HOWEY-IN-THE HILLS - A Lake County woman showering at a neighbor's home was attacked by an 18-month-old pit bull last week and had to be rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center, according to a Sheriff's Office report.
During the attack last week, 73-year-old Joan Brown Benitez, suffered cuts and puncture wounds to her arms, lower legs and thigh areas
, according to the incident report. The attack occurred June 5 at a residence on State Road 19 in Howey-in-the-Hills.
The dog, a chocolate-and-white colored dog named Marley, had been outside when Benitez came over to a neighbor's home and asked if she could take a shower there. As she was showering
, several dogs entered the residence through a "doggie door."
The dog's owner, James Rhew, told a deputy after the attack that only Marley had "blood present on his muzzle." He also said that Marley was not familiar with Benitez, who had only been inside the home a couple of times this year.
Following the attack, Benitez was airlifted because of her age and a drop in her blood pressure, according to the report. The dog was turned over to Lake County Animal Services.
Benitez could not be reached for comment. Rhew called the episode an "accident." He referred to his dog as an "American bull dog" and said Benitez is "perfectly fine," but had no comment regarding the incident.
Animal Services Director Marjorie Boyd said the dog was in the midst of a 10-day quarantine to check for rabies. Then the dog will be euthanized, assuming the owner does not attempt to reclaim the animal.
If the owner does try to reclaim it, Boyd said, "We would be declaring it dangerous."
A second dog living at the residence was turned over to Animal Services and that dog, a female pit bull, likely will be euthanized after a 10-day quarantine, Boyd said.