Relatives mourn 86-year-old woman killed by family pit bulls

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An 86-year-old woman died after a dog attack in a south Charlotte home Monday afternoon, according to police.

The call came in around 12:56 p.m. on Luke Crossing Drive in the Springs Village Town Homes community.

What led up to the attack remains unclear. Officials said it is the first deadly dog attack in Mecklenburg County since 2004.

Officials said Bessie Flowers was found suffering from fatal dog bite injuries and that she had been bitten several times and died at the scene. Her nephew described her as a wonderful woman.

Chopper 9 Sky Zoom captured video of her two dogs quarantined on the back deck after the attack.

Neighbors told reporter Paul Boyd that the dogs were pit bulls and apparently have shown aggressive behavior in the past.

Neighbors also described Flowers as a very sweet woman who always gave a friendly smile and a wave while walking the dogs.

The two American pit bull terriers, properly licensed and vaccinated, were placed under a 10-day quarantine while the investigation is ongoing, CMPD said.

Officials responded to 744 calls for service this year. of those, officials said 160 calls were specifically for dog attacks on humans or other animals. A majority of the calls were reports of a dog being aggressive.

The statistics did not specify the dog's breed.

Animal Care and Control officers have responded to one previous call at the same address in April of 2013 in reference to a complaint of two aggressive animals.

Channel 9 called more than a dozen veterinary hospitals and animal breeders for insight on the pit bull breed Tuesday. All said they needed to know more about what led up to the attack, as well as information about the dog’s environment and upbringing.

Neighbors were also saying very little Tuesday.

A member of the homeowners association said the board wouldn’t be commenting at this time as the family is taking the situation very hard.

CMPD said the dogs will be quarantined for 10 days as this investigation continues.

Spring Village Board of Directors and Community Association Management statement:

Yesterday a family member of a homeowner in the Springs Village community was attacked and killed by two pit bulls (dogs) owned by the family.

The Spring Village Board of Directors and Community Association Management are deeply saddened by this tragedy. First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are extended to the family of Ms. Flowers.

The City of Charlotte Animal Care and Control has quarantined the two dogs for 10 days. Additionally, they will be held during a full investigation.

In order to clarify the role of the Springs Village Community Association as it pertains to animal control issues; the governing documents of the HOA outline the specific powers and duties of the HOA. These powers are agreed upon by the community and do not give the HOA authority to address animal control issues, but defer animal control to the City of Charlotte.

While a majority of homeowners must vote in agreement for any policy changes within the governing documents of the HOA, the Board of Directors will be providing time at its next board meeting to review the current pet policies.

We urge our residents that the City of Charlotte Animal Care and Control Division should be their first call through the 911 system in cases where animals are aggressive, off leashes or not under control of their owners, as they have the appropriate power and authority to remove the animals and/or fine the owner(s). 

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