ones that don’t. It’s just because it’s a really really awful way to make the news. And the ones that have that bad gene set or whatever it is, due to inbreeding (it might even be something that can be passed down like red hair and green eyes with people) makes them snap after a few years. It isn’t just dogs, either. I had a neighbor who’s cat got bred by it’s close relative (they didn’t “believe” in spaying and neutering – ugh) and one of the kittens was so violently agressive it had to be put down before it was six months old. The vet said it was because it was inbred, sometimes that happens.

      • brenda walsh

        Gael O, that is a myth.

        “‘Pit Bulls have locking jaws.’ The jaws of the Pit Bull are functionally
        the same as the jaws of any other breed, and this has been proven via
        expert examination.

        The few studies which have been conducted of the structure of the
        skulls, mandibles and teeth of Pit Bulls show that, in proportion to their
        size, their jaw structure and thus its inferred functional morphology, is
        no different than that of any [other] breed of dog. There is absolutely
        not evidence for the existence of any kind of ’locking mechanism’ unique
        to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier,
        says Dr. I. Lerh Brisbin of the University of Georgia (from the ADBA
        booklet, “Discover the American Pit Bull Terrier.)”


    • Nicole Pelkey

      Have you checked out the American Temperament Test Society. I think you might learn a little about your “Collies, Poodles, and Labs”.

      • randc

        How many people have Collies, Poodles and Labs disfigured? Is that in the american temperment test society? Do they bite? Yes. Do they bite a lot? Yes, sure, whatever your little statistic say on that website. I think you missed my point all while trying to make yours.

    • ha ha!

      i have a WONDERFUL rottweiler. His name is Sgt. Stubby. But, let’s be frank sweetheart. He is part of a vicious breed. It’s okay to say you just did an exceptional job honey :-)

      • the other ha ha

        no, they are not part of a viscous breed, they are part of a strong breed, there’s a difference. the only reason we hear more about their attacks is because they do the same thing that smaller dogs do, but they cause more damage because of their strength, not their temperament… honey.

    • brenda walsh

      I own a pitbull who’s temperament is very predictable, know why? because he is well cared for and treated the way he should be. I have however been attacked by a standard poodle, it was not broadcast on the news and. i was mauled quite badly by a boston terrier – went to the hospital with numerous bite wounds and nerve damage, never broadcast on the news…neither of those dogs were mine.

      The media is guilty of sensationalizing these stories just as irresponsible owners are guilty of giving these dogs a bad temperament because they are not cared for properly.

      what exactly did this family think would happen with FIFTEEN underfed, neglected dogs in one house?

    • hairchick1803

      There are many cases were people call the media to report dog attacks and because it isn’t a “bully” breed the media will not cover – check me out if you want. I know there are many cases. There are also many cases about pits saving lives but those aren’t “news worhty” either!

    • hairchick1803

      Many cases of media not covering stories, believe it or don’t, it’s up to you. At the end of the day I will still enjoy love from my “attack dog breed.”

      Think about this, if you were in Japan and the media told you there was no reason to be alarmed and you believed them….would you still think the same. Yes, I know someone in Japan and yes that’s what they were told by there media AND there government.

  • randc

    Also, not all animals that attack are mistreated by their owners. Such a HUGE misconception. All of those that claim to know so much about animals are just rambling about something they know nothing about. Both sides arguing their points are completely wrong. Not one family dog that was loved and treated with care and kindness has ever attacked anyone – yeah right.

  • mandy

    Why would she give a 84 year old woman to watch 2 pittbulls in the first place.
    Do not give the dogs back to her. The dog need to put down. If the dogs are for fighting & I think thats some states there law need to put the dogs down.

  • Doug

    And what did the other dogs do while their K-9 friends were having their way with granny. Hmmm..
    If they’re anything like my dog,bet they just watched
    and wondered where they’re next meal was going to come from.

  • cassie1127

    As a Pit Bull owner I must say that anyone whom truly believes these dogs are dangerous obviously do not own one. I have had my pit for 8 years and she would lick you to death before she would ever hurt you. I have 4 children and also had an at home day care with 4 toddlers and my pit Zena never once showed aggression towards them even though they climbed on her, pulled her tail and constantly pestered her. It is not the breed but the way they are raised. it is not the breeds fault that dog fighters have given them a bad rap! I would be pretty nasty too if I was starved to death and beaten and neglected. Again, IT IS NOT THE DOG BUT THE OWNERS WHO RAISE THEM AND HOW THEY ARE RAISED!!

  • Danielle Avent

    She probably was taking advantage of the old ma. Probably breeding and holding those pits for some old dude she messing with. Shame *smh*.



    • Sharon

      Man, I wish the five dogs in the yard that backs against mine were not ALOUD.

    • ha do-diddly-ha

      WHAT?!!! I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!!!

    • Deneen

      You obviously should be shot! It’s owners with your mentality that are the problem. Learn to spell. Get some grammar lessons. Allowed is the word you were looking for and whatever has an h in it. Just because it’s not in the news, it doesn’t happen?

  • Doug

    13 out of 15 dogs prefer the taste of Purina
    over the taste of Granny.
    Or so it would appear.

  • pigeon

    The grandmother is as crazy as her granddaughter. And a 4 yr. old living there is just short of child endangerment if not already considered. Officials need to take a real close look into this situation.
    Neither should be allowed to ever again own any animals; especially in light of the fact there are no records of any vet care, shots, etc. They should NOT be returned. Each should be tested to determine if they are adoptable. If they are put them up for adoption. If they aren’t and can’t be rehabbed then they need to be put down.
    Hope the lady feels better soon.

  • Chris

    I think the two dogs involved need to be put down, the remainder of dogs placed with someone who can care for them and lock the granddaughter up for animal cruelty and endangering the lives of her grandmother and a 4 year old child. What the hell is wrong with people? Those dogs should not have been near an 84 year old woman let alone a 4 year old child. The fact that the owner is going to fight the charges that the dogs are dangerous after mauling her grandmother almost to the point of death shows just how much of an idiot and self centered a-hole she really is. MORON!!!!

  • Chance

    You have to treat a dog like a dog. If you let the dog run rampant around the house like they own it.. they will be unpredictable. I’ve known some pretty vicious Chihuahuas and if they only had the size and strength of a pit bull they would be extremely dangerous.

    My Pit Bull got bit by a little fluff ball the once and did nothing … It’s the nurture not the nature.

    Pit Bulls are for hugs, not thugs :)

    • Mz.B

      love it Chance!

  • pitbull lover

    ITS NOT THE DOG its how the owner treats the dog, how its raised, I wish people would realise PITBULLS are NOT bad animals,. I have had many. and they are very loving animals just like any other dog. you abuse them, beat them, or mis treat them of course the dog is going to defend it self. Look how these pitbulls got there name, From animal abusers, thugs, and people who have them for pets and dont deserve them., i have pitbulls and they are just like a lab, very calm., playfull, and loving. i would not trade them for the world. every one sees or hears about a pit and they automatically think VICIOUS or ATTACK.. WRONG!!!!!!ITS ALL ABOUT HOW THEY ARE TREATED…

    • Jammy Ross

      pitbull lover
      i agree 100% with you

  • Tammy

    you idiots…. it has nothing to do with the breed of the dog. If you have a dog in the house that is hungry and has not been treated well what are you going to expect it to do. Rotweillers and pitbulls have a bad name but it has nothing to do with the breed itself it has to do with the person that is raising it they are two of the best breeds of dogs out there and for people to believe that it attacked this poor woman because it is a pitbull is absolutly obserd.

  • whatnow

    To Gael O – I have a magnet that says the more I learn about men, the more I love my cats – LOL! To urnotfunny and Iva Bolden – you are both absolutely correct. Poor old granny and her 4 dogs didn’t have a change against a granddaughter who was probably abusing her just like she abused those dogs and her own 4 year old. She should lose the dogs, the kid, and have a restraining order placed against her to keep her away from granny.

  • joeturner

    Isn’t that sweet. A dangerous pit bull named Trinity. I suppose the other one is named Angel.

  • Bitethis

    The old lady got what she deserved. She didn’t take care of the dogs. They were Hungary and sick.

  • Greg

    I tend to agree with both sides on specific points, but also each side should recognize where the other is right. Yes pit bulls have been bred for fighting, but that does not make every pit bull vicious. Many of them are raised correctly and are loving animals.

    However if they aren’t raised properly, or come from a particularly aggressive line they are much more dangerous than most other dogs. Their bit is not a locking mechanism any dog could do that. The difference is the amount of force that they can bite with. I don’t care what anyone says, if you get attacked by a pomeranian it isn’t going to do that same amount of damage as a pit bull can, it doesn’t have the size or the strength.

    With that being said, no not every pit bull should killed or taken away from families, but those who do have one should know the risks. Maybe someone should be more involved for the first couple years to make sure the dog is being trained correctly and treated well. That could stop some of these problems and educate more people about the breed itself

    • randc

      Well said.

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