Dog in fatal attack to be put to death
By Ben Tinsley
The Daily News
Published March 29, 2007
FRIENDSWOOD — A golden retriever, one of two dogs seized by authorities after the March 17 mauling death of owner Pamela Rushing, must be put to death — probably today, according to a settlement agreement reached Wednesday evening between Rushing’s family and the city.
The other dog, an Australian shepherd, will be designated a “dangerous animal” and must be registered with the city, segregated, neutered, placed in a florescent collar or harness, be covered by $100,000 public liability insurance and always have a “dangerous dog” sign posted nearby, the agreement states. ‘
The shepherd should be released to Bendel Rushing, the victim’s husband, within the next 48 hours, an official said.
The two dogs were present when a third dog — an American bulldog-Catahoula mix — attacked and killed Pamela Rushing.
The bulldog was shot and killed when it tried to attack a police officer at the scene, police reports show.
The Australian shepherd, about 10 years old, escaped the fenced back yard in the 300 block of Meadow Trail Court and was at large in the neighborhood for 30 minutes before police were forced to subdue it with a Taser.
The dogs were seized for the Wednesday disposition hearing before Friendswood Municipal Court Judge James Woltz.
But before the hearing began, Bendel Rushing opted to settle with the city in a meeting.
He was not immediately available for comment.
Friendswood Police Chief Robert Wieners said the family has been very cooperative in the investigation.
“I think they are still grieving and are really shocked by the incident,” the chief said.
Pamela Rushing, 50, was found mauled to death in her backyard in the Forest of Friendswood subdivision.
She died of multiple dog bites, according to a medical examiner’s report.
Wieners said police believe Rushing was killed when she tried to intervene in a dogfight, although it is unclear which dog turned on her first, the chief said.
At least one of the bites found on her body matched the teeth pattern of the retriever, reports show.
Rushing died from multiple dog bites — primarily those of the bulldog, the chief said.
Rushing had been dead for about four hours when police arrived.
Landscape workers who were there to mow a yard found her body.
After spotting the body, the landscape workers could not enter the backyard or approach the woman because the three dogs aggressively kept them behind a gate, fearing for their own safety.
A neighbor called 911.
Three Friendswood police officers arrived less than a minute after being dispatched about 5:45 p.m., police said.