Canyon Country woman attacked by pit bulls

CANYON COUNTRY, Calif. It's another lesson in animal behavior: When they're out on the loose, you don't know what dogs will do. Even owners who know their dogs as being normal, docile, friendly, find their dogs suddenly become very aggressive. The District Attorney is looking at charges against a Canyon Country man.

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Tempo Edwards is a dog lover. Until now, she has never been afraid of any breed.

"I have had Great Danes, I've had Saint Bernards, I've had small ones. I've never had a dog attack me," said dog-attack victim Tempo Edwards.

A walk with her Chihuahua "Jefe" changed everything. Outside her Canyon Country apartment, two dogs appeared that Edwards had never seen in the neighborhood. The pit bulls have been quarantined.

The two pit bulls go after the Chihuahua, then Edwards. One locks its jaws around her neck.

"I was yelling, I was screaming," said Edwards.

"I grabbed my handbag, I've got boots on, and I thought, 'I'll go for broke,'" said neighbor Lillie Troncale.

Neighbor Lillie Troncale luckily saw the attack and jumped in.

"I just got the dogs off of her. I yelled at them, I kicked and I swung my handbag and they took off," said Troncale.

"The one knocked me down, and to be knocked down by a dog is actually -- you'd think it's hard, but it's not. They can knock you down," said Edwards.

The attack happened as Edwards was in the midst of another life battle. She just had her third kidney transplant. She is on anti-rejection drugs. Doctors worry about infection.

"The dogs fractured my finger, they had to put six stitches into my finger. They also gave me six puncture wounds in my neck, and two of them had to be stitched," said Edwards.

The dogs had escaped their yard a block away, where children's toys are visible. Neighbors there say they've never had a problem with the dogs. Animal Control officers say the two, "Star" and "Tinkerbell," will likely be euthanized. They are unadoptable now that they have shown aggressive behavior.

Edwards meantime is glad her dog Jefe survived with three puncture wounds, grateful for her neighbor and for another protector that has spared her once more.

"He keeps me around for a reason, I just don't know what it is yet, that's what I keep saying," said Edwards. "I don't know why. But he does."

Edwards said her plan now is to carry pepper-spray. Animal Control officials say though that it's not necessarily a good idea -- sometimes it works, sometimes it makes dogs even more aggressive. Officials say the best plan is to have something with you -- a stick, a book, a bar, a cane -- something to fight off an animal, and to always have a backup plan, some kind of escape route, whether you have a dog with you, or whether you are carrying a baby, or pushing a child in a stroller.


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