Massachusetts woman mauled to death by dog while having seizure


BRISTOL COUNTY, Mass., (WCVB/CNN) — “I don’t know what to make of it, but I know that it wasn’t on purpose.”

Heaven Astacio is mourning the loss of her mom Melissa. The 44-year-old was mauled to death in her Somerset, Massachusetts, home Friday night.

She was killed by her 8-year-old pit bull, Amigo.

“She always knew how to make you laugh,” said Heaven Astacio. “She’s in a better place now.”

The DA says the dog attacked Melissa while she was having a seizure. But her family says Melissa had epilepsy for decades, and she had the dog since it was a puppy. They believe it was just trying to help.

“What happened that night, it never happened like that before,” said Heaven Astacio. “I don’t want to see my dog get put down for something he was only trying to help with.”

The incident is the second of its kind in Bristol County this year. A dog also killed a teenage boy in Dighton, Mass., back in May, with town selectmen voting to euthanize it.

Meanwhile, the fate of Amigo remains unclear while the family of his owner mourns what they say was just an accident.

“All my mom ever wanted was for me and her three kids to have a better life than she could,” said Heaven. “And I just want to say I love you, mom.”

The Bristol County DA’s office says this incident remains under investigation, but again no criminal conduct is suspected.

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