Bozeman woman dies after dog attack - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Bozeman woman dies after dog attack

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A 65-year-old Bozeman woman passed away Tuesday after she was attacked by dogs over the weekend.

Gallatin Co. Sheriff Brian Gootkin says Melissa Barnes died in Billings, where she had been airlifted following the attack Saturday morning.

The two dogs, Kitty, a 13-year-old terrier mix and Bain, a 6-year-old bull terrier, were both voluntarily put down by their owners Monday, and tested negative for rabies.

Wayne Bartlett, the dogs’ owner, rented from Barnes and lived on the same property as her for six years.

Bartlett and his girlfriend were not home at the time of the attacks, and their dogs and children were under the care of Bartlett’s niece.

"The kids came outside without permission and without letting anyone know. And Melissa was out here working on the yard. I think the dogs just came with the kids. I'm not sure what happened.”

Bartlett thinks Kitty may have knocked Barnes down trying to play with her and Bain ran over not understand it was play.

Certified Trainer Nancy Tanner opened Paws and People in 2003.

Tanner says dog-caused human fatalities are very rare, especially in this part of the country.

For a dog to act in such a way it is likely a lot of little things piling up-- what she calls ‘trigger stacking’.

“It's layers of triggers that cause arousal to ratchet up, and when you get into the bully breed category they're designed to continue to ratchet up arousal and not come down. And that takes a great deal of training and time with the owner to ratchet down arousal, so they're not always up here.”

Tanner offers a series of training programs, you can find them here:

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