NewsLocal News


Family speaks up on deadly dog attack

Screen Shot 2023-06-07 at 3.50.48 PM.png
Posted at 7:21 PM, Jun 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-07 20:21:10-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Corpus Christi Animal Care Services has issued a warning after a local woman died after being attacked by a family member's dog.

According to family members, 58-year-old Rita Maria Vasquez was babysitting a family member's pit bull mix on Wednesday when it attacked her in her garden.

She died two days later after going into surgery.

The Nueces County Medical Examiner's Office said the attack contributed to her death.

Vasquez’s family said she owned two Chihuahuas. They believe Vasquez was breaking up a fight between her two dogs and the pit bull when the larger dog turned on her.

Joel Skidmore, program manager for the Corpus Christi Animal Care Services said to never intervene if your dogs are fighting with each other.

“If a dog is considered at a high level of aggression where it is highly attacking, that dog is not going to start and then stop and relay information to you, it is going to it is going to redirect its aggression," Skidmore said. "That is what it is called it is called redirected aggression and the level that it is currently at and it is always dangerous when you intervene in a dog attack.”

Vasquez's daughter Roxanne Ortiz said she wants her family and friends to remember her a certain way.

“She was a provider; she was comfort; she was everything for us,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz said her mother was a very loving person not only with her close ones but with everyone.

"She loved all animals; before this past weekend, she made sure to go to the valley and cut all of the dog's hair,” Ortiz said.

Skidmore said it was a severe attack, and the dog was euthanized after the family surrendered their rights.

“She was our rock, we loved her, and she gave herself to all of us. She did, she did, we tried to uplift her and keep her grounded,” Ortiz said.

Vasquez’s family now wants to grieve her and let time go by to process the situation.

“Our main focus is just to highlight who she was that’s it because there is a lot of unanswered question," Ortiz said. "But we are leaving that up to time because there is a time and a place for everything and right now it’s just the time to rejoice in her.”

Full interview with the Vasquez family

For the latest local news updatesclick here, or download the KRIS 6 News App.