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Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

HOUMA, La. -- A 71-year-old woman attacked by her son's pit bull mix dog Monday suffers from severe injuries to her face, hands and arms, according to Houma police.

Animal control officers now say there is a pattern to recent dog attacks that could be prevented.

Apollo and Rocky are calm now, quaranteened in caged runs at the Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter. But last night, Houma police say Apollo went on a rampage, attacking his owner's mother while he was at work.

The neighbors call the 71-year-old victim 'Ms. Evelyn.' Police say her injuries are not life threatening but that she'll be in the hospital for a while and is in very bad shape.

'They (deputies on the scene) were able to speak to her, but they said the scene was pretty horrific. It was a pretty bad scene,' said Chief Todd Duplantis of the Houma Police Department.

Neighbors now have concerns.

'I don't want no pit bulls around the neighborhood because I have a baby, and we have a pit bull right there for my brother, and I really don't trust pit bulls,' said Star Smith, a neighbor.

There is still much to uncover in the investigation, but animal control officers say Rocky is in heat, Apollo is not neutered, and they were in close quarters.

'A male instinctively wants to breed with her, so sometimes that aggression in not being able to do so or people, seem like obstacles to that female in heat,' said Valerie Robinson, the Terrebonne Animal Shelter manager.

Police say this is similar to what happened in late March when a 4-year-old was killed in Houma by her pet pit bull.

'It is so incredibly important to spay and neuter your animals. Spaying and neutering animals can help prevent temperament issues,' said Robinson.

Police have not talked yet to the victim's son. No charges have been filed.

'There's always that possibly, again, pending where this investigation goes. There's a lot of things and a lot of questions that need to be answered,' said Duplantis.

Since the last fatal attack in March, last month Terrebonne Parish increased the fines and penalties for dangerous and vicious dog violations.

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