Community In Shock After Woman Killed By Pack Of Dogs

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It’s the second time in the past four months that someone has been attacked and killed by packs of dogs on South Dakota’s Indian reservations. This time, a 49-year-old woman on the Rosebud Reservation.

Officials say Julia Charging Whirlwind of the Lower Swift Bear community was simply walking home from a friend’s house when she was brutally attacked.

“She was a well respected member of the community. It was a terrible tragedy,” said Mellette County Sheriff Mike Blom.

Blom was one of the first to arrive after Julia was attacked.

“I shot a couple dogs and the ambulance removed the victim to the hospital, and she was pronounced dead shortly after,” said Blom.

This attack comes just months after an 8-year-old girl was also killed by a pack of dogs on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

“We’ve had dog bite complaints but I’ve never had anything this serious,” said Blom.

“She was my best friend, my sister,” said Robin Clairmont.

Clairmont says Julia was walking home from her house when she was attacked.

“She just said ‘I’m going home now’, and I said ‘alright I”ll call you later’,” said Clairmont.

Clairmont says the dogs that killed her friend lived in two separate homes in the neighborhood, and had been causing trouble for a while.

“We go by and those dogs, they try to attack your car. They’ll bite at your car, bite at the tires,” said Clairmont.

It was something she and Julia had talked about shortly before she was killed.

“She said ‘I wonder what it’s going to take. Somebody’s probably going to have to get killed or die from them dogs’,” said Clairmont.

Clairmont and other neighbor’s say Julia’s death could have been prevented.

“Should have done something about these dogs a long time ago. She would have still been alive,” said Brandon Vanderwalker, neighbor.

But now the community is left mourning the loss of their friend.

“Wonderful person. Mother of five. I knew three of her boys, they played on our ball team and went to school with my children. Very well thought of lady, always had a smile on her face,” said Blom.

Almost immediately after the attack, tribal officials went through the area and rounded up about 30 dogs.

Blom is urging all dog owners to make sure their dogs are on a leash anytime they’re outside.