MAULED: Denise Rackal

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Woman killed by seven pitbulls

By Nikita Braxton-Benjamin South Bureau

PITBULLS owned by a police officer attacked and killed a woman on her way to work yesterday.

Security guard Denise Rackal, 46, was savaged by seven dogs, which ripped open her throat.

Rackal died on the street outside the policeman's house at Flamboyant Crescent Drive, Edinburgh 500, Chaguanas.

The attack took place shortly after 6 a.m. as Rackal walked toward her worksite at a Housing Development Corporation (HDC) housing project.

She had moments before purchased a newspaper from a parlour when four adult dogs and three pups pounced on her.

Rackal, the mother of two, of Indian Trail, Couva, was employed with Personal Safety and Security Training Ltd based at Carapichaima.

Her death follows a series of dog attacks that have maimed several and killed one person this year.

The attacks have renewed calls for the proclamation of the Dangerous Dogs Act, and the introduction of laws to penalise owners and protect citizens.

PC Ryan Isaac said he saw Rackal take her last breath.

Isaac said he was walking with his wife and daughter around 6.10 a.m. when he heard screams.

"I looked in the direction and saw four dogs and three puppies in total, all pitbulls. One had the lady by the throat and pulled a piece off her throat."

He said the other dogs were biting Rackal on the head and breasts and ripping her clothing.

Isaac said one of the men who lived at the house where the dogs live was able to lead the animals back into the yard.

Isaac said he called the police and paramedics.

"I took her pulse but she was gasping for breath.... Her eyes were dilated and, although I am not a medical doctor, I would say that in about two minutes after the attack she passed away," Isaac said.

Rackal's husband, Lionel Rackal, 49, called for justice.

He asked to meet the owner of the dogs, two of which are named Obama and Fella.

"Come out and talk to me as a man. Things do happen but tell me something," Rackal said.

He said pitbulls must be properly restrained.

Neighbours of the pitbull owner said the dogs had attacked people four times in the past.

A resident said that back in January he was walking with his wife when the dogs approached. He said while his wife was unhurt, he was bitten on his hands and legs and used a pen knife to defend himself.

"The dogs are always in the road," he said.

Two years ago another man, residents said, had to run into the porch of a house to escape being killed.

Residents said dogs in the area have not been that lucky.

They are calling for the pitbulls to be euthanised.

Just last month, four-year-old Ezekiel Renne-Cambridge, a preschool pupil, was attacked by two hybrid dogs —a German Shepherd and an Akita mixed with German Shepherd—as he walked near his Crissy Street, Palmiste, home.

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