NewsMontana and Regional News


Billings woman dies after being attacked by dogs

Billings Police
Posted at 7:51 AM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-20 00:26:27-04

The Yellowstone County Coroner's Office on Tuesday identified 84-year old Melitta Hain as the woman who died after being attacked by a dog.

Hain was attacked on April 8 in the Heights area and died on April 16 from complications of numerous dog bites. Her death has been ruled an accident, the coroner's office said.

Police told MTN News that officers responded to the reported dog attack at about 6:30 p.m. on the 1100 block of Sandstone Trail. When officers arrived, they found the woman and called for medical assistance due to her injuries.

The attack happened on private property and three large, mixed-breed dogs were involved, police said. All three dogs are being held at the Yellowstone County Animal Shelter.

According to a former co-worker at the Northern Hotel, Hain was a "spitfire" that had survived a great deal in her life, loved craft fairs, and always shared her homemade chokecherry syrup with friends.

Hain’s family has hired a law firm to represent them. The family and their attorney declined MTN's interview request until the police investigation is finished.

Section 4-405.5 of the Billings City Code says a court shall order euthanasia of an animal involved in a fatal attack on a person. The code also says any owner who keeps any animal exhibiting dangerous behavior is guilty of a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $500 fine.

However, police are continuing to investigate, so there is no decision yet on whether the dogs will be euthanized.

At this point, there have been no arrests and charges filed.