The county medical examiner has confirmed that a woman found in the backyard of a Fallbrook home Sunday was mauled to death by one or more of the eight dogs found roaming near her body.
The still-unidentified 30-year-old woman was hired to clean the home in the 1300-block of Calle Tecolotlan, according to new information released by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
A relative who came to pick her up at around 5:15 p.m. Sunday found her dead in the backyard and called police.
When authorities responded, they found eight large dogs running loose in the backyard where the woman's body was found. The residents were not home, and the garden hose was still running when they arrived, said Lt. Glenn Giannantonio with the Sheriff's Homicide Unit.
The San Diego County Department of Animal Services took the dogs into custody and said they were a larger breed of dog called Olde English Bulldogge. Authorities did not have to use any force with the dogs.
Giannantonio said the woman had spent the previous night at the house, but this was her first time cleaning the house, and she was not very familiar to the dogs.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office determined that the victim was mauled by one or more of the dogs. Her identity has not been released, as officials are trying to notify her family.
The Department of Animal Services told NBC 7 the owners were breeding and selling the dogs.The youngest of the pack is about 4 to 5 months old. The largest dog is 105 pounds.
NBC 7 reached the homeowner on Tuesday by phone but she was not available to discuss the incident.The Department of Animal Services has yet to determine whether the homeowner will face charges in the case.
Additionally, as deputies were conducting an investigation into the woman's death, they discovered a marijuana grow in the back bedroom of the home. The grow consisted of 24 plants, according to a San Diego County Sheriff's Department statement.
Investigators with the Narcotics Task Force seized the grow operation and will be investigating the grow.
NBC 7 spoke to dog expert and trainer Toni Menard on Tuesday, who 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.
By Wednesday night, there was still no word on the whether the owners of the eight dogs will be charged in the fatal mauling. Officials have not yet released the names of the owners.
NBC 7 spoke to local Olde English Bulldogge breeder Ary Toussi, who said he knows who owns the dogs. Toussi said he believes someone should ultimately be held responsible for what happened.
Toussi said he’s been breeding Olde English Bulldogges for seven years and was shocked by the news of the deadly dog attack.
“I was pretty surprised. This is not the type of breed to be aggressive like that,” he said.
Toussi said the breed that killed the woman in Fallbrook are not Olde English Bulldogges, but American Bulldog mixes, which are quite larger.
“His dogs, some of his bigger dogs sit at about 140-150 pounds. Way above the standard of what we are used to seeing with the Olde English Bulldog, which is typically in the 65-85 pound range,” he explained.