Woman in Hospital After Her Own Dog Attacks Her

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Police say a woman is in the hospital in serious condition on Friday after her own dog attacked her.

Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek said the victim, 49-year-old Sandra Dee Riggan, was bitten by her dog on her arm and abdomen.

Riggan’s friend, Pamela Dishman, said she thinks the dog attacked because there were unfamiliar furniture movers in the house.

“They’re very protective of their home. And when Sandra went to let them out of the garage, she tried to put him back in and he wasn’t having no part of it because he knew something was going on. He seen the truck in the driveway, he heard the people and so he was wanting at that house and he wanted to get whoever was in the house,” Dishman said.

Dishman said that was the moment when everything went terribly wrong and Riggan’s own dog turned on her.

“She’s like being attacked, almost killed it seems like. You know, this dog was just mauling her and I’m yelling and the movers are in the house. I’m yelling at the movers and one of the movers stuck their head out the door and I said, ‘Please call 911. My friend is being attacked by her dog.’ And so he did,” Dishman said.

Witnesses said they believe the dog was a pit bull.

She said she was too terrified to intervene and watched the horrific incident from her car for her safety.

“The dog had her against the house and the mover was trying to hit the dog with a broom through the door. And the dog was just coming at ‘em still and the police officer finally did come,” Dishman said.

Sgt. Parizek said Senior Police Officer Mark Chapman was the first responder on scene and distracted the dog away from the victim with both lights and sirens.

“He drove right to the attack. You know, he could see what was going on and he was doing everything he could to distract the dog. It worked, but unfortunately the dog turned on him,” Sgt. Parizek said.

Parizek said the dog charged at Officer Chapman and had to shoot the dog four times to put it down so that it wouldn’t hurt anyone else.

“He had to shoot the dog. I mean the dog just didn’t stop he had to shoot him unfortunately,” Dishman said.

She said she is glad the officer was able to stop the dog and she is thankful her friend is still alive.

“She’s in surgery as far as I know and I’m glad she’s not dead. It was terrifying to watch my friend almost get killed and the dog get killed,” Dishman said.

She said she lived with Riggan for a month and never felt threatened by the dogs.