A Pennsylvania mother was mauled in front of her son while feeding her neighbor’s two Great Danes.
Kristen Potter, 38, was killed Thursday after going to feed her neighbors’ dogs, Perry County Coroner Robert Ressler said.
The two dogs involved were euthanized, according to authorities, and a third Great Dane and her five puppies, also owned by the neighbor, were turned over to a shelter.
Potter had gone to her neighbor’s house with her young son, who witnessed the start of the attack before returning home to urge her brother to call 911.
According to a study Conducted by the CDC and published by the American Veterinary Medical Association on attacks between 1979 and 1998, Great Danes are the breed with the fifth most fatal attack, relative to the breed’s population.
Katie Potter, 38, was killed Thursday by two Great Danes she was feeding on behalf of her neighbor in Pennsylvania.
Pictured is a third Great Dane that was not involved in the attack but is owned by Potter’s neighbor. The third dog along with his five puppies were turned over to an animal shelter while the dogs involved in the attack were euthanized.
Pictured are the puppies that were also confiscated from owner Wendy Sabathne.
“He was present at the scene, but I don’t think he was there for very long,” Ressler said of Potter’s son, according to WGAL.
“As soon as she saw the dogs start attacking her mother, she ran across the street for her brother to call 911.”
Are Great Danes dangerous?
Despite their large size, weighing in at 120 pounds for males and 100 pounds for females, Great Danes are considered good-natured, gentle animals.
“Great Danes are generally good family dogs and do well with children,” according to PetMD.
Although they are usually calm, improper care can make them dangerous.
However, if and when they attack, their size can make them especially dangerous.
Dogs were once bred by German nobility to hunt and kill wild boar. They combined the height of the Irish Wolfhound with the speed of the Greyhound and the strength of a Mastiff.
As wild boar hunting lost popularity, they became more tame.
Troopers said Potter died after being attacked by Great Danes in the 700 block of Clouser Hollow Road in Center Township, about 20 miles northwest of Harrisburg.
Ressler said that the neighbor had asked Potter to feed the dogs while they were gone and that this was something he had done before.
He said that even after the emergency services arrived, they were unable to reach Potter and help her because the dogs were being so aggressive. Eventually, they were tranquilized by animal services and eventually euthanized by a vet.
The dogs’ owner, Wendy Sabathne, told Penn Live she was “heartbroken.”
“I’m heartbroken, I’m in shock, I’m in disbelief and I just want to die,” Sabathne said. ‘I can’t believe this happened.’
Potter’s father, Bill Keefer, also said that one of the dogs had bitten her about two or three years ago.
A Facebook post also appeared revealing that Potter asked for help earlier this year dealing with a difficult neighbor. In it, she also points out that she suffered the loss of her son and her husband.
“I lost my son on this trail almost 3 years ago, I don’t want to see another person hurt on this trail when it’s totally unnecessary,” she wrote in January.
“Kristin had a very beautiful personality,” Jennifer Keefer, Kristin’s younger sister, told WGAL.
‘When you’re around her, you just feel better. When you talk to her, you just feel better,” he added.
A Facebook post also appeared revealing that Potter asked for help earlier this year dealing with a difficult neighbor. It is not clear if that neighbor was Sabathne.
“Despite all the tragedy that has happened in her life, she still had a great belief in God,” he said. ‘She was like that. She felt that there was a reason for everything.
“She was lovely to be around,” Keefer said. Everyone loved her.
Keefer says that Kristin was a great artist and took great pride in her land and her animals and that she She was a wonderful mother and her two children meant everything to her.
“She was my best friend,” Keefer said.
You can talk to her about anything. She never judged you. She never judged anyone for anything. She gave everyone the benefit of the doubt. She always wanted to reconcile with people. Even the people who did it wrong.