Two woman pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges stemming from a recent incident in which two pit bulls mauled a 75-year-old woman in a San Diego backyard, forcing the amputation of her leg below the knee.
Alba Cornelio, 39, and Carla Cornelio, 19, were arrested Wednesday by county animal control officers for charges that include a felony count for owning a mischevious animal that caused death or serious bodily injury.
Authorities say the dogs came through a hole in a fence and attacked Emako Mendoza on June 18 in the Paradise Hills area. An investigation showed that the dogs attacked another neighbor on Christmas.
The dogs have been euthanized.
"Unfortunately, it's irresponsible owners," said Lt. Daniel DeSousa, San Diego County Department of Animal Services. "That should have put these people on notice to confine these dogs."
If convicted of all charges, the women would spend up to three years and eight months in prison. Each of their bail was set at $350,000.
They are also charged with three misdemeanors for failing to provide public protection from dogs, owning or having custody of a dangerous animal causing an injury, and failure to restrain a dog.
"Make sure your dog is socialized, with people and other animals," DeSousa said. "Make sure it's confined on your property so it can't get out. Make sure it's on a muzzle. Animals should be inside the house as part of the family, not kept outside all the time."