Mum, 42, mauled to death by dog while saving children's lives

·3-min read

A 42-year-old woman has been mauled to death by a dog with a history of attacks while shouting for her children to get out of the house.

Amber LaBelle's ex-partner said "the very last thing she did on this Earth was save the lives of her children".

Ms LaBelle, from the city of Myrtle Point in Coos County in the US state of Oregon, was killed by an American bulldog and pit bull mix at her home, where she lived with her two daughters, on the morning of September 24 (local time).

Amber LaBelle, 42, is pictured. She died in an Oregon dog attack.
Amber LaBelle, 42, was attacked by a pit bull in her home at Myrtle Point, Oregon. Newsflash/Australscope

Resident April Shaw said she heard her friend screaming and rushed over to help, coming across one of the victim's daughters who yelled to neighbours to call the emergency services.

"It was a pretty bad scene... We had another neighbour holding a dog back, a pretty big dog, and I just ran past the dog and ran straight to Amber. She was unresponsive at the time," Ms Shaw said.

Ms LaBelle was taken to hospital by air ambulance services where she died about 4am the following morning.

The victim’s close friend Jess Allen said Ms LaBelle "went way too young". 

"I hope for the best for her girls and they can cope with it," she said.

Ms LaBelle’s ex-partner and the father of their two children, Josef Dieckman, said "one thing that I would want people to know is the very last thing she did on this Earth was save the lives of her children".

"I will be eternally grateful for that," he said.

Mr Dieckman explained Ms LaBelle shouted to her children to get out of the house while being attacked by the dog.

Amber LaBelle is pictured in a selfie while sitting in a car.
The mum shouted at her two daughters to get into the house as she was attacked. Source: Newsflash/Australscope

How dog attack unfolded

In an update on September 27, Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier said the dog was an American bulldog and pit bull mix with a history of previous attacks.

The dog's owner, named as Sara Nicholes, reportedly left the animal in the care of a man called Jeremy Robertson who was at the victim's house that morning.

Mr Frasier said Mr Robertson, whose relationship with the victim was unclear, left the dog with Ms LaBelle while he went out to take care of a few jobs, adding the animal had been shut in a bedroom.

The victim opened the bedroom door about 10am and was suddenly attacked by the dog.

According to Mr Frasier, a neighbour pulled the animal off the victim while another dragged her away.

Mr Frasier said a police officer arrived at the house and the dog started pulling away from the neighbour to get to where Ms LaBelle and the cop were, prompting the official to shoot and kill it.

Authorities said the dog weighed more than 54 kilograms.

Mr Frasier added the investigation was ongoing and the findings would be presented to the Coos County Grand Jury to decide if any charges should be filed.

– Australscope

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