2 Plead Not Gulty in Dog Attack Case

Official: "It's irresponsible owners"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Emako Mendoza, 75, is fighting life-threatening injuries after being attack by two pit bulls Saturday morning in Paradise Hills.

    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.

    2 Women Deny Charges in Dog Attack

    [DGO] 2 Women Deny Charges in Dog Attack
    Alba Cornelio, 39, and her 19-year-old daughter, Carla, never wanted to hurt anybody, defense attorney Donovan Dunnion said. The two could spend three years and eight months in prison and are each being held on $350,000 bail.

    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."

    Husband of Pit Bull Attack Victim Speaks

    [DGO] Husband of Pit Bull Attack Victim Speaks
    James Mendoza said his wife, Emako, likely lost a leg and will possibly lose an arm after being attacked by two pit bulls on the morning of June 18.

    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."