A Spartanburg woman who was killed by a pit bull had been attempting to rescue her mother from the attacking dog, authorities say.
Porsche Nicole Cartee was pronounced dead inside her home when emergency responders arrived Saturday.
Spike, which has since been euthanized, had been the Cartee family’s pet for more than a decade.
Authorities say the pit bull “just snapped” when it began attacking the mother. Cartee’s sister was also injured. Her mother was hospitalized and her injuries may require surgery, while Cartee’s sister received treatment on scene, said Jamie Nelson, the director of Spartanburg County’s Office of Environmental Enforcement.
Those close to the 25-year-old described her as selfless.
Patrick Powell, Cartee’s boyfriend of nearly 10 years, said the two had just separated about a month ago but were planning on getting back together.
The family’s pit bull had caused problems before, Powell said by phone Sunday.
A previous attack left the mother hospitalized, but the incident was never reported to authorities, Powell said.
No other case involving Spike had been reported, Nelson confirmed. The environmental enforcement office is continuing to look at records from previous addresses to ensure there were no prior cases, he added.
An autopsy is being performed on the dog to determine if it had rabies, he said.
“The biggest thing apart from it being a fatality is that it was three victims at one time, and it was a family pet,” Nelson said. “It’s just a huge tragedy here for this family.”