A woman mauled to death by her dogs has been named locally as mother-of-three Elayne Stanley.

Screams were heard from neighbours as the two dogs attacked Ms Stanley, 43, who was at home with her three daughters, including 12-year-old twins.

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The dogs, described as American bulldog or Dogue de Bordeaux type breeds, attacked their owner in the house on Graham Road, Widnes, at around 5.15pm on Tuesday.

Neighbours said they believe the victim’s 12-year-old twins were at home at the time and may have witnessed the attack on their mother.

Ms Stanley’s older daughter, who is in her 20s, also ran to help get the dogs off her mother and into a yard at the back of the house.

Cheshire Police said formal identification of the victim has not yet taken place and they have not released a name.

Locals described hearing screams and frantic attempts to get the dogs out of the house as they savaged their victim.

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Police later shot one of the dogs, a male named DJ, and a second dog, a bitch called Billy, was tranquillised and taken away, according to locals.

Neighbour Marie Airey said: “I could hear the screaming. I could hear the screaming, the girl, shouting the dog and shouting, ‘I can’t get in to her’.

“And someone was kicking the door and all hell broke loose.

“Someone was kicking the door to get in the house, then they put the dogs in the garden then they were just seeing to her.

I never ever thought they were dangerous dogs. You just never saw them, they were kept under control

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“I came to the window and had a look out and heard all the screaming and, ‘Get towels, get an ambulance’.

“Someone shouted the girls to get back up the stairs, they must have come down. They’ve not long come in from school.

“Police, ambulance and then the helicopter was over, it was just loads of cars in the street.

“Police everywhere. They were working on her, she was in the ambulance. You can gather it’s not going to be a good outcome.

“Nobody deserves that, to die like that, it’s a horrible thing, and for the two girls to see it as well… three of them because the other girl was there as well.”

The property, a mid-terrace on a housing estate, was taped off with police continuing their investigation on Wednesday morning.

Mrs Airey added: “You never saw the dogs, they weren’t problem dogs, you never even heard them barking. I never ever thought they were dangerous dogs. You just never saw them, they were kept under control.

“You never saw them out on the street on their own. You saw one of the girls walking them but she always had them on a lead.

“It’s just such a shame, it’s a waste.”


Cheshire Police said: “At around 5.15pm on Tuesday September 24, North West Ambulance Service informed police that a 43-year-old woman had been attacked by two dogs at an address on Graham Road in Widnes.

“Officers attended and discovered that the woman from Widnes was in a serious condition.

"Sadly, despite the best efforts of all those involved, the woman died at the scene. Her next of kin have been informed and are being supported by officers.

"Following the attack, repeated attempts were made by officers to safely secure the two dogs in order to remove them from the address.

"One was safely detained, however officers were unable to secure the second dog.

"Attempts were made to tranquilise the second dog but this was unsuccessful so, in the interests of public safety, the dog was destroyed.

"The other dog remains in a secure kennel."

Detective Inspector Ian Whiley said: “We understand that people in the local community will be concerned when they hear about what has happened.

“But I would like to reassure residents that we are doing all that we can to establish the full circumstances of the incident.

“However, at this stage, it is believed that the dogs were known to the woman and were living at the address.

“This has been an extremely distressing incident and our thoughts are with the woman’s family at this difficult time.”