CRIME

Woman attacked by pit bull saved by police; owner injured when dog shot dead

A pit bull

A pit bull  (FoxNews)

A woman in Rochester, New York, remains hospitalized with what police describe as "horrific" injuries after she was mauled by a pit bull before officers shot and killed the dog.

Police say 33-year-old Maria Schaffer is in guarded condition at a hospital Thursday, a day after she was attacked by a pit bull outside a home in Rochester. Officials say she suffered multiple wounds including extensive injuries to her arm.

When police arrived about 1 a.m. Wednesday, Schaffer was naked and the pit bull was "biting and chewing" various areas of her body, police say.

Three officers fired several rounds at the animal, killing it but also wounding the dog's owner, Jamie Cruz, 34.

“The woman’s life was in danger,” Deputy Chief Scott Peters said. “I have no doubt that the officers’ actions saved this woman’s life. Again, she’s in critical condition, she’s expected to survive, but the amount of wounds that she has on her body is just horrific.”

The dog owner's neighbor Louis Crocitti said his family heard the commotion just after 1 a.m. He grabbed a bat and started to run to the woman's aid, but police arrived quickly.

"I backed off because I knew they were going to get out and have to shoot the dog," Crocitti told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.