On November 25, 2005 five dogs belonging to Jose Hernandez got loose. They escaped their pen, which was behind a short fence, only three feet tall. These were pit bull – Rottweiler mixes — the two breeds of dog that have been responsible for over half of the canine inflicted human deaths in recent years.
The dogs headed down the street. 76-year-old Lillian Stiles was gardening in her front lawn. Stiles and her husband lived on 10 acres in Thorndale, about 70 miles west of College Station. The dogs either dragged her from the seat of her lawnmower, or took her down as she stepped from it or onto it. The dogs mauled and mutilated her to the point that she was beyond recognition. “She was so disfigured, they didn’t realize she was a woman,” said her daughter, Marilyn Shoemaker. “They thought maybe she had been run over by the mower.” She died as a result of the attack. Her husband, Jack Stiles, shot one of the dogs. The rest were captured and euthanized.