Your Voice Your Vote 2024

Live results
Last Updated: April 23, 10:42:16PM ET

71-Year-Old Kansas City Woman Killed by Pit Bull

ByABC News
July 28, 2006, 2:20 PM

July 28, 2006 — -- Police said they are treating the fatal dog mauling of a 71-year-old Kansas City, Kan., woman as a homicide and are looking for the person who owned the dog.

Jimmie May McConnell was in her garden at about 11:30 a.m. on Thursday when a neighbor's dog jumped the fence and attacked her, police said.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, "the dog was still on the victim," Assistant Fire Chief Craig Duke said, and the rescuers had to hit the dog with an ax and a pole to get it off McConnell, officials said.

McConnell was taken to the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Neighbors told ABC News affiliate KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Mo., that McConnell was so badly injured they hardly recognized her when she was pulled from the garden.

McConnell's son said his mother didn't have a fighting chance. "Besides run, she's defenseless," Chris McConnell said.

Though police have not yet confirmed the breed of the dog that attacked McConnell, neighbors described it as a pit bull.

A number of recent pit bill attacks have spurred new legislation across the country. A California woman, Maureen Faibish, is on trial in San Francisco, accused of felony child endangerment after the family's pit bulls mauled and killed her 12-year-old son.

Closing arguments in her trial concluded Thursday. If convicted, Faibish could face up to 10 years in prison.

In Kansas, pit bulls have been banned in Kansas City, Kan., and in Wyandotte County since 1990.

Residents said the dog that killed Jimmie May McConnell belonged to a neighbor, but police have not been able to locate that person.

Animal control officers tranquilized the dog and took the animal into custody. A second dog at the house was tranquilized and removed Thursday afternoon, KMBC-TV reported.

McConnell's son said his mother had been terrified of the neighbor's dogs for a while.

"She was so scared of the dogs. This has gone on for over a year. Those dogs have acted like they want to come through that fence," Chris McConnell told KMBC. "She worked in the garden every day, and they would growl and bark aggressively at her. She said, 'One day, one of those dogs are going to get me.' They finally got her."