The True Story Behind the Woman Who Was Mauled By a Pack of Dachshund Dogs

Have you ever been attacked by a dog, much less a pack of dogs? The mere threat of being bitten by a dog is terrifying. However, the real kicker is that the breed of the dog has little to no bearing on whether it will attack. Instead, ample research points to the owner as the culprit of a badly-behaved canine. Unfortunately for 52-year-old Tracy Garcia of Oklahoma, a run-in with a pack of Dachshunds turned fatal. Follow along to learn the true story of how Garcia was mauled to death by a pack of Dachshunds. 

1. The dogs were owned by her next door neighbor

Tracy Garcia

Tracy Garcia | Family of Tracy Garcia

At a certain point, everyone becomes accustomed to the mannerisms of the neighborhood dogs. You know — this one always chases the cats, that one will bark anytime a person passes the fence. But for Garcia, her experience was different. Facing a pack of aggressive dogs is wildly different than that of a single aggressive dog. The pack drive mentality becomes deeply rooted within the element of confidence with numbers. Once a pack attacks, it is unlikely they will stop without an owner’s intervention.

Next: Fueling the flames of the pack mentality. 

2. The pack of dogs was allowed to freely roam

Closeup of mite and fleas infected on dog fur

The dogs were infested with fleas and ticks. | santol/iStock/Getty Images

A surefire way to fuel the flame of the pack mentality is to let the dogs freely roam, and that is exactly the case for the pack that attacked Garcia. Instead of keeping the dogs in a safe, fenced in yard, the owner allowed the dogs to have free reign of the neighborhood. Ledy VanKavage, attorney for Best Friends Animal Society, reported that the dogs were covered in fleas and ticks, which are clear signs of a neglectful owner.

Next: Find out the real breeds that killed Garcia. 

3. There were six Dachshund-mixes and one Border Collie

Beautiful dachshund

A Dachshund in a field of grass. | Iurii/iStock/Getty Images

Of the seven dogs that attacked Garcia, six were Dachshund-mixes weighing in around 40 pounds. The other was a Border Collie. Although Border Collie’s have a tendency to want to herd and nip, Dachshunds are not typically perceived as being attack dogs. VanKavage, however, warns against the assumption that small dogs don’t attack. She clarified when she said, “That saying don’t judge a book by its cover applies to both dogs and people.” It’s more about behavior and less about the breed.

Next: Find out where Garcia was attacked. 

4. Garcia was attacked near her property

Banyon Rd Ardmore Oklahoma

Banyon Rd. | Google Maps

Garcia was attacked near her property in Ardmore, Oklahoma. The obvious common denominator is that this tragedy would have never happened had the neglectful owner kept tabs on the animals. Sadly, that was not the case.

A recent study by Gary J. Patronek analyzed 256 fatal dog attacks, which resulted in some eye-opening statistics. Eighty-seven percent of the fatal attacks occurred when the dog owner was not present. Eight-four percent of the attacks involved a dog that was not neutered. Lastly, 76% of the fatal attacks involved a dog that was not properly socialized and was secluded from normal human interaction.

Next: Authorities took matters into their own hands. 

5. One dog was shot, the others were euthanized

Veterinarian Makes Home Visits To Euthanize Dying Pets

All of the dogs were put down. | John Moore/Getty Images

Every single dog involved in Garcia’s fatal attack was laid to rest. One was shot, while six others were euthanized. While many animal lovers grapple with the idea of euthanizing dogs, there is no other option when a human life is involved. Authorities were required to take matters into their own hands to ensure these dogs would never attack again.

Next: What happens to the dog owner? 

6. Criminal charges may be filed

Handcuffs and gavel on wooden table. | iStock/Getty Images

Although an investigation is still underway, it is likely that criminal charges will be filed against the owner of the dogs. If criminal charges are pressed against the owner, stiff fines or jail time could be faced. The majority of U.S. states, including Oklahoma, have dangerous-dog laws that work to protect the public from aggressive canines. It is simply a matter of time before a ruling is determined.

Next: What to do in the event of a dog attack

7. What to do in the event of an attack

Aggressive dog is barking

Aggressive dog is barking | Chalabala/iStock/Getty Images

If a dog is coming towards you in an aggressive manner, your first line of defense is a strong voice. But if a firm voice does not steer the dog away, fighting back will be the next course of action. Striking the dog in the nose, throat, and back of the head will sometimes deter a more vicious attack. If that still doesn’t do the trick, make sure you yell for help and protect your neck and face. The key to avoiding a fatal dog attack is to keep the animal’s teeth away from you, as that is a dog’s only weapon. Pinning the dog to the ground or placing something between you and the dog could be what saves your life.

Next: Warning signs owners should pay attention to

8. What owners should look for

Young White Dogo Argentino Dog laying On Wooden Floor

Know your dog | bruev/Getty Images

Owners need to take responsibility for their dogs. There are several ways dogs show aggression. It’s important to pay attention and seek help if it’s warranted. According to the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals), dogs may show these acts of aggression: guttural bark that sounds threatening, charging at people, showing teeth, quick nip, biting without enough force to leave a bruise or puncture, and nose punching people.

If you’re having a difficult time predicting and preventing aggressive behavior, the ASPCA recommends working with a veterinarian or a professional behavioral expert.

Next: The most important thing to remember

9. The most important thing to remember

Newfoundland dog sleep on floor

Dogs need training and care | yokeetod/Getty Images

While some dogs are more prone to certain behaviors than others, good training and care makes a huge difference. If you’re an owner, you need to take the time to train your dogs. If you’re a neighbor concerned with the lack of care a dog is receiving, and talking with the owner hasn’t helped, consider calling law enforcement or your local humane society.

Additional reporting by Eric McWhinnie.

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