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Police say they continue to investigate the death of an 86-year-old woman following a dog attack.

Officers and paramedics who were called Sunday to the Capitol Hill neighbourhood in northwest Calgary found the injured senior. She was taken to hospital and later died.

Police said in a statement that neighbours had tried to help and that the owner of the three dogs was able to take them away before officers arrived.

They said the three dogs, which were seized by the city, are believed to be a North American pit bull-terrier mix, a North American Staffordshire mix and an American pit bull.

A statement from the city’s animal services department offered condolences to the woman’s family and friends, but declined to provide additional information.

“A criminal investigation is under way and we are unable to provide further details as this would compromise the integrity of the investigation,” said the statement.

Police said criminal charges or fines could be laid and the dogs could be put down.

“This was an extremely tragic event that resulted in the death of an innocent woman,” Det. Kerry Parsons said in a statement Monday afternoon.

“Our condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the victim, as we continue to investigate this incident.”

One of the woman’s neighbours, who did not want to be identified, told CTV that he tried to help.

He said his wife heard a commotion in the alley with several dogs and went to see what was going on. He said he joined her and saw two dogs being pulled into a yard.

“A little frustrated that I wasn’t able to get there a minute or two sooner,” the man told CTV. “The comfort I can take is I was there with her, and she wasn’t alone.”

The man said the dog owner tried to help as they waited for paramedics.

He said the woman was a great neighbour who was often working in her yard.

“She was a slight little old lady, great neighbour, spry, continually out gardening, pruning the hedges,” the man said.

“The best person you could hope to have for a neighbour.”

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