A NORTH PHILADELPHIA woman appears to have been killed by a pack of pit bulls Tuesday, but her son says that the city's animal-control team deserves some of the blame for her violent death.

Carmen Ramos, 50, died from injuries suffered in an attack by the five dogs owned by her husband, Jose Alvarez, 56, according to a preliminary autopsy report, police sources told the Daily News.

But it wasn't the first time this month that the dogs attacked someone on Carey Street near Lawrence.

Neighbors said that the dogs were taken away Aug. 19 by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after they attacked two neighborhood residents, but they were returned three days later.

"Honestly, they should put them to sleep," said Ramos' son, Pedro Ramos, 23, standing in front of a memorial to his mother. "That was unnecessary.

"It's the SPCA's fault, too, because they shouldn't have given the dogs back to them. It's 50-50, [the dogs] and the SPCA. Everybody complains about the dogs."

A PSPCA spokeswoman referred all inquiries to Brian Abernathy, chief of staff to Managing Director Richard Negrin, who oversees the city's animal-control services.

"As a policy, we don't comment on active investigations," Abernathy said.

Residents of the block wondered out loud why officials released the dogs after the bite attacks last month.

"What worried me was . . . that [the dogs] were going to grab a child and kill him before his time," said one of the victims of the first attack, Dolores Estrella, 51, speaking in Spanish. "And look what happened."

Police subdued the dogs with pepper spray before animal-control officers took them away, said the other victim, Edwin "Gus" Castro, 25,

When the dogs were returned, everybody on the block "was in shock," Castro said.