A pair of pit bulls mauled a 75-year-old woman inside her fenced yard, police said on Saturday.
The woman, who was identified by her husband as Emako Mendoza, was hospitalized in critical condition following the mauling in the 5800 block of Alleghany Street, according to San Diego Police Officer Frank Cali. The attack happened near Potomac Street in the Paradise Hills neighborhood.
Mendoza's husband James was sleeping on Saturday morning when the attack happened. He said he was awakened by a knock on the door.
"What woke me up [were] the girls next door," he said. "They come knocking on the door, they said that their dogs had gotten loose and they thought they were in my backyard."
The dogs, who belonged to a neighbor, had entered Mendoza's yard through a hole in a fence, Cali said.
James said he found his wife in the backyard.
"My wife was lying here," he said. "She was still screaming, you know, and she was all bloodied up. I took her and I covered her up the best I could and I ran in there and called 911."
Mendoza sustained several lacerations to her body and injuries to her arms and legs, Cali said. She was taken by ambulance to Scripps Mercy Hospital and remains in critical condition.
"She's not doing too good," Mendoza's husband told The San Diego Union-Tribune on Saturday night. He called her condition "very critical."
Doctors amputated one of the woman's legs and may amputate her left arm, which was damaged from her hand to her elbow, the newspaper reported.
Neighbor Alba Cornelio surrendered the dogs to the county Animal Control officers, and they were euthanized, police said.
The Mendozas have lived in the home for 42 years, and their neighbor had been raising pit bulls for about 10 years. Mendoza's husband said the dogs made a racket but had not caused problems until now.
Cali did not know if charges have been filed against the dogs' owner.
County Department of Animal Services Lt. Dan DeSousa said the incident is under investigation.
"We are still conducting the investigation and we will have to see what issues these dogs have had in the past and then deal with that as we find that information out," said DeSousa.
He said the eventual charges against the owner of the pit bulls could range from a violation of the leash law to a felony.
Though both dogs were euthanized, Mendoza's husband said the owner must pay as well.
"I hope these people have plenty of money because I am going to sue them for plenty," he said.
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