Maria Arcos remains in a Houston hospital Thursday, after surviving an attack by more than 15 stray dogs in the Fifth Ward.
The 52-year-old area resident walking to a bus stop at 6 a.m. on Monday when she was spotted by a group of feral dogs as she made her way beneath a Highway 59 underpass near Lyons. The pack quickly surrounded her and pounced, pulling her to the ground and dragging her through the street.
A rail conductor came across the violent scene and contacted police as he passed on a nearby train.
Arcos was conscious but badly mauled on her arms and legs when an emergency team arrived and rushed her to Ben Taub Hospital. While stress of the incident sent her into cardiac arrest, hospital officials told CultureMap on Thursday that her condition has improved from critical to fair condition.
“Most of the time, you won’t have [stray dogs] acting out in an aggressive manner like this," Houston animal control manager Chris Glaser tells KHOU Channel 11. "Usually you’ll have one or two, but an attack like this is very rare."
City animal investigators discovered the pack living under a nearby fun eral home.
Later in the day, city animal investigators discovered the pack living under the Clay & Clay funeral home and mortuary, located less than a block away at the corner of Lyons and the northbound feeder road. Officers cordoned off the dogs beneath the building to lure them into a makeshift trap.
By Wednesday about 10 dogs have been captured, including two 4-month-old puppies, as reported by KPRC Channel 2. Glaser says the animals are likely to be euthanized to allow for rabies testing.
The trap was still in place when CultureMap visited the Clay & Clay mortuary on Thursday. Employees with the small business would not comment on the situation. No dogs were seen around the property or underneath the cavernous underpass which sits adjacent to a Union Pacific rail line.
Citizens of the Fifth Ward told KHOU's Rucks Russell that stray dogs pose constant problems on neighborhood streets. Complaints to the city, however, only seem to fall on deaf ears, they say.
Officials with BARC — the city's animal control agency whose main facility is not far from the Arcos incident — could not be reached for comment.
The Houston area has seen its fair share of animal attacks this July. Early in the month, a Liberty County woman was mauled to death by a stray she had adopted. And, just last week, a teenager was bit more than 100 times by a pair of pit bull puppies she was raising.
Watch the original KHOU Ch. 11 report and follow-up below: