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Electronic fence failure allowed dog attack, official says

ETOWAH — The three dogs that mauled a 79-year-old woman on Friday were supposed to be confined by an invisible fence that failed, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

The woman was gardening at her house on Little Springs Road in Etowah when the medium- to large-sized dogs attacked, dragging her into another yard. The investigation into the attack “is still ongoing by our animal enforcement team,” Capt. Steve Carter said. There appears there was no criminal intent by the dogs’ owners, he said.

“The owner made an attempt to secure the dogs but unfortunately the shock collar system failed,” he said.

The victim was hospitalized with severe bites and cuts after three dogs mauled her and dragged her 12-15 feet into a neighbor's yard on Friday, the Henderson County sheriff's office said.

"The victim was unable to use her cell phone to call for help, with no one near, she courageously crawled back to her home and contacted her brother for help," the sheriff's office said in a news release. "He transported her to Park Ridge Hospital where she was listed in critical but stable condition and being treated for numerous bites and severe lacerations" on Friday night.

The department had no update on the victim’s condition because of federal medical privacy regulations, Carter said.

The three dogs — a black and tan hound mix, black Labrador retriever and a beagle mix — were still confined on Monday at the Henderson County Animal Shelter.