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Pit bulls attack, kill woman, 82
Spotsylvania woman, 82, dies after being attacked by three pit bulls

Date published: 3/9/2005

Loose dogs blamed in Partlow death

UPDATE: Spotsylvania County officials believe a dead pit bull they have in custody is the third such dog involved in a fatal attack on an 82-year-old woman killed yesterday.

An 82-year-old Partlow woman died en route to VCU Medical Center yesterday after she was attacked by three pit bulls roaming her rural Spotsylvania County neighborhood.

Dorothy Sullivan was found by her daughter at her home off Partlow Road, about two miles west of Berkeley Elementary School, authorities said last night.

Sullivan, who lived at 205 Oak Crest Drive, was in her yard when the attack occurred at about 2:17 p.m., sheriff's Capt. Ed Lunsford said.

A deputy responding to the emergency shot and killed one of the dogs shortly after the incident; an animal control officer captured a second dog, said William Tydings, director of animal control. Both were identified as the dogs responsible for the attack, he said.

A third dog was on the loose last night, and animal control officers were going door to door in the neighborhood hoping to find it.

The incident brought out all of Spotsylvania's available animal control officers--one was recovering from a broken leg--and sent them bouncing down rutted muddy lanes and driveways to canvass residents.

Some homes in the area are posted with blaze-orange no trespassing signs and posters that warned: BEWARE OF DOG.

Authorities came close to capturing the brindle-colored dog earlier in the afternoon. It had been standing alongside the dog that was shot, Tydings said.

But when the deputy killed the wiry black dog, the other pit bull bolted into the thick woods. As the sun began setting around 6 p.m., it still hadn't surfaced.

Animal control officers weren't sure whether it had returned to its home or found shelter in the woods.

Two neighbors said they told authorities loose pit bulls have been a problem in the neighborhood for at least a year.

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