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Pit bulls blamed for California jogger's death

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 08:50 a.m. HST, May 10, 2013

PALMDALE, Calif. >> Authorities today tried to determine whether pit bulls seized at an alleged marijuana growing house are the same dogs that mauled to death a runner in a Mojave Desert community.

Los Angeles County sheriff's homicide investigators had not announced any DNA match between the six pit bulls seized Thursday and the four believed to have mauled to death the 63-year-old woman in the high desert neighborhood of Littlerock earlier in the day, Deputy Guillermina Saldana said.

A woman in a car saw the dogs attacking the runner Thursday morning in the area 65 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The driver called 911 and honked her horn to try to get the dogs to stop, sheriff's Lt. John Corina said.

An arriving deputy saw a single dog still attacking the jogger and tried to chase it off, Corina said.

"The dog ran off into the desert, then turned around and attacked the deputy," who took a shot at the animal before it ran off, Corina said.

The woman died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital, said Evelina Villa, county animal control spokeswoman.

Her name had not been released by early Friday and the coroner's office still was trying to determine the specific cause of death.

Later Thursday, sheriff's and animal control officials served a search warrant on a home near the site of the attack and took away eight dogs, six of them pit bulls and two of them of mixed breeds.

A 29-year-old man from the house was arrested on suspicion of cultivating marijuana.

It was unclear whether the dogs that attacked the woman had collars or owners.

"In these areas, you might have a situation where people dump animals out in rural areas," said John Mlynar, a spokesman for the nearby city of Palmdale.

People living near the site of the attack said stray dogs constantly roam the area and have attacked people before.

"It's really scary," Diane Huffman, of Littlerock, told KABC-TV. "I don't know what to think. I really think I'm going to be getting a gun to protect myself."

The jogger's death was the latest of at least five deadly dog attacks in California in the past two years.

Last month, Claudia Gallardo, 38, of Stockton, was mauled to death by a pit bull in the front yard of a home where the dog lived.

In February, Elsie Grace, 91, of Hemet, was killed by a pair of pit bulls at a motel.

In June 2011, two pit bulls escaped from their yard and mauled a neighbor in her San Diego backyard. Emako Mendoza, 75, suffered arm and leg amputations before dying months later. The dog's two owners were convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

In June 2012, an 8-month-old boy, Tyzhel Latella McWilliams, was mauled to death by a pit bull at a home in Lemon Grove, near San Diego.

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kainalu wrote:
We're having the same problems here on the streets of Hawaii. I've encountered stray dogs - some aggressive - while jogging in my neighborhood. There's this one huge pit bull tied up to a generator w/trailer in his unfenced yard, and every time I jog by, he's able to drag that trailer a couple of feet with him in his attempts to get at me. I've always been concerned about a young mother pushing a stroller in my neighborhood, considering the loose dogs I've encountered.
on May 9,2013 | 06:40PM
fbiguy wrote:
Kainalu, You would be doing a service to your community by calling the animal control authorities and reporting this situation. Hopefully, they would at least attempt to educate the owner.
on May 9,2013 | 06:59PM
Yukio wrote:
This is a tragedy waiting to happen. Dogs can get loose, and this one sounds vicious. Not only is the young mother in danger, but older people, children, others who can't fight off a strong dog. If there are loose dogs around, report them to the police or Hawaiian Humane Society. People need to be responsible dog owners or face penalties.
on May 9,2013 | 08:06PM
AmbienDaze wrote:
is that the dog's reproductive organ shown in the picture? no wonder he is so aggressive.
on May 9,2013 | 07:39PM
patk wrote:
No, that's the guy behind him's reproductive organ.
on May 9,2013 | 10:37PM
dufus wrote:
Eh babooze that's the guys brown shoe..!
on May 10,2013 | 04:20AM
sailfish1 wrote:
Another pit bull killing. Let's hear again from all the pit bull owners saying how nice and friendly they are. In Hawaii there are other kinds of mixed dogs that are even more mean and aggressive - they are the pig hunting dogs. Don't ever forget how a pack of them got loose and roamed the streets of Mililani killing peoples' pet dogs and even attacking children or the ones that attacked and killed a famous pet pig in Mililani.
on May 9,2013 | 07:51PM
Hawaiians wrote:
And on the big island pit bull killed a young kid in Puna and just around the corner another couple pit bulls attacked a young mother of 3 kids while out for a morning stroll...
on May 9,2013 | 08:09PM
SteveToo wrote:
Bull on the hunting dogs. In the 25 years I hunted w/dogs I only saw maybe 5 that were aggressive to people. Today as a hiker in Wai`anae I run into hunters and their dogs weekly and again not aggressive to people. 99% are trained to hunt pigs. House dogs bark at hunting dogs who take that as a challenge and return the aggressiveness of the house dogs. Yea there are a few "bad" dogs and they are usually owned by "bad" people.
on May 9,2013 | 09:30PM
miss_laulau wrote:
Where I go hiking, I have come across pig hunters with their dogs and you would think their dogs would be vicious but they are not. The dogs are friendly and they allow me to pet them. I also walk a dog that is part pit bull and Rottweiler and although he looks spooky, he is a sweetie. It's only when other dog start barking and become aggressive that he will respond in kind. Like others have commented, it's the way the dogs are treated.
on May 10,2013 | 08:03AM
Hawaiians wrote:
Agreed I have seen plenty of savage dogs that want to tear you to bits that aren't hunting dogs, yet some hunting dogs are savage and trained to kill and potentially VERY dangerous to be around if you are seen as prey.
on May 10,2013 | 03:17PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Carry the same pepper spray as my mailman does.
on May 9,2013 | 08:27PM
patk wrote:
If these dogs were owned by the pothead then he needs to be put down.
If these dogs were wild then I hope that the people who abandoned them all die a slow horrible death.
on May 9,2013 | 10:40PM
Advsurfsail wrote:
Loser dog breed. Losers usually have them.
on May 10,2013 | 03:39AM
CartwrightPark wrote:
Generally speaking. TRUE.
on May 10,2013 | 06:22AM
Kaluu wrote:
Do you remember ever reading a headline, "Jogger Killed by Cocker Spaniel"? Or Collie? Etc? But pit bull? Of course. Again and again and again. What's the point of being so forgiving of a breed that was bred to do nothing but kill? That's what they were designed for. So why encourage the propagation of such a design? Enough.
on May 10,2013 | 06:32AM
Bdpapa wrote:
I know of some real mellow pit bulls,but even then you can tell that they have a tough exterior. The problem is they are generallly really strong and the muscle mass makes them tougher. But again it's 90% how they are trained and nutured.
on May 10,2013 | 07:28AM
nitpikker wrote:
sue the owners to the max!!!
on May 10,2013 | 09:50AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
This is a really tragic story. The thing that gets me most is that the owners of the dogs were drug dealers. Obviously, drug dealers have a very valuable commodity due to the high street prices of their wares and so they acquire pit bulls to guard the goods. Some may say that pit bulls are considered the current popular dog breed of the rappers and those who live the lifestyle. But the bottom line is that drug dealers enabled by our laws to continue to prosper from the street value of marijuana. As long as it is illegal, it will continue to be of extremely high monetary value. If we legalize this plant, we take away a very big chunk of the drug dealers' revenue. We in effect would pull the rug from right underneath these criminals. I am sure that drug dealers would like us to keep it illegal so that they can continue to prosper. So do the drug cartels in South America who thrive on street value of marijuana to help them to fund their criminal ventures and the many murders that they commit.
on May 10,2013 | 10:04AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
The world would be a better place without pit bulls.
on May 10,2013 | 10:41AM
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