Several Loose Dogs Found on Scene of Woman's Death

Deputies say it appeared the dogs had attacked the woman when she came to care for them

By Wendy Fry, Lauren Steussy and Steven Luke
|  Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012  |  Updated 3:11 PM PDT
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The dogs possibly mauled the woman when she came to take care of them officials said.

The dogs possibly mauled the woman when she came to take care of them officials said.

Eight large dogs appeared to have mauled to death a woman who was taking care of them in a Fallbrook home, sheriff's department authorities said.

A relative of the 30-year-old deceased woman found her body in the 1300-block of Calle Tecolotlan around 5:15 p.m. Sunday and called police, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

When authorities responded, they found eight Olde English Bulldogges running loose in the backyard where the woman's body was found.

NBC 7 spoke with dog expert and trainer Toni Menard, who said in her experience, the breed is somtimes called a "Bully Breed."

The victim had some injuries that appeared to be consistent with dog bites, said Sheriff's Sgt. Victor Perry, however the medical examiner has yet to conclude an official investigation.

It didn't appear to detectives on scene that there was any criminal activity which led to the woman's death. Perry said it appeared the dogs had attacked the woman.

The victim was taking care of the home while its residents were out of town. Perry said the dogs possibly mauled her when she came to take care of them.

Menard said in addition to the breed of dog, the sheer number of them is what concerns her most.

“When you have 8 [dogs] in one location, that sets off red flags,” Menard said. “Someone needs to know what they’re doing to have that many bully breeds in one place.”

The environment is often a major contributing factor in all dog attacks, though.

“It doesn’t matter about the breed so much as the environment,” she added.

The location was secured while homicide detectives investigated. Animal Control Officers were also summoned to the scene to secure the eight dogs.

The decision on whether or not to euthanize the dogs is pending an investigation and official cause of death, according to Lt. Dan DeSousa with the San Diego County Department of Animal Services.

Authorities have not yet released the woman's identity. 

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