Grandmother fatally mauled by dog in front of 2-year-old grandson in Butler County

MADISON TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A family dog mauled a woman to death in front of her 2-year-old grandson Monday afternoon.

Butler County Sheriff's deputies said they found 59-year-old Cindy Whisman dead in the backyard of her daughter's house in the 4700 block of Eck Road at about 1:10 p.m. The department received a 911 call from a neighbor who witnessed the attack at 1:03 p.m.

"As far as I know my neighbor told me she saw her and the dog outside," said Julie Whisman, Cindy Whisman's daughter. "She thought they were playing back and forth like this, then all of a sudden she saw her on the ground and kept saying 'Polo, Polo,' because that was the dog's name, and she was rolling over, so (the neighbor) called 911 and then she didn't see her no more."

Julie Whisman said her mother was at her home watching her son. She received a call about the attack while at work.

Cindy Whisman was mauled to death by a family dog Monday afternoon while watching her 2-year-old grandson pictured here.

Another neighbor, Wayne Walker, said he ran into Whisman's backyard and beat the dog back with his walking stick, but Cindy Whisman was already dead.

"Whenever I hit him he yelped and took off running straight into their house," Walker said. "I looked at (Cindy Whisman)... she's gone."

Cindy Whisman was bitten multiple times in the face, neck and body, according to the sheriff's office. Julie Whisman confirmed her son and another dog were in the backyard when the attack occurred.

She identified both dogs as pit bulls, and said she owned the one who attacked Cindy since he was a puppy.

"It just doesn't add up to me," she said. "My son could sit on him, lay on him."

Cindy Whisman's family said she and her grandson were almost inseparable.

"She was my best friend, she was the greatest person to me," Julie said of Cindy.

She said even though the little boy was just feet away from the terrible attack, her young son seemed to be holding up, and was doing okay Monday evening.

“These type of tragedies are happening way too often, family pet or not," said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.

Once on the scene, deputies and an assistant dog warden were able to subdue Polo without killing it. The pit bull was taken to the Butler County Animal Friends Humane Society.

In cases of dog maulings, the dog's owner typically has the option to appeal to keep the animal. Julie Whisman said she had no desire to take Polo back.

No prior incidents involving the dogs had been reported at the Eck Road home, deputies said.

The dog will be held at the humane society until the investigation ends and then put it down.

A WCPO analysis of neighboring Hamilton County Health Department data showed 38 bite incidents involving pit bulls or pit bull mix breeds as of May 11, 2014. The data showed 74 total pit bull bite incidents reported in 2013.

To see a complete interactive of dog bites view the interactive report here .

An earlier version of this story identified Cindy Whisman as the owner of the dog who attacked her.
 

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