Somerset, MA – A 44-year old woman died after being mauled by a family pit bull. Melissa Astacio suffered a seizure Friday evening in her Somerset home. Her daughter called 911 and said that her mother was having a seizure when the dog started to attack her, according to a press release from the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office. – DogsBite.org
Officers were forced to Tase the dog before helping Astacio. She was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital, where she died from her injuries. Her daughter, Heaven, does not blame the dog for killing her mother. “I don’t think he was trying to attack her. I think the dog was just trying to help my mom, but he’s just a dog and he didn’t know any better,” Heaven said. – WJAR
factU.S. fatal pit bull attacks have surpassed 370 since 1998; the last year the CDC studied fatal dog attack data by breed. In the last 8-year period of the CDC study (1991 to 1998), pit bulls averaged 2.9 deaths per year. From 2013 to 2020, the most recent 8-year period, pit bulls averaged 28.4 deaths per year, an increase of over 850%.