HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man killed in an apparent dog mauling on Wednesday was trying to protect his pet from being attacked by a neighbor's own canines when he was bitten to death, Houston police said.
Officers responding to the 5500 block of Sheraton Oaks were forced to open fire on one of the attacking dogs, Lt. Larry Crowson said.
The deadly mauling unfolded before 4 p.m. in the Greater Inwood area of northwest Houston.
Police learned that the 69-year-old victim heard a commotion outside from inside his home when he saw the neighbor's dogs had gotten through his fence and attacked his own pet.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Initially, a police spokesperson at the crime scene indicated the victim was a man in his 30s. Their press release later identified the victim as being 69 years old.
He went outside to try and separate the dogs when one of the attacking animals mauled him, Crowson said. HPD's North Division officers arrived to find the man already bitten. He died at the scene.
Police believe the victim's neighbor owns up to three dogs, but just two of them were involved in the attack. The wounded canine was still alive when police left the scene, according to Crowson. The breed of the attacking dogs were not immediately disclosed, but the victim's pet looked like a small poodle, HPD added.
Animal cruelty investigators and members of the district attorney's office were also at the scene to determine if any charges would follow.