|Barked: Sun Dec 21, '08 11:14am PST |
|Here's another version of the story, notice that the reporter is reporting in the animals favor.
By JESSICA LOGAN and LAURIE LUCAS
Two dogs mauled their 60-year-old owner to death Friday afternoon when he stepped into the backyard of his Rubidoux home to smoke, officials said.
Gerald Adelmund was declared dead at the cream-colored house in the 5700 block of Kenwood Place after deputies pulled him inside, said Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez.
"This is an unfortunate, very tragic accident," Gutierrez said.
He said he did not know why the dogs attacked Adelmund or who dragged him into the house.
The dogs were described as a 4-year-old, 107-pound male, part pit bull and part mastiff, and a 52-pound female pit bull, about 6.
The dogs were euthanized Friday by the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, with the permission of Adelmund's relatives, and are being tested for rabies, said Animal Services spokesman John Welsh.
Story continues below
Ed Crisostomo / The Press-Enterprise
The body of a 60-year-old man is removed from his home Friday after he was killed in his backyard by two of the family's dogs. Sheriff's deputies were investigating the death.
The family also authorized euthanizing the female's nine puppies, but it wasn't clear Friday if the puppies had been killed, Welsh said.
The house is situated at the edge of a development of modest homes in Rubidoux, abutting a steep mountain.
The community northwest of Riverside favors horse trails to sidewalks.
Adelmund lived at the house with his son, daughter-in-law and their three children, who are 2, 7 and 12 years old, said neighbor Julian Gonzalez.
"They are good people and they were good neighbors to us," Gonzalez said.
Outside Adelmund's front door lay a mat reading "Wipe Your Paws."
The house was decorated with white Christmas lights and a wreath hung from the screen door.
The neighborhood is full of Christmas decorations, children in the front yards and dogs in the back.
Story continues below
Shocked neighbors, who stood by watching investigators, said the dogs that killed their owner were mild-mannered.
Some neighbors described the family's dogs as mild-mannered and were shocked by what happened.
"They were always calm," said Cesar Loza.
His family even brought one of their dogs over to Adelmund's house to play with the male, who was black and brown and called "Papa," Loza said.
Adelmund kept Papa in an enclosure, which Gonzalez said was surrounded by a 6-foot tall fence.
"I think it was a random thing because they were nice dogs," Gonzalez said. "It was sad because I never thought their dogs would do that."
Other neighbors said they have been afraid of the dogs for months and described them as vicious.
Josie Peña, who lives in the house behind Adelmund's on 29th Street, said that two small pit bulls the family bought a few months ago fought each other, and would growl and snap at her family through the chain-link fence that divides their property.
She said Adelmund's large male, which he owned for years, was always playful but became more aggressive when the other dogs arrived.
"I haven't gone out in my backyard for three months because I can't stand the way they are," Peña said.
Welsh said there have been no reports of problems from those dogs at that house.
He did not know about a third adult dog at the house.
Teryn Hartnett, manager of Riverside County Department of Animal Services, said dogs will attack if they believe someone is threatening their puppies, food or territory.
The female dog might have been nursing and both dogs were unaltered -- factors that would predispose them to attacks, Hartnett said.
Unless dogs have a neurological disorder, they don't suddenly become aggressive, she said.
"Dogs don't attack out of the blue."
Nationwide, all breeds of pit bulls were responsible for 110 human deaths from 1982 to 2006, according to statistics compiled by Animal People magazine from media reports.
Second on the list were Rottweilers at 60, followed by German shepherds at 14 and huskies at 13.
|my posts | my page | msg me | my family's posts | gift me | become pals|| [notify]|