Washington

Thurston County woman, 92, clings to life after dog attack

A 92-year-old woman was mauled by a pack of dogs Sunday inside a home in the Scott Lake community in Thurston County. The woman was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she was in critical condition as of Monday afternoon, according to her son.
A 92-year-old woman was mauled by a pack of dogs Sunday inside a home in the Scott Lake community in Thurston County. The woman was transported to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she was in critical condition as of Monday afternoon, according to her son. The Olympian

A 92-year-old woman is struggling to survive after she was mauled by a pack of dogs in the Scott Lake area of Thurston County.

Gladys Alexander suffered life-threatening injuries Sunday evening when she entered a neighbor’s house on Entrée View Drive and was attacked by up to four mixed-breed dogs that were part pit bull.

Alexander was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle at about 6:05 p.m. She was in critical condition Monday afternoon.

Kent resident Wayne Alexander said his mother suffered two broken bones in one arm and a broken bone in one leg as a result of dog bites. She also suffered severe injuries to her skull and lost a lot of blood, according to her son, who was told by surgeons that “this is one of the worst cases they have seen.”

“If she makes it through the next day or two, they will amputate one of her legs and one of her arms,” he told The Olympian on Monday. “The expectations of survival are pretty low right now.”

One of the dogs belonged to the neighbor, who was temporarily caring for the other three dogs. The neighbor has regularly assisted Gladys Alexander with day-to-day tasks, and the neighbors often went back and forth to each other’s houses.

At the time of the attack, the neighbor was out running an errand when Alexander let herself into the house. The neighbor arrived home during the attack, restrained the dogs and called for medical help.

There is no criminal case involved with the mauling. Sgt. Tim Rudloff of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said the dogs have been placed on home quarantine for 10 days. The owner of one dog has agreed to have the animal euthanized, and Thurston County Animal Services is attempting to contact the woman who owns the other three dogs, Rudloff said.

According to the sheriff’s office, two of the dogs are a mix of pit bull, heeler and labrador. One dog is a pit bull and labrador mix, while the other is a pit bull and heeler mix. During the quarantine, animal services will determine whether the dogs should be classified as dangerous.

Capt. Lanette Dyer of West Thurston Fire Authority said Alexander was conscious when rescue workers arrived on the scene.

“She just seemed to be such a strong person. We think she’s quite the fighter,” Dyer told The Olympian. “We are all sending out our prayers.”

Another neighbor who declined to give his name said Alexander is well liked in the Scott Lake community. She was described as a friendly and active woman who often works outside in her yard. She is known for passing out fresh-picked apples to her neighbors in the fall.

Wayne Alexander said his mother is an Arkansas native who had enlisted in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) at age 18 t during World War II. She has lived at her house in Scott Lake since 1972.

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