A woman is dead after being mauled by pit bulls, Portsmouth police say.

The woman was found badly injured in the 1800 block of Atlanta Ave. around 1:30 a.m. Friday according to police say.

Officers say she was attacked by three pit bulls.

The woman, who had not been identified as of Friday evening, was taken to the hospital but did not survive, police say.

"I woke up about 4 o' clock, saw the lights flashing," said Lawrence Davis.

Davis lives on the street.

"Looked out the window, a bunch of people were out," said Davis. "I'm thinking that somebody got shot."

Late Friday morning, the street was quiet. No police activity and no sign anything had happened.

"I went back to bed. Woke back up two hours later. Police and everything were still out here. Then, I heard a dog had bitten a young lady in the arm and in the leg," Davis recalled. "When I heard the young lady had died, I didn't know the dogs were that vicious. They do come across here now and then, one or two of them. I said 'Wow. That's a new one. I've never heard that before."

Neighbors News 3 spoke to both on and off-camera said pit dogs at the home where they say the incident happened have been a problem.

"The first incident, the dogs bit a young lady on the arm. That was about three months ago. Then, another incident. There were two kids riding bicycles down the street and the dogs ran out of the house, the front door was open, and the dogs attacked the kids," said Davis.

Portsmouth Police Chief Stephen Jenkins released a statement Friday afternoon about the attack.
As Chief of Police, again, it is with profound sadness that I address the tragic incident involving the mauling of a woman by three dogs, resulting in her untimely passing. Our hearts go out to the victim's family during this difficult time.

Regarding previous interactions with the animals involved, earlier, I reported that the Portsmouth Police had not responded to the residence about the pit bulls before this incident; upon further investigation, it has come to light that Portsmouth Animal Patrol officers had indeed responded on three prior occasions over the last 12 months with one being for a bite injury. However, it should be acknowledged witnesses stated the animals were secure when this incident occurred.

The pit bulls involved in this tragedy have been swiftly removed from the residence and quarantined at an undisclosed animal facility. While these dogs are now quarantined and no longer pose a threat to the Prentis Park community, we urge residents to refrain from trespassing or attempting to interact with animals without explicit permission from their owners, as this can help prevent future incidents of this nature. Additionally, we want to remind pet owners that it is critical to the well-being of others to keep their animals secure.

Portsmouth Police Chief Stephen Jenkins
The victim in Friday's deadly attack is, unfortunately, another statistic.

The most recent information from the CDC shows more people died in dog attacks in 2021 than 2020. In both years, women made up the majority of the victims.

The National Safety Council says, however, odds of dying from a dog attack are 1 in 53,843.