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Woman fatally mauled by dog in Las Vegas, police say

Updated August 9, 2022 - 4:29 pm

A woman was mauled to death by a dog in central Las Vegas Tuesday morning.

An upstairs apartment at 4076 Pennwood Ave. was blocked off Tuesday after an attack reported at 9:43 a.m.

The woman, identified by the Clark County coroner’s office as Joan Cafflel, 88, of Las Vegas, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The dog was found in a nearby home and turned over to animal control, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police Department.

The apartment overlooked the baseball field of Clark High School, where Tuesday afternoon dismissed students walked by the cordoned off area curiously.

Around 1:15 p.m., a blue body bag was carried out of the upstairs unit and into a white Davis Funeral Homes van.

Neighbor Jayme Graver said she has lived in the area for about two years and was aware of at least one large pit bull that ran around the area without a leash, forcing Graver to pick up her small dog.

“There’s a big pit bull who seemed a little bit older,” she said. “I pick my dog up just to be safe.”

The elderly woman and a man who lived with her moved in last year, Graver said.

This is not the first time a fatal dog mauling has unfolded in the Las Vegas Valley. In April, 2012, a 1-year-old boy, Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan, was killed by a dog named Onion at his family’s Henderson home. After the death, the city declared the dog vicious, and the owner turned him over to be euthanized. What followed was a lengthy legal battle. The dog was ultimately turned over to an animal rights group based in New York.

At least three other people have been killed by dogs in the valley in the past decade.

In 2019, a 1-year-old girl from Ely, Kyna Marie Pamela Deshane, died after being attacked by a Rottweiler in Henderson, seven years to the day that a 1-year-old Henderson boy was fatally attacked by his family’s dog while celebrating his birthday.

After Kyna was killed, authorities said, the 4-year-old Rottweiler, which was owned by a family friend, was euthanized at the owner’s request.

Seven years earlier, while celebrating his first birthday, Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan was killed by his family’s dog, a mastiff-Rhodesian Ridgeback mix named Onion.

Afterward, the city of Henderson declared the dog vicious, and Jeremiah’s grandmother turned him over to be euthanized. But the Lexus Project, an animal-rights group based in New York, intervened in court before that could happen, saying Jeremiah’s grandmother had changed her mind and wanted to release the dog to the group.

A nearly two-year legal battle over Onion ensued, ending in January 2014 after Henderson officials turned the dog over to the Lexus Project.

In October 2018, a 58-year-old Las Vegas woman was mauled to death by a rescue dog days after she and her husband adopted it. She was home alone at the time of the attack and was dead when her husband came home from work. The dog was euthanized.

Contact Glenn Puit at gpuit@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GlennatRJ on Twitter. Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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