King Boots, a champion show dog ordered neutered and defanged after being accused of fatally mauling an 87-year-old woman, has died of unknown causes, the dog's handler said Wednesday.
The 8-year-old Old English sheep dog had not been ill recently, said Jack Funk, who handled King Boots for the last three years.
Funk said he learned of the dog's death "three or four days ago" in a telephone conversation with Charles and Kathryn Schwarb, its owners.
King Boots was ordered neutered and defanged following a January hearing before U.S. District Judge Edward Sosnick. The dog was accused in the Dec. 19, 1984, fatal mauling of Gertrude Monroe of Birmingham, Mrs. Schwarb's mother.
The Schwarbs, who contended that the dog acted in self-defense after Mrs. Monroe had a heart attack and fell on it, were ordered to confine the show dog to their home.