FOUNTAIN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Neighbors in one Fountain community say they're shocked to learn of 76 year-old Alicia Malagon's death.
"I just really can't believe something like that happened. It's really upsetting," Linda Martin, a neighbor said.
Malagon died over the weekend in a home off NW Lamont Road after the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office said she suffered bite wounds from a pit bull. they say she was dog-sitting for her daughter and son-in-law who were out of town.
"The major bite that probably caused her death was the upper-right inside leg," Calhoun County Sheriff Glenn Kimbrel said.
Sheriff Kimbrel says Malagon was trying to break up a fight between her Dachshund and the pit bull.
"She was able to move from the bedroom [and] literally crawl to the living room where there was a telephone," Kimbrel said. "She reached out to her daughter and son-in-law who she was house sitting for."
Deputies say Malagon expressed she was fine. Still, her son-in-law decided to cut his trip short and head back. Deputies say he also asked his brother, who was closer to Malagon, to go over to the house and check on her.
"The man went over to the house and had to break in," Kimbrel said, "and he found her on the floor."
Kimbrel says Malagon was in and out of consciousness and was later taken to the hospital, but she didn't make it.
"We do exercise up and down this road. We jog. We walk. My kids ride their bikes. They ride their horses," Martin said. "There's not been a problem. I haven't been worried about that at all, until now."
Deputies have the pit bull and are deciding whether it will be euthanized or rescued.
"It's the way you raise the animal. Just because it's a pit bull to me doesn't mean there's anything wrong with him," Martin said. "It's how you care for them, how you treat them, and how you raise them that affects their personality."
Deputies say Malagon had watched the dogs before. Autopsy results should reveal exactly how many times she was bitten.