A 72-year-old woman died and her 74-year-old husband was injured after being attacked by their pet dog. The incident took place Thursday in southwestern Sydney, Australia. 

According to local reports, the dog — a Staffy cross Rhodesian ridgeback — mauled the woman and attacked her husband at their Hornby Street, Wilton, home. The victims were identified as Rosemary and Derek O’Reilly.

Family members told local media 9News that the dog, named Athena, attacked Derek when he stepped in to help his wife. Officials said Rosemary suffered large lacerations to both her arms and puncture wounds to her right shoulder. Her husband also suffered bite marks and lacerations.

Authorities said the dog had already been restrained when paramedics arrived at the scene. They took the two victims to the hospital where Rosemary was declared dead.

"The fatal dog attack that took place at Wilton yesterday afternoon is extremely upsetting to us and our community; and our thoughts are with the family and all of the first responders that had to manage this very distressing incident," Wollondilly Shire Council said in a statement. The council said its animal control officer went to the property at which a number of other dogs were registered.

"While this is now a police matter, council is providing assistance as requested from the appropriate authorities," the statement said.

The Rhodesian ridgeback dog breed originates from South Africa. According to the American Kennel Club, "Rhodesianare fast and powerful athletes who can weigh between 70 and 85 pounds, and oftentimes more... The formidable Ridgeback can be strong willed, independent, and sometimes domineering." Rhodesian ridgeback can sometimes become aggressive, however, there haven't been many cases of the dogs fatally attacking someone.

In Ireland, Rhodesian ridgeback is part of a list of dogs which need to be muzzled in public for the safety of people. Other breeds in this list include the English bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, bull mastiff, doberman pinscher, German shepherd (alsatian), Rottweiler, Japanese akita and the Japanese Tosa.