A pair of Great Danes killed a 49-year-old Ohio woman who kept the rescued animals over her husband’s objections, said a Warren County Coroner’s Office official.

Dale Matthews had been released from jail and returned home with his son on Friday  when he found his wife Mary Matthews, 49, covered in blood.

“I never wanted Great Danes but she wanted to rescue them,” Matthews said. “She loved animals so I let her get them. I probably should have put my foot down and said no, obviously.”

Police said she was not breathing and had a number of puncture wounds as well as a “chunk of flesh (that) was missing from near her ankle.”

The cause of death has been determined to be a “dog attack,” Clearcreek Township police Chief John Terrill said. Matthews suffered multiple wounds, according to an incident report.

Authorities believe that the dogs assaulted the woman and she was able to put them outside before succumbing to her injuries. She may not have realized the severity of her injuries and there was evidence that she had changed her clothes as well as tried to clean the blood with towels.

Police said the woman suffered from chronic addiction and took some prescription drugs, which could have impaired her ability to respond adequately to the situation. 

“Due to this history, it is felt that (Mary Matthews) may not have been in a clear-minded state to judge the severity of her situation and thus failed to call for help,” the police report said.

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