Pack of pit bulls kill woman, Margaret Salcedo, in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

April 27th, 2011 by Staff — A woman was mauled to death by pit bulls in the New Mexico town of Truth or Consequences, authorities said Monday.

The four dogs escaped from a fenced-in yard and set upon Margaret Salcedo as she walked alone Sunday afternoon.

A man in a car stopped to help the 48-year-old, but was attacked by one of the dogs and remained in his vehicle, police said.

A witness, Laura Russell, called 911, New Mexico’s KOB 4 News reported. She said Salcedo attempted to use her phone to call for help, but dropped it when a dog bit her arm.

A police officer arrived minutes after the attack began. One dog charged him, and the cop quickly shot the animal. The pit bull later died from the wound.

“The officer arrived on the scene in less than three minutes, but it must have felt like an eternity to the poor woman being attacked,” Truth or Consequences Police Chief Patrick Gallagher told Reuters.

The policeman attempted to help Salcedo, but the wounds were too severe. The woman died after being taken to the hospital.

The three remaining pit bulls ran off, but were later rounded up and taken to an animal shelter. It has not yet been determined if they will be put down.

The dogs belonged to John and Maria Hardiman, who were not home at the time of the attack. Authorities are trying to determine if criminal charges are warranted. It was unclear how the dogs escaped their yard.

The attack sent shock waves through Truth or Consequences, a community of about 7,300 named after a 1950s television game show.

“I think it’s like living in the Middle Ages where you hate to go outside because the wolves are going to eat your grandchildren,” Elizabeth Stout told KOB 4 News.

With News Wire Services

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