A 93-year-old Modesto woman was mauled August 31 by two dogs in Modesto. The 93-year woman died the next day from her injuries according to officials. Chanthy Philavong was knocked to the ground by the dogs outside her home. “It was chaos, it was a matter of 80 seconds — looking back it was 80 seconds — and just like that everybody’s lives changed.” Neighbor Jenece Dendulk was quoted at the scene saying “It was awful.”
Modesto Police Department received a report of a dog attack on the 3600 block of Dothan Drive at 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 31. At the scene, police officers found Philavong with “major injuries” and was transported to a local hospital. The dogs were ultimately trapped and taken to the Stanislaus County Animal Shelter. The sheriff’s office learned on Sept. 1 that Philavong had passed away. The police department said its investigative services division has taken over the investigation, and no additional information will be released until it’s complete.
A grandchild of Philavong’s posted a message on Facebook calling their grandmother’s death an avoidable tragedy. “I’m an animal lover and this incident is preventable if owners are responsible,” the message said. “It always takes a tragedy for something to change. I hope my grandmother’s life didn’t end for nothing.” Stanislaus County Animal Shelter was not immediately available for comment on the breed of the dogs involved in the attack.
The emotional and psychological effects of dog bites are often more severe for children than for adults. Experts suggest a dog attack from a child’s perspective is much like an adult facing an angry, growling bear. Experts also say this is the most important distinction because adults are often able to talk openly about their experience following a dog bite or attack. Children quickly notice how upset their parents or caregivers become when they mention the incident and instinctually remain silent about what they went through. This leaves emotional scars that may lead to anxiety, fear, and even PTSD. These side effects are more pronounced in children than adults and can interfere with normal development. Experts say it’s critical adults pay close attention to the signs of emotional distress children can display following a dog bite, including:
- Sleep disturbances
- Bed wetting
- Clinging to parents
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