Pit Bull Victim in Critical Condition

A 75-year-old woman suffered multiple bites after being mauled by two pit bulls

By Joseph M.D. Young and Sarah Grieco
|  Monday, Jun 20, 2011  |  Updated 3:43 PM PDT
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Husband of Pit Bull Attack Victim Speaks

NBCSanDiego

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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.
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A woman who was attacked by two pit bulls on Saturday morning is in critical condition, according to Scripps Mercy Hospital.

Emako Mendoza, the 75-year-old victim, had one of her legs amputated as a result of the attack, according to her husband James. She may lose an arm as well, depending on the severity of the bites. Mendoza also suffered a heart attack, said her husband.

Mendoza had gone outside to retrieve a newspaper outside her Paradise Hills home when two pit bulls attacked her, said San Diego Police Officer Frank Cali. The incident occurred in the in the 5800 block of Alleghany around 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

Mendoza sustained several lacerations to her body and injuries to her arms and legs in the attack, said Cali.

The Mendoza’s home shares a side fence with the home where the pit bulls were kept. The dogs, which belonged to the victim's neighbor, entered the yard through a hole in the fence, Cali said.

Neighbor Alba Cornelio surrendered the dogs to the county Animal Control officers, and they were euthanized, police said. Eleven pit bull puppies were also put down at the owner's request.

San Diego Animal Control is investigating the attack, and officers canvassed the neighborhood Sunday. They plan to continue asking questions in the neighborhood tomorrow.

Cornelio faces a variety of charges for the incident., including a leash law violation and the county code requiring dog owners provide protection from their dogs. There is also a possible felony charge under PC 399 that relates to death or serious bodily injury by an animal.

"We hope she recovers, our sympathy goes out to the family," Dan DeSousa from San Diego Animal Control said. "This is obviously a tragic incident."

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