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6 other dogs euthanized after woman found dead in her home with aggressive dog

Deputies are investigating after an Asheville woman was found dead in her home, with an aggressive dog that deputies killed at the scene. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Deputies are investigating after an Asheville woman was found dead in her home, with an aggressive dog that deputies killed at the scene.

On Monday, May 1, 2017, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call for assistance. Upon arrival, deputies found Jane Egle, 59, unresponsive and lying on the floor.

An aggressive dog was also inside, and would not allow deputies into the home. The deputies notified the Animal Services Division of the Sheriff’s Office.

Animal Services officers tried several times to subdue the dog and get inside. EMS responders were also unable to enter and provide medical help.

After multiple attempts, the dog was finally subdued and deputies were able to remove it from the residence. Authorities say the dog was killed at the scene after being taken out of the home.

Deputies checked Egle's pulse, found that she had none, and advised EMS that Egle had died.

A relative at the scene told deputies the dog had a history of aggressive behavior.

Investigators said Egle had deep cuts—lacerations—consistent with an animal attack. An incident report described her injuries as minor.

Angie Wilt, director of operations at the Humane Society, said Jane Egle's family signed over ownership of eight of Egle's dogs.

Wilt said the dogs weren't very well socialized. "Seven of them were the mastiff breed dogs, and one of them was a (Great) Pyrenees.” Wilt said. “We had two professional behavior consultants look at the dogs and assess them."

Six mastiffs had to be euthanized, and one is going up for adoption, Wilt said. One of the mastiffs, a puppy, will be placed with a rescue, Wilt said, and the Pyrenees is still being evaluated.

Only one dog was aggressive with deputies, but the behavior consultants still declared six of them too dangerous to be in the community.

Wilt describes the euthanized mastiffs as large and not well socialized.

“(They came) from a line of hunting breed dogs," Wilt said. "There wasn't much we could do for them and feel safe about putting them in the community, and that is really sad for us."

"Everyone at Asheville Humane Society is heartbroken about the situation," wrote Asheville Humane Society communications manager Meredith Riddick in an email to News 13. "We had our in-house behaviorist, as well as Kim Brophey of The Dog Door evaluate each of the dogs, and both behaviorists were 100 percent sure that these dogs are not safe to be released into the community."

"We have to put the public's safety above all else," she wrote.

Jennifer Odom, a neighbor of Egle’s, said she felt sad as well.

"Jane was a very sweet woman. Very outgoing. Very friendly. Very kind. Always had a nice thing to say to my toddler as she would drive up the hill. Yeah, just very grandmother-like," said Jennifer Odom, a neighbor.

Odom also knew Egle’s dogs, she said.

"They were very sweet,” Odom said, “They would roll in the grass, just like any dog would that just enjoys being outside."

Odom planned to carry on Egle's love for animals by donating to organizations like Asheville Humane Society.

"I think that would honor her memory and her children very well," Odom said.

Egle's family declined to comment for this story.

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