Housekeeper, 52, fights for life after pack of 15 stray dogs ‘eat her to the bone’ as she waited for a bus in broad daylight
- ‘They were eating her – the dogs were eating her to the bone’
- Stepson describes horrific attack that left stepmother in critical condition
- Maria Arcos, from Houston, was left with horrific wounds covering her body
- The ordeal was so traumatic the 52-year-old suffered a heart attack
By Stuart Woledge Daily Mail PUBLISHED: 24 July 2013
A woman is fighting for her life after suffering a heart attack brought on by a horrific dog attack that has left her with severe wounds from head to toe.
Maria Arcos was set upon by a pack of at least 15 dogs while she was on her way to start a new job on Monday morning.
The 52-year-old, from Houston, was passing through an underpass when she was surrounded by the pack of strays, the ring leader of which is believed to be a pit bull cross.
The wild animals savaged her, pulling her to the ground and biting her arms and legs.
Arcos was left with severe wounds and is now in hospital in a critical condition. Her family fear the attack left her so badly injured she might not pull through.
Her stepson Oscar Reyes said: ‘They were eating her – the dogs was eating her to the bone.
‘They bit her arms, her legs, her neck. They cover her.
‘Supposedly in 48 hours, if she doesn’t get better, she’s not going to make it.’
During the frenzied attack, Oscar claims his stepmother’s clothes were ripped off and she now has severe wounds covering most of her body.
Although she was still conscious when officers arrived, the stress of the mauling caused her to have a heart attack.
Oscar added: ‘They already have a lot of problems and then this happens. It shocks kind of everybody.’
Police officers came to the house to break the shocking news and Oscar has been tasked with letting the rest of his family know, some of whom have not been at home.
Arcos’ horrifying ordeal occurred at about 6am on Monday near Lyons and Eastex Freeway in the Fifth Ward.
She had been walking to a nearby bus stop on her way to start a new job as a housekeeper, but only made it halfway there.
She was walking through an underpass when a pack of mixed-breed strays, said to number at least 15, set about her and pulled her to the ground.
She was only saved when a railroad worker witnessed her being savaged and called for help.
‘Usually you’ll have one or two, but an attack like this is very rare.
‘It’s a pack mentality. That can happen when there’s an aggressive act by one and it continues.
‘With that many dogs on her, she was being dragged up and down the street.’
Animal control officers traced the pack responsible to their den underneath a nearby mortuary.
They trapped the dogs in and have been trying to lure them into a single trap using food as bait.
So far they have captured five of the animals from underneath the mortuary, two of which are puppies and only about four months old.
Glaser said one of the dogs, a pit bull mix, appears to be the leader of the pack. He believes at least ten dogs are still hiding out underneath the mortuary.
Officers are visiting up to five times a day to check on the trap.
Glaser told KHOU 11 News all of the dogs would be tested for rabies and possibly destroyed