By Ralph Iannotti

SUTERSVILLE (KDKA) — A Westmoreland County woman is in the hospital after she was attacked by her own dogs.

Shauna Cooke told authorities she adopts the dogs from local animal shelters. The dogs have their licenses and rabies shots.

Beagles are not a breed of dog known for being overly aggressive, but two beagles were among six dogs that attacked Cooke in the fenced backyard of her Second Avenue home in Sutersville.

At the time, Cooke was trying to shield one of her dogs, a German Shepherd mix, from being bitten.

Neighbors say the lead attack dog was a pit bull.

“When it first happened, I had to grab my dog and I just ran up the street as fast as I can,” Roberto Queen, a neighbor, said. “[When] one of the neighbors came out, I said, ‘Can you help her out down there? Her dogs are attacking each other.’”

Queen was walking his dog down the street near Cooke’s yard when her dogs went into attack mode.

“I had to take my dog up the road so that I could get my dog away from this area just because they were so agitated. There was nothing I could really do.

“I couldn’t even come back and try to help her out,” he added.

Neighbors who didn’t want to go on camera described the attack on Cooke and one of her dogs as nothing short of horrifying.

The dog that was mauled had to be put down.

“Well, the one dog – it would have died on its own. I ended up euthanizing the dog,” Fred Moran, a dog control officer, said. “It wouldn’t have survived. I don’t care – 10 veterinarians wouldn’t made that dog live.”

The future of the pit bull is up in the air.

“As far as the pit bull, if they decide that they want to keep this pit bull which hopefully they don’t, I’ll bring a dangerous dog charge against them and they’ll have to post a $20,000 surety bond and everything else,” Moran said.

Cooke was last listed in fair condition at Allegheny General Hospital. She suffered bites to her arms, hands and side.

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