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Two women arrested in San Diego in pitbull attack on elderly neighbor

June 29, 2011 | 11:10 pm

The owners of two pit bull dogs that mauled at 75-year-old woman in San Diego were arrested Wednesday night on felony charges of owning dogs that inflicted serious injury.

Carla Cornelio, 19, and Alba Cornelio, 39, were arrested in connection with the June 18 attack on their neighbor, Emako Mendoza, in the Paradise Hills neighborhood.

Mendoza, attacked in her backyard, remains hospitalized after having her left leg amputated. She suffered bites to her arms, legs and back. The dogs entered her yard through a gap in the fence.

An investigation by the Department of Animal Services showed that the same dogs had attacked a neighbor's dog and the neighbor on Christmas.

The Cornelios paid the veterinary bills for that neighbor's dog but "did not take sufficient steps to prevent another occurence," according to Lt. Dan DeSousa of the Department of Animal Services.

The Cornelios were taken to County Jail, where each remains on $900,000 bail.

Dawn Danielson, director of the Department of Animal Services, said the attack on Mendoza "could have been and should have been prevented. Dog owners...have a legal and moral duty to prevent their dogs from injuring people."

The two dogs were seized and euthanized by the Department of Animal Services after the attack on Mendoza.

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--Tony Perry in San Diego

 

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