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'It's Nothing Short Of A Nightmare': Family Stunned By Death Of Area Woman In Dog Attack

Arlene Renna in her high school days.
Arlene Renna in her high school days. Photo Credit: John Taylor/Facebook

The family of an area woman who was home alone when she was killed during an attack by either one or both of her dogs said their hearts are "shattered at the sudden, unexpected, and tragic death."

The Dutchess County woman, Arlene Renna, 67, of Pleasant Valley, was found unconscious on her living room floor by her husband around 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, when he returned home, New York State Police said.

A subsequent investigation determined the wounds, and circumstances were consistent with a dog attack. Two Coonhounds were kept in the home as pets, state police said.

Police did not yet say if it has been determined yet whether Renna was attacked by one or both of the dogs.

In a heartbreaking Facebook post, Renna's ex-husband, John Taylor, announced the death of his "high school sweetheart, my first wife, the mother of our three children, the grandmother of our Ellie."

She died, he said, on their daughter's Jillian's 31st birthday.

"It is nothing short of a nightmare," Taylor wrote. "Arlene was the kindest, most gentle, giving and wonderful woman, there was no better mother, no better grandmother."

Taylor went on to say that Renna had been blessed when she found her second husband,  Joe Renna: "who doted on her and helped her raise our two teenage daughters, as our son Ryan had already left for college when we separated."

According to Taylor, Renna worked as a nurse in coronary critical care, then became a full-time mother, a founding board member and volunteer for The Center for Parents and Children, and later she became a social worker helping families in crisis.

"People like Arlene can never be replaced, they can only live in our hearts forever, and we should all learn by their example to be better people, to try to be more like them," he added.

Both dogs were secured by Dutchess County SCPA, according to police. The fate of the dogs will be determined by a court judge.

The investigation conducted by the New York State Place did not reveal any indications of foul play.

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