COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — A 64-year-old Maryland woman was mauled to death by a pit bull she recently rescued, police said Tuesday.

According to Howard County Police, officers were called to a home on Tamar Drive on Labor Day for a report of a woman being mauled to death by her dog.

Robin Conway was found dead in her backyard with significant injuries.

A family member found Conway in her yard around 7:20 p.m. on Monday with the dog standing over her.

The witness called 911 and tied the dog to a fence until help arrived.

The radio transmission was heard with the caller saying he thought his wife was attacked by a dog and might be dead.

Police and EMS responded and pronounced Conway dead at the scene.

The dog, who was still leashed to the post, was barking and lunging on its leash. It was subdued by animal control officers and ultimately euthanized.

A necropsy will be performed to determine if the dog was sick or had rabies.

Conway had adopted the pit bull two weeks prior from a rescue out-of-state.

Her sister, Susan Eve LeClair, said Conway was no stranger to pit bulls which is why she had rescued the one she was walking at the time of the attack.

“She cared so much about her animals that she had taken this dog,” LeClair said.

Conway’s family is mourning and is at a loss for words.

“Everybody is devasted,” LeClair said. “I don’t know that there are lessons to be learned or not,”

Police said the dog showed some signs of aggression.

“The dog was on a leash but lunging and barking, they tried to subdue him but ultimately had to euthanize him,” said Sherry Llewellyn with Howard County Police.

“There was obviously something wrong with this dog, but Robin was a wonderful wonderful person,” LeClair said.

Police said there were no previous calls to animal control about this residence prior to the incident Monday.

Police are conducting a death investigation in the case and awaiting official autopsy results.

“We have not seen a lot of cases like this here in Howard County,” Llewellyn said. “And we certainly haven’t seen cases that involve in a resulting death,”

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Comments (72)
  1. Those dogs need to be banned. I had one run at me in my backyard a couple of years ago; the owner managed to call him back. She said “oh, he’s a sweetheart, he’d never attack anyone, he was just being friendly.” B.S. I saw him coming and just froze in place. That’s what probable saved me. Those people moved out not too long afterward.

  2. Stehr Va says:

    People are stupid and I have no sympathy for anyone dumb enough to rescue a pit bull. No way of knowing what had happened to this dog in the past AND who would want a dog that at anytime could lock on like a vice and not let go. Sure all dogs can bite but THEY never let go. Sorry but the bred should be destroyed.

  3. Walter Morgan says:

    They’re called “pit bulls” for a reason.

  4. Jimmy Rustled says:

    I have had pits for a long time..I had them from young, they never showed any type of aggression towards me or any other person,…both the male and female we have now are social butterflies that love meeting new people, my elderly neighbors love them..

    now that being said, they are extremely strong dogs and not sure I would rescue one without knowing background and reason for previous owner giving dog up…but that goes for any large dog if they were abused

    I have been bitten and scars from other types of dogs but never my pit..

    people are quick to label certain dog races as vicious because of act of a few…do you apply that to certain races of humans?

  5. Mark Walker says:

    This brings to mind the old Al Wilson song, “The Snake.”

  6. Bernie Willrise says:

    This is like the fourth article about pit bulls killing humans this year, but don’t try to talk to pit bull lovers about this, they’ll start name calling.

  7. “shock and disbelief… in a commmunity…” …… Seriously? A dog bred for that very purpose and the community is in “shock and disbelief…”?

  8. Rosemary DeLeeuw Bolton says:

    Maybe the husband rubbed pepperoni and sausage all over the woman.
    This could have been a murder

  9. Lea Hart says:

    i dont want to hear that its the owners fault i would never own this kind of dog in a million years.they should make them extinct

  10. Marcie Rapisarda says:

    The information given on the 911 call, leads me to believe the husband did something and then aggravated the dog to hide evidence.

  11. Lew Heifner says:

    How many more people have to die? Pit bulls are not “mean”, “vicious”, nor “aggressive” when they maim and kill any more than labs are mean or aggressive when they retrieve, pits simply maul and kill because of genetics. Denying the truth won’t reduce the killings and maimings by these purpose bred blood sport animals. Spay and neuter pit bulls to extinction.
    #GeneticsMatters #BreedMatters #WontBackDown #SpayNeuterPitsToExtinction #PittersHateChildren

  12. Michael Garcia says:

    I have friends in the “pitbulls are sweet lovable dogs and it’s the owners’ fault that they attack and kill people” crowd. They are half right and half wrong: yes, many of these dogs are owned by a certain…. type, for lack of a better word, or people – the “tough guy”, gangsta who wants a dog as an extension of his insecure persona. BUT, the simple fact of the matter is that these dogs can be triggered by practically nothing, and unpredictably maul people, unprovoked. They were bred as fighting dogs, and that’s a much of their DNA as a Siberian Husky’s inclination to run off, and a Pointer’s inclination to point, etc. It cannot be controlled. There are about 10 of these in our local shelter, and all but two of them are un-adoptable because of their aggression.

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