Elderly woman attacked by 3 dogs in Hernando County, deputies say

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An elderly woman had severe wounds after three dogs attacked her Monday morning, according to Hernando County deputies.

The sheriff’s office was alerted to the incident just after 7:30 a.m. The caller placed the victim -- who has not been identified -- in a black pickup truck and they waited for paramedics to arrive, officials said. 

Hernando County deputies said the female was taking a morning walk along Spring Lake Highway when the dogs attacked her. The individual who called stopped to help and told dispatchers the dogs were still loose in the area.

The victim had severe dog bites to both of her legs. She was taken in a medical helicopter to a nearby hospital. 

Deputies and animal control officers with the county arrived to collect the dogs. Officials said at least one of the dogs attempted to attack them. They used non-lethal bean-bag rounds to subdue the dogs and they were taken to Hernando County Animal Services.

The owner of the dogs, identified by deputes as Ralph Hughes, was cited for having three unrestrained dogs and causing a public nuisance. Officials said he surrendered all three dogs to be euthanized and said he believed they were too aggressive. 

Officials said Hughes did not want them back. All three dogs were up-to-date on their shots and were licensed.

Hughes told FOX 13's Jennifer Holton that the dogs were 5 years old, and he had raised them since birth.

The victim is in stable condition, deputies said.