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Dog show competitors react to deadly pit bull attack that killed Taylorsville woman

Posted at 9:31 PM, Nov 07, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — A Taylorsville woman who had her leg amputated and was critically injured died one week after being attacked by a pack of pit bulls at her home.

FOX 13 News spoke with members of the Salt Lake Terrier Association to provide their expertise about the breed.

Inside the Wise family living room, their love for the American Pit Bull Terrier is decorated on literally every wall.

“Just the most intelligent, loyal, heart dog that you can have,” said Deana Dimler-Wise. “Once you have one, you usually don’t have anything else.”

Deana’s husband, Aaron Wise, is the president of the association. They spend their free time competing their dogs across the country in competitions.

They just got back from a successful trip Monday night.

“There’s probably over 100 dogs registered at this show,” said Aaron. “There was not one incident, not one bite. Not one dog off-leash. We had no incidents and that’s people who know what they own, the kind of dog they own, and that’s being responsible for that dog.”

On Halloween, a 63-year-old Taylorsville woman was attacked by seven of her son’s pit bulls. She succumbed to those injuries Monday, and all of the dogs have been put down.

On Tuesday, the family of the woman who died released a statement:

"Our family would like to thank the dispatcher for staying on the phone with our mother. The police officers that didn't hesitate to get to her as soon as possible. We'd also like to thank the paramedics, nurses, the doctors, the trauma team and everyone that helped our mother. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers."

Aaron said attacks like these can come down to responsible or irresponsible ownership.

“You shouldn’t let seven dogs just run loose in your backyard, no matter what kind they are,” he said. “They turn into a pack mentality and bad things can happen.”

Deane also wonders whether the dogs were a mixed breed.

“A lot of times ‘pit bulls’ is a blanket term for any dog with a big head,” she said. “It’s unfortunate because so many people mislabel ‘pit bulls’ and really don’t even know what the true American Pit Bull Terrier is.”

“I wouldn’t blame it all on the dogs. It’s terrible what happened, but that’s not the dog I know,” said Aaron.

The couple is asking anyone who wants to learn more about pit bulls to reach out to the Salt Lake Terrier Association. The purpose of the group is to educate local owners, encourage responsible ownership, and promote the breed.