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Police: Dog attack leaves elderly woman in critical condition

An elderly woman remains hospitalized in critical condition today after being attacked Saturday by two dogs in Hawaiian Paradise Park, police said.

Patrol and animal control officers responded at about 5:43 p.m. to a report of a “dog attack involving multiple dogs with multiple people being attacked” on 12th Avenue, according to Capt. Scott Amaral of the Puna Patrol Division.

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HPP residents told the Tribune-Herald the attack occurred near Paradise Drive.

“An 85-year-old woman was searching for her lost dog on 12th Avenue” when she was attacked by two dogs belonging to neighbors, Amaral said. Amaral said that as of this afternoon, the woman “remains in critical condition” in Hilo Medical Center.

The woman “was bitten about the head, neck and arms, receiving multiple puncture wounds and lacerations,” Amaral said.

Two men, ages 89 and 85, who accompanied the woman, were injured “trying to fend off the two dogs in the attack,” Amaral said. He said the men “were bitten multiple times.”

Amaral said the two dogs “were taken at that time into the custody of Animal Control.”

The dog owner was contacted by officers but not arrested and the incident is under investigation, according to Amaral.

“The property where the dogs came from was partially fenced,” Amaral said. “The dogs weren’t secured and were able to get outside the property.”

Amaral said police have “no prior documented reported incidents of these dogs from that residence being loose in the area, and we don’t know what provoked the dogs to attack.”

“It’s a tragic situation, and our hearts and our prayers go out to the victims and their family,” Amaral said.

The incident is classified as a dangerous dog incident under the Hawaii County Code 4-31.

Amaral added incidents such as this are preventable by “proper pet ownership and securing your dogs on your property.”

Police have responsibility for animal control duties at present, and Amaral said loose dogs can be reported to the police nonemergency number at 935-3311.

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“And if it’s a vicious dog, you can call 911. We will respond,” he said.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.