A 30-year-old woman’s brutally mauled body was found in the backyard of a San Diego North County house, along with eight Bulldogs last Sunday. On Wednesday, November 15, the San Diego Medical Examiner confirmed that she was fatally mauled by one or more of the American Bulldog-mix dogs.
A San Diego County Sheriff’s media release on November 12 stated that deputies from the Fallbrook substation responded to 1305 Calle Tecolotan in Fallbrook on Sunday, November 11, at 5:14 p.m. to investigate the death of an adult female..
The release states that the reporting party called the Sheriff’s Department after she arrived at the location to check on her cousin, who was taking care of the residence while the homeowners were out of town. She found her 30-year-old female cousin deceased in the back yard of the residence, with eight loose Bulldogs.
When authorities responded, they also found eight large dogs running loose in the yard where the woman's bloody body was found. The residents were not home, and a garden hose was still running, Lt. Glenn Giannantonio of the Sheriff's Homicide Unit, told nbcsandiego.co.
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An autopsy determined that the victim, whose name is being withheld pending family notification, died of "penetrating, mauling and blunt-force injuries" inflicted by at least one of the dogs, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.
Lt. Giannantonio said that, according to the victim’s cousin, the dead 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 Department of Animal Services impounded the dogs, males and females ranging in age from 4 or 5 months to 2 or 3 years, Deputy Director Dan DeSousa told UTSandiego.com.
He said the owner had bred the dogs for sale, crossing Olde English Bulldogges with American Bulldogs “to make them a little bigger.” A standard Olde English Bulldogge male runs 70 to 80 pounds, but DeSousa said the biggest dog impounded is about 105 pounds.
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Originally American Bulldogs were called the American Pit Bulldog and in the 1970s registered with the National Kennel Club (NKC) as such, according to Wikipedia. Later the name was changed to American Bulldog to avoid confusion with the American Pit Bull Terrier.
The Bulldogs are impounded at the San Diego County Carlsbad animal shelter, according to DAS spokesman Dan DeSousa. Authorities report they did not have to use any force with the dogs .
The one or ones that are found to have attacked the victim will be deemed non-adoptable and euthanized. “We have to ensure the safety of the public.” DeSousa said.
Animal Services will continue the investigation to determine whether any criminal charges will be filed against the homeowners, who also have not been identified at this time, Lt. Giannantonio stated.
While deputies were checking to make sure no one else had been injured by the animals, they found two dozen live marijuana plants in a rear bedroom of the home, the Sheriff’s lieutenant said.
Investigators with the San Diego County Narcotics Task Force were called in to impound the cannabis. An investigation will be conducted to determine who is responsible for its presence in the .home.