Starving Dogs Maul Cancer Patient

A 55-year-old man with cancer was mauled by hungry dogs in his home while his daughter was away and he was hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said.

Michael Warner's daughter and another woman were arrested Saturday for investigation of criminal mistreatment, Pierce County sheriff's Detective Ed Troyer said. The two women have not been charged, and both were released from custody.

Twenty-seven dogs, many of them puppies, were taken from the home in Parkland, near Tacoma.

"We believe some animals were left behind that were not fed and some of the puppies got to him - not intentionally attacked him, but used him as a food source," Troyer said. He declined to give details of the man's injuries.

Troyer said that apparently, the women were unofficial caretakers for Warner and the dogs, but had left them unattended for several days. Warner was on the floor, incapacitated, for a couple of days, he said.

The case came to light after Warner's daughter dropped him off Friday at Tacoma General Hospital. Warner was in critical condition Tuesday and has not been able to communicate with investigators.

A neighbor, Anna Bruun, said she had complained about the dogs several times to animal control after a woman was bitten a few months ago. She also said Warner had been left alone at the home in the past, and had stumbled over to her house for help.

"Once I had to call (emergency hot line) 911 because he came over and collapsed in our front yard," she told KOMO-TV.