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Woman rushed to Albany hospital after severe dog attack

In what is being described as one of the most vicious dog attacks ever to happen in the Albany area, three pit bulls apparently surrounded and attacked a 58-year-old Schenectady woman.

The woman had been walking on the sidewalk of Hulett Street, not far from her home, when residents in the Hamilton Hill neighborhood were awakened by her cries for help. Upon seeing the vicious animal attack, witnesses quickly called 911 and reported that three dogs were attacking a defenseless woman and tearing at her head.

When police arrived at the scene, they found the woman suffering from severe lacerations to her head and arms. Officers used a Taser to subdue one of the dogs, and they used a pole to capture the other two pit bulls.

The victim of this attack received medical attention at Albany Medical Center Hospital and is expected to survive. Two of the pit bulls have already been euthanized, while a third dog is being quarantined as authorities are checking to see if the dog is infected with rabies. This dog was also scheduled to be euthanized after the quarantine period.

Law enforcement authorities are discussing the possibility of criminal charges for the owner of the dogs. The owner, a 21-year-old woman, has allegedly told police that she kept the animals inside of a gated area and that someone had opened the gate. She has already been cited for a dangerous dog violation, and the city attorney has asked that the police conduct a more thorough investigation in order to determine whether additional charges are warranted.

While criminal charges are intended to punish a person for breaking the law, they do little to compensate an injury victim for her pain, suffering and medical expenses. For this reason, the dog owner could face a civil lawsuit filed by the dog attack victim in addition to the possibility of criminal charges.

Source: Albany Times Union, "Vicious pit bull attack called worst in years," Paul Nelson, Aug. 24, 2011

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