Son’s dogs euthanized after 60-year-old woman mauled to death

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- Two dogs have been euthanized after attacking and killing a 60-year-old woman Monday night, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said.

Susan Shawl was attacked by her son's dogs at her home in the 31900 block of Black Widow Drive in the Conifer area, the sheriff's office said. Two suspected terrier-pit bull mix dogs were involved in the attack.

Investigators said they received a call from Shawl's son about 7 p.m. saying he and his mother had been attacked.

When deputies arrived, they did all they could to save the woman's life, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The dogs also bit their owner, the victim’s son, 36-year-old Richard Shawl III, when he tried to intervene in the attack.

The dogs were found running around outside the home. Both animals were taken by Jefferson County Animal Control and quarantined at Foothills Animal Shelter.

Shawl's son had given authorization to euthanize the dogs and they were put down.

“It was a very challenging scene. It was a dog attack. It was very, very, upsetting to everyone who responded to it,” sheriff’s office spokeswoman Dionne Waugh said.

Next-door neighbor Bonnie Bogart said the male and female dogs had a reputation for excessive barking, but she never thought something like this could happen.

“I was pretty shocked. I thought, when do your pets go after you? That’s what shocked me,” she said.

But Waugh said animal control officers cited Shawl III in 2008 because the dogs were running loose at a neighbor’s house and acting aggressively.

“I feel really bad for Rich Jr. I hope he’s going to be OK,” Bogart said.

He was inside the house when he heard the attack and tried to save his mother.

The investigation is still ongoing. It’s unknown if he’ll face charges for having dangerous dogs.