by ROSE MENDOZA
An elderly woman, Louise Herminda, 75, was killed in Queens in her two-story townhouse along with her special needs son, Daniel Ferraro, who was severely injured. They were both mauled by a dog that she had adopted. Herminda was found at the bottom of the basement steps, Hermida had suffered severe trauma to her body and was taken to a hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. Her 39-year-old son was treated for leg trauma. Herminda and her son had as many as 10 dogs and cats living with them. Herminda was planning to return the dog, a Mastiff, after it had attacked a neighbor’s dog. Neighbor John Brien said the dog went after a small terrier and would not let go of it.
“He just pounced on it and started chewing it like a rag doll,” Brien says. “He started ripping it to bits. We tried to jump in. The owner of the white dog got bit on the hand.” Rosa Ortiz, another neighbor, described the scene as horrifying. Ferraro knocked on her door with a bloody leg and said to her, “My mother wants you.” Ortiz also recalls Ferraro saying, “The dog bit her, she’s dying.” Ortiz said, “When I saw her there, it broke my heart. She was all bloodied. Her head, her arms. It was really bad. It was a tragedy.”
Luis Tejada, another neighbor, said he saw Hermida being loaded into an ambulance with blood all over her face. The dog was sedated by the New York Police Department: Emergency Service Unit officers and is now in custody of Animal Care and Control of New York City.