An 84 year-old woman from Florida was just mauled to death by her dog, and her son was seriously injured as he tried to save her.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported that Carolyn Varanese was pronounced dead in Margate late Friday night, with police saying her mixed breed dog was found tied up behind her house. Margate police Lt. Al Banatte explained that Varanese and her 57 year-old son Joseph Varanese were both bitten by the dog several times in the attack.
Carolyn Varanese, who used a wheelchair, was pronounced dead at the scene while her son was rushed to the hospital for treatment. He was then released the following day.
A friend of the family told WPLG that Varanese had let the dog sleep with her in bed just a few weeks before she was killed. Her son had adopted the dog a couple weeks ago from a local rescue group, the friend explained.
“He was trying to save his mom and the dog kept going for her jugular,” said the friend who identified himself only as Jimmy. “The dog grabbed her ankles and he started beating the dog with the wheelchair.”
Police said that it is still unclear what actually started the deadly attack. Joseph was left with serious injuries to his face and other body parts.
“The dog messed him up pretty good,” Jimmy continued. “His eye is all messed up, his nose, his whole arm is messed up.”
The attack occurred inside the house that Varanese shared with her son.
“It killed her? Oh wow,” said neighbor Fabian Gonzalez. “I know the woman who lives there was kind of sick. I’ve seen her when they come to take her to the doctor.”
Another neighbor said that Joseph showed “no emotion or nothing” when he was taken to a hospital after the attack, during which police officers took possession of the dog.
“It was a very calm dog,” said neighbor Raheem Menendez. “It wasn’t aggressive.”
While Menendez said the dog was an American Boxer mix, one media outlet claimed it was a pit bull. While police investigate the incident, the dog is being held in a kennel operated by Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center.