MADISON TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - A Butler County woman was mauled to death Monday afternoon by her family's dog.
59-year-old Cindy Whisman was with her grandson in the backyard of her Eck Road home when the dog attacked.
Whisman suffered multiple injuries to her face, neck and body and was pronounced dead when authorities arrived around 1 p.m., according to the Butler County Sheriff's Office. The coroner officially ruled Whisman's death as accidental on Tuesday.
Neighbor Wayne Walker said he witnessed the attack and attempted to intervene by striking the dog with a metal pole.
"When I hit him he went straight for that door. I hit it with the intention to kill it," Walker told FOX19.
The dog belonged to Whisman's daughter, who says she's never seen aggression out of the animal before.
"Never attacked anybody. It doesn't sound like my dog or something my dog would do," said Julie Whisman. She said her mother had been staying at her home to help watch her 2-year-old son. The child was not harmed in the attack.
Whisman was a long time Middletown resident and graduated from Madison High School.
Family members referred to the dog as a pit bull, but police say the breed has not officially been confirmed.
Authorities say Butler County's Dog Warden took put the dog in custody of the Animal Friends Humane Society located in Hamilton. Pending a court hearing, the family has the option to get the dog back, but Julie Whisman told FOX19 she can't imagine owning the dog that killed her mother.
If the family opts to not keep the dog, Butler County authorities say it will be euthanized after the investigation is complete.
"These type of tragedies are happening way too often, family pet or not," Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said in a statement.
FOX19 NOW'S Brett Hoffland contributed to this story.