A 42-year-old woman was mauled to death by a 120lbs dog with a history of violent attacks – after saving the lives of her children.
Amber LaBelle was savaged while shouting for her children to get out of the house, prompting her ex-partner to say “the very last thing she did on this Earth was save the lives of her children”.
LaBelle, from the city of Myrtle Point in Coos County in the US state of Oregon, was killed by an American bulldog and pit bull mix at her home, where she resided with her two daughters, on the morning of 24th September.
Local resident April Shaw said that she heard her friend screaming and rushed over to help, coming across one of the victim’s daughters who yelled to neighbours to call the emergency services.
Shaw added: “It was a pretty bad scene… We had another neighbour holding a dog back, a pretty big dog, and I just ran past the dog and ran straight to Amber. She was unresponsive at the time."
LaBelle was taken to hospital by air ambulance services where she died at around 4am the following morning.
The victim’s close friend Jess Allen said: “She went way too young. I hope for the best for her girls and they can cope with it.”
LaBelle’s ex-partner, and the father of their two children, Josef Dieckman, said: “One thing that I would want people to know is the very last thing she did on this Earth was save the lives of her children.”
He added: “I will be eternally grateful for that.”
Dieckman explained that the victim shouted to her children to get out of the house while being attacked by the dog.
In an update on 27th September, Paul Frasier, Coos County District Attorney, said the dog was an American bulldog and pit bull mix with a history of attacks.
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The dog owner, named as Sara Nicholes, reportedly left the animal in the care of a man called Jeremy Robertson, who was at the victim’s house that morning.
Frasier said Robertson, whose relationship with the victim is unclear, left the dog with LaBelle while he went out to take care of a few jobs, adding that the animal had been shut in a bedroom.
The victim opened the bedroom door at around 10am and was suddenly attacked by the canine.
According to Frasier, a neighbour pulled the animal off the victim while another neighbour dragged her away.
Frasier said a police officer arrived at the house and the dog started pulling away from the neighbour to get to where LaBelle and the cop were, prompting the official to shoot and kill it.
The local authorities said the dog weighed over 120 lbs, or 8.6 stone.
Frasier added that the investigation is ongoing and the findings will be presented to the Coos County Grand Jury to decide if any charges should be filed.
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