Four Staffordshire Terrier mix dogs were euthanized and their owner charged with negligent manslaughter after a 77-year-old woman was attacked to death outside her Arizona home.
María Ruiz was found in critical condition on her front porch after an unprovoked attack by her neighbors’ dogs, according to police and the local. reports.
Maricopa County Animal Care and Control captured the dogs shortly after the attack, a spokeswoman said. The News Logics.
“Due to the seriousness of the situation, we received permission from the owner to euthanize the dogs, which was completed yesterday, and they were sent to the state laboratory for rabies testing,” he said.
Fire rescue crews found Ms. Ruiz with multiple injuries outside the Phoenix home near Sixth Street and Broadway Road around 7 a.m. local time Tuesday morning. The Republic of Arizona reported. She was taken to a hospital for treatment, but she died from her injuries.
Investigators told the outlet that the dogs were the property of Ms. Ruiz’s neighbor, Alejandro Hernández, 33, who allegedly had prior interactions with Maricopa’s animal care and control department about the escaping dogs from his property.
Mr. Hernández allegedly told police that the dogs had a history of escaping and attacking their neighbors. He was arrested and charged with negligent homicide, according to the Republic. He was reportedly issued license warnings and ordered to fix a door to secure the dogs.
Below Arizona law, dog owners can face felony charges if they knowingly own a dog that has a “history of biting or a propensity to cause injury.”
“Or to endanger the safety of human beings without provocation or that a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that it is a vicious animal and that it bites, inflicts physical damage or attacks a human being while they are free,” the law establishes.
A neighbor told the local Phoenix news station 3TV that he called the police several times because the runaway dogs were violent and unruly.
“It’s frightening. Scary … she was sitting on the porch. He wasn’t even walking. I was sitting on the porch, ?she said, describing how she grabbed her two-year-old daughter and ran inside.
“I picked her up by one arm and literally dragged her and ran into the house, and the dogs came and tried to attack the fence.”