The grieving son of a woman mauled to death by her own dog has described her as a "beautiful and honest" person.
Mother of three Tania Klemke described her dog as her best friend, but early on Wednesday morning it turned on her, mauling her so savagely she died from her injuries inside her Canberra home.
A man who had been visiting in the early hours was also attacked as he tried to intervene.
It was neighbours who raised the alarm when they heard the man screaming for help - and when the policed arrived, the dog turned on them too.
Police had entered the house and tried to provide first aid to the woman but the dog attacked officers, resulting in a number of shots being fired to kill it.
Tania's brother and nephew reached the scene on Wednesday morning and were told the terrible news.
Her devastated son told Seven News that Tania " had the biggest heart and always did anything that she possibly could for the people she loved and cared for."
"This is a very tragic event for the family and our thoughts go out to the family for what is quite a horrific incident," Act. Supt. Tony Crocker of ACT Police said.
The man who was also attacked at the home is recovering in hospital and receiving counselling after receiving a minor bite on the inside of his leg.
Police spent several hours with him, taking a statement in an attempt to find out just why the attack happened.
Authorities have confirmed the dog was already known to them after having previously mauled another visitor at the home in late August.
The victim of that incident needed 42 stitches.
The local council has confirmed that the dog was a "pit bull-type breed", with this deadly attack already re-igniting the debate over whether harsher laws on dangerous dogs are needed.
"Clearly the dog was dangerous, clearly the dog has attacked someone ... and that woman has died," ACT City Services minister Meegan Fitzharris said.
Tania's family claims otherwise and defended the dog, saying it would never have meant to hurt her or take her life.