AVOCA -- Detectives believe one or more dogs killed a woman several weeks ago.
Patti Webb, 65, of Avoca was found dead Sept. 24 at her home, according to Capt. Thomas See, who heads the criminal investigation division for the Benton County Sheriff's Office.
See said detectives believe Webb was breaking up a fight between dogs when at least one of the animals attacked her.
Deputies removed 17 dogs from the house, he said. Two dogs belonging to a neighbor also may have been involved in the attack, See said.
The medical examiner determined Webb's death was a result of being mauled to death by dogs, See said. Foul play isn't suspected, he said.
The dogs seized from Webb's home are being held at a local animal shelter, See said. The dogs need to be held in quarantine due to the mauling, he said. The other two dogs are still in the owner's custody, but the owner understands the animals must be quarantined, See said.
DNA samples were taken from each of the dogs and sent to the Arkansas Crime Laboratory. He said the dogs will remain in quarantine until reports are back from the laboratory to see if it can be determined which dog or dogs were involved in the mauling, he said.
Lt. Hunter Petray with the Benton County Sheriff's Office said Webb took in stray dogs and fostered animals.