Three large dogs, a combination of pit bulls and pit bull mixes, viciously attacked and mauled a Santa Barbara woman Thursday afternoon in the yard of a Dibblee Avenue home. The woman remains hospitalized with severe injuries to her legs.
At around 1:20 p.m. police arrived to the scene and found the 46-year-old woman “bleeding profusely” on the sidewalk, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood. She had entered to the house to feed the residence’s five dogs while the owner was out of town. Harwood said the victim had gone through the feeding procedure with the owner before he left, and yesterday was her first trip to the house.
As the woman exited the home, Harwood said, three of the five dogs began nipping at her feet. The nipping turned to violent bites to her legs as the dogs cornered her in the front yard. She screamed for help and two neighbors rushed over. One distracted the dogs with a broom, and the other pulled the woman from the yard and closed the gate behind her. She had also been bitten on the arm.
At least one of the dogs, estimated at 120 pounds, kept trying to push through the gate to reach the victim. The two other dogs remained aggressive and agitated as well, and officers subdued them with pepper spray, Harwood said. When animal control officers arrived, they were forced to tranquilize two of the animals. A neighbor reportedly told police that he had been attacked by the dogs before, and that he wasn’t surprised Thursday’s incident had occurred.
All five dogs are now being held under mandatory quarantine at a city animal shelter. Harwood said authorities will look into any previous incidents involving the dogs, and it will be up to the city’s animal control supervisor to declare the animals vicious or not.