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3 bullmastiffs attack residents in Hyde Park

April 16, 2010 12:50:55 AM PDT
At least two people were attacked by three dogs in the Hyde Park area early Friday. Authorities shot and killed one of the dogs and captured the other two.Police received a call of a woman attacked by three bullmastiffs while walking in the area of Alviso and Slauson avenues at about 1 a.m.

When they arrived on scene, police said it was a chaotic scene, with the dogs running on Slauson Avenue, chasing after people. Cars were driving around the large animals, trying to get them away from the woman.

"They were extremely aggressive, they were attacking the black and whites," said LAPD Sgt. Raymond Madrid.

Police were able to eventually get control of the dogs. The dogs were apparently extremely aggressive, and one of the dogs went after authorities, forcing police to shoot and kill it. The two other dogs are in the custody of animal control.

A woman was taken to a local hospital with what authorities described as serious bite injuries. A man was also taken to the hospital after being injured trying to help the woman, and police said others were also injured.

Residents said they were literally running for their lives.

"It was very scary," said Virginia Blackwell of Hyde Park. "They were looking like they were hungry."

Experts say pack attacks of this nature are very different than an attack by a single dog.

"It quickly turns into a competitive game between the dogs. They want something," said animal behaviorist Harrison Forbes.

Forbes says in this case that "something" was the woman. He says if you are faced with an angry pack of dogs do not run or scream. Instead, he says try to get them to go after something other than you.

"If you have a purse or a jacket, just throw it," said Forbes. "If you throw it and become very still all of a sudden they are fighting each other over the bag and tearing it to pieces."

Police are trying to figure out why they were running loose. The owner of the dogs is being questioned by authorities.

The dogs each weigh well over 100 pounds. An animal control official said the dogs were two males and a female Neapolitan Mastiff.


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