Elderly Woman Loses Leg In Pit Bull Attack

SAN DIEGO (CBS) — A 75-year-old Southland woman who was viciously attacked by two pit bulls had to have her leg amputated and may also lose her left arm, doctors said on Tuesday.

Emako Mendoza was mauled by two pit bulls belonging to her next door neighbor after the dogs crawled through a hole in the fence and attacked her in her backyard.

KNX 1070’s Tom Reopelle reports the attack left behind a bloody scene and Mendoza in critical condition.

“She was bitten all over her body, but specifically her arms and legs,” said Dan Desouza of San Diego Animal Control. “Both dogs had blood on them when they were seized.”

Doctors amputated Mendoza’s lower left leg, and said she may also lose her left arm.

The dogs were euthanized, and criminal charges may be filed against the dog’s owner later this week.

  • Bionic Latina

    Worthless dogs :( what quality of life is this poor woman going to have now this really sucks.

    • Lu Johnson

      It’s not an issue of “good owners” vs. “bad owners”, people. We keep seeing these stories. The ONLY way to end pit bull attacks is to ban the breed.

      Hey, all you touchie-feelie types who KEEP defending the breed. You aren’t very smart. The breed has physical attributes such that when they attack, that attack is brutal and often fatal.

      Here’s how I roll… your pit attacks a family member, friend or pet…. I get the nearest rock or tire iron and end your pit’s life. Got it? I will not wait for law enforcement. Your ‘precious’ out of control ‘touchie-feelie’ little doggie is going to be turned into carrion right before your ‘touchie-feelie’ eyes.

      Kapeesh? Now, go read the constitution. You have NO right to risk the life and well being of other human beings in this country.

      • derp

        mike tyson and his ilk, big strong men, also have physical attributes such that when they attack blah blah blah…
        shall we ban strong men as well?
        seriously, people are pretty stupid when they use that argument. the fact that they can do more damage doesn’t mean they will. it’s the owners. sadly, just like many violent men are drawn to boxing because they get to hit, many pit bull owners are drawn to the breed for it’s bad repuation. and they train them to be brutal. if all pits were killers, wouldn’t make sense to use them as “bait dogs” as much as they do!
        basic logic would tell you that a big guy with body strength will do more damage then a little weakling if they hit you. so to with the pit vs. other dogs. but basic logic seems to be missing from most anti-pit arguments. they just trot out the old tired “they’re bred that way” when reality is it’s only been recently and due to all the publicity that monsters are getting these dogs and torturing them into being mean. for many years pits were considered good protection dogs, trusted to watch over the kids.
        i’m guess many anti-pit folks are also very prejudiced in other areas. it doesn’t make sense that they’d write off entire breed because bad owners but that they wouldn’t write off entire races because of bad acts. there’s a reason so many criminals have pits, they to believe the same bull as the anti-pit crowd!
        now doesn’t that make you feel intelligent? you have the backing of the criminals!

      • Angela

        I agree 100%

      • Ron

        Lou, you got it RIGHT !!!! Lou for animal control president.

      • JudgeTheOtherEndofThe Leash

        @ Lu Lu

        Hey Little Buddy.

        Here’s how I roll – You even touch my dogs with a tire iron, you won’t see the light of day.

        I am sick and tired of this witch hunt from IGNORANT people who all probably watch Fox news ! My dogs have never done anything to anyone – ever – the worst complaint I have is they all want to be as close as possible to me on the couch. Who the HELL do you think you are Lu Lu for thinking you are so omnipotent to ban an entire breed ? You must *think* you are really important huh ? Good luck with that little buddy. Kapeesh this – a hole.

    • just saying


      • Jane Clarke

        No, we mean “worthless DOGS”? Pit bulls serve no useful purpose. They were created to fight other dogs, dog-fighting is illegal in the US, so there is no reason for anyone to own them. Pit bull-type dogs are bred to attack, bite, tear, shake and hang on until their victim stops moving. The only reason some uninformed people want them as pets is because they want people to think they have been able to turn a violent monster into a gentle animal — the same sort of mentality that causes some women to be attracted to violent men.

      • Ron

        Ryan, only you and other Pitbull owners BELIEVE that. Either you’re in DENIAL or just plain STUPID !!!

      • Ryan

        I have had many pitbulls and they are the sweetest most loving dogs out there.

      • Saber 1

        They are very aggressive, it’s in the breed. The breed of pit bulls should be illegal to own in the USA. It’s in the breed, like moronic thoughts like yours.

      • sandy

        the dogs are not born that way it’s the owners that beat them and taught them to attack, blame the owner not the pets. A child learns from his parents, a dog is taught buy his owners, they should have put the owners down, not the dogs. the owner should be in the f-in slammer.

    • suzanne

      NO worthless owners, the owners taught the dogs to be mean they were not born that way, we should but you down, moron!

  • American 1776

    ” Criminal charges MAY be filed against the owners'” How about we just cut off both the owners left arm and leg and let it go at that? Seems fair to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Ron

      ABSOLUTELY !!!!

      If NOT, then PLEASE some lawyer volunteer to do the SUIT for free for this poor, elderly lady and REEEEEEM the owner.

      And yes these dogs NEED to be OUTLAWED, because of the ignorance, JUST DON’T GIVE A DAMN attitude of the owners and the danger to the INNOCENT.

  • Vandelay

    When will city government wise up and prohibit ownership of these so called dogs. They are unlike any other breed and only fools and thugs own them.

    • PittyOwner

      Vandelay…I’m neither a fool nor a thug and I own one. Mine is so gentle. So wise up and realize it’s the owner’s fault NOT the dogs for not properly training the dogs. All dogs are likely to attack if not properly socialized and trained.

      • Ron

        Pitty and Paul,

        Unfortunately nothing is done about the vicious attacks on the innocent, who are maimed, mauled and killed, until it is TOO LATE.

        So what if you had a young child and you lived next door to one of those owners with a vicious dog, that constantly got loose? What would you do to protect your child?

        AND every owner of a Pitbull, ALWAYS says THEIR dog is the most GENTLE and THAT is a bunch of BULL@hit.

    • GHutton

      I rescue these dogs. They are extremely sweet and loving, But, a few thugs out there think they are tough when they train these dogs to be vicious. These dogs should definitely be put down and the owner should definitely be charged. But, I also read a story about 3 teenagers who attacked a woman at the bus stop the other day. It doesn’t mean we should prohibit teenagers.

    • Paul Castillo

      On what do you base your opinion? Is it the so-called news you see on you television when you see a 30 second report such as this one in between a Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga story. A dog reacts to how they are treated no matter what breeed they are. Our pit bull is treated just like the other dogs, like part of the family and is the most gentle and friendly dog out of all of them. So your opinion then can be attributed to nothing more than ignorance.

      • Grant Rohr

        I relate the following incident which should give all pit bull owners reason to “think a second time”. A friend of my wife had a pit bull in the family since the dog was a puppy. This was a “normal” family, not a group of drug dealers. One day, when the family was having dinner, the pit bull, without warning, suddenly lunged at the daughter (who was 17 and had grown up with this “family” dog) and ripped half of her face off. She was disfigured for life. This was not an animal who had been “trained to kill” by violent owners, but rather a family pet. The simple fact is that the preponderance of pitbull attacks cannot be explained away by the excuse that “it’s all a matter of how the dog is trained”. I hope Paul Castillo never has to deal with the horrific action of a pit bull like the one I described- and I have read of many similar incidents, so these are not just abberations!

    • JUST


    • Shan

      Well Im a professional woman and I own two females. Best dogs ive ever had truthfully. I do believe no matter what kind of dog the owner is held responsible, if either of my dogs ever showed aggression towrds a person i would personally put it down but both mine have been great. My 1.5yr old was just attacked viciously by a Black Lab, hundreds of dollars later the owner was not held responsible but you know darn sure if it was the other way around id have lost my dog, had a fine and pay the vet bills. My pit n ever even tried to fight back so what does that say????

  • lee

    I own a female pit bull and she is the nicest dog I know. That owner must have trained the dogs to be guard dogs and they become vicious like that. I definitely think the owner should be charged, and I’m glad they put the dogs down.

  • PittyOwner

    Vandelay…I’m neither a fool nor a thug and I own one. Mine is so gentle. So wise up and realize it’s the owner’s fault NOT the dogs for not properly training the dogs. All dogs are likely to attack if not properly socialized and trained.

  • Vandelay

    Owning a pit bull is like playing with a loaded gun. They can go off at any time. Cities will start banning the breed soon, sorry to all of you that own the “nice” pit bulls. No such thing.

    • GeorgePT

      Sorry, but you are wrong. I would be happy to introduce you to several that are as gentle as Lassie.

    • Leigh

      So sad this woman was attacked and faces these difficult challenges in her recovery. Just a shame. People need to be responsible for their animals. Period.

      @ Vandelay: Any, I repeat, any dog is capable of causing great bodily harm. People are injured all of the time by dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs. Not to minimize the severity of this attack but, it is only a news item when so called “pit bulls” are involved. I’m sure you are neither a dog behaviorist nor an animal expert. Study the breed before making general statments about them. Seens to me you are responding to news reports and have no factual knowledge about these dogs.

      Pit bull owners, be responsible! Not because they are a ticking time bombs, waiting to attack without provocation, but because it’s the right thing to do. There are people out there who don’t understand the breed and want to villify them. In some cases they are 100% correct. Train and socialize your dog. Make sure they are in a secure yard. They are terriers; Terriers are diggers and escape artists. Make sure they cannot escape their containment. Don’t just leave them in the yard, give them exercise, playtime. Being able to run around in the yard is not exercise! Interact with your dog. If these types of attacks continue I regret to say the breed will be banned. That will be a shame.

      Let’s face it just as with any dog, there are calm pitts and there are aggresive pitts. It all has to do with training, socialization and responsible ownership.

      • Ron

        I AM sure the GANG BANGERS will take your advice, Leigh because they are so socially considerate and love to take sensible advice from anyone.

        People LOCKUP your kids and grandmas, if you live near any vicious dogs, because the owners don’t care about you or your family.

      • razorblade42069

        That;’s jumped, not humped the owners fence. But I bet that damn pit is guilty of humping the fence too!

      • razorblade42069

        “any dog is capable of causing great bodily harm. People are injured all of the time by dogs, cats, ferrets, guinea pigs.”
        Lol, when’s the last time you’ve seen a ferret, Chihuahua, or even a Labrador Retriever kill a child or elderly person?
        CBS News, this just in. A guinea pig has escaped from his cage and tragically killed a 4 year old child and his sister playing on their swing set. Pretty ridiculous arguement to say the least.
        But you are right, it’s the owners fault. Harsher penalties and prison time for irresponsible owners, EVEN IF THEY KILL ANOTHER PERSONS PET. That’s another problem, law enforcement does not take it seriously when someones pet is killed (by a pit) and have the “no big deal it’s only a dog” mentality. By the way, my elderly father walking our dogs was attacked by a pit that humped the owners fence. The owners didn’t even get a slap on the hand.

  • da

    it is true most thugs and dumb ass people have them. they attack children too, not the first time, they should be restricted by law enforcement, and if the owner is responsible put them in jail.

    • Angel

      I cant believe how stupid people are on the internet!!!

  • George

    Attempted murder with a deadly weapon should be the charge against the owner. The owner should be responsible for paying all medical bills in perpetuity for this poor woman, and sued for a couple of million dollars.

    Pitbulls are notorius for aggression; that’s why they have the name they have, and have been bred specifically for fighting and aggression. Of course, it’s ultimately the owner’s responsibility. Problem is, most pitbull owners are precisely the kind of people who shouldn’t own pitbulls.

    • garyomega

      Finally, a logical response. George is correct on all counts.

    • Cindy

      excuse me?!? but Pit Bulls were originally bred to hunt mice. its these worthless owners that have bred them into something else. they are not fighters unless they are turned into fighters. just another example of someone trying to be something they are not. the owner is probably a short man with “little mans syndrome” and scared of his own shadow so he used his dogs to intimidate people while he hid behind them. the owner should never be allowed to have a dog again. I wonder if he even feels bad. I wonder if this is the first time these dogs have ever attacked anyone?

      • razorblade42069

        “excuse me?!? its these worthless owners that have bred them into something else. they are not fighters unless they are turned into fighters.”

        Um,that’s basically what George already said (just in a more articulate way)…

      • Jane Clarke

        Are you for real? Do you really believe pit bulls were originally bred to “hunt mice”? Why would a mice-hunting dog be bred to bite, rip, tear and shake until its victim was dead? Must have been some darned big mice! Pit bulls were bred for the purpose of bull-baiting — not to “hunt mice” — but when bull-baiting went out of vogue, they were used to fight each other. They are fighters because they were created to FIGHT. Next you’ll be telling us pit bulls are “nanny dogs”!

  • Greenleaf Stickybud

    During the early 1900’s, “pit bulls” were known as family dogs who were excellent with children. The problem isn’t with the breed, the problem is the Mexican gangsters and white-trash Americans who TRAIN their pit-bulls to fight.

    • garyomega

      Wake up and smell the blood!

    • Cindy

      Exactly!! but, you left out the part how they train them to fight like there owners. who ever is in the way is gonna get it because they dont really know what they are aiming for.

  • diosdado1001

    Why they wait to euthanize those animals until they have done some harm?
    Kill them all. They don’t protect people from being robbed. The thieves just trow them a piece of chorizo and quiet them down anyway.

  • Horace

    Can’t they euthanize the owner? Seriously. There is no reason to own a dog like that, and when someone chooses to, and their dog injures someone else, they should lose all their property and their freedom for many years. To think that some guy buying a bag of weed goes to jail for years, but some a-hole with dogs trained to terrorize, and the cops just “contemplate” a criminal charge?

    • Ron

      Great point Horace.

  • Cindy

    OMG!!!!! this is one of the most terrible stories I’ve read in a long time. Charge the owners for neglect and what ever else you can. the dogs are obviously abused and neglected. all dogs act the way they are treated and raised. If you are mean to them that’s how they act. I’m no pro on Dogs but, the few dogs I’ve had were Pit bulls and they were the friendliest most loving family dogs I’ve ever met in my life. Pit bulls have been given a bad name and its all because of the owners.In this case had to have known these dogs were mean and probably in heat and would do anything to get out of the yard. the lady probably got scared and screamed and that scared the dogs by then its too late they cant control themselves. The dogs obviously needed to be put down because its too late to turn them into nice dogs. the owner already ruined them. I hate people who think a mean dog is a good dog. Dogs are supposed to be a mans best friend. I wonder what was the purpose of the owners to think they need to have mean dogs. like is there some area in San Diego that is so nice that people feel the need to have “Guard Dogs” to protect there “Estate?” lol.

  • Bill Jablonsli

    I pray for the lady and the shock she will have for the rest of her life. The Dogs owners ought to pay every thing from the Police SServices,Medical, etc.It doesnt make any sense at all! iT IS WELL KNOWN WHAT AN ANIMAL,DOG IN THIS CASE CAN BECOME. wHY NOT CRIMINAL CHARGES? aTTEMPTED MURDER FOR ONE.

  • Judge The other end of the leash

    I feel for this poor lady, this should never had happened. The truth is Pit Bulls were bred to be nanny dogs (google it if you don’t believe me) in England. They were later trained to fight in a Pit – the KEY to take away from this though is the reason they made good fighters was the ability for the handler to handle the dog in the pit WITHOUT being bitten himself. Pit Bulls are extremely human friendly dogs – they do have prey drive, but not for humans. They are however not for everyone and take responsibility and time in raising and owning them. I have worked in shelters for years w/ pits, do pit rescue and have 4 of them myself. I have never been bitten. I do believe that human aggression in a pit bull – the dog should be euthanized. What I find sad is that SD does not have laws against back yard breeders – you don’t have to have a breeders permit. We have an over population of pit bulls and pit mixes in the shelters – if ppl were forced to spay neuter we would have 1/2 of the problem. I truly LOVE this breed with all my heart and soul & feel confident saying they ARE NOT ticking time bombs as you say. The owners should have criminal charges against them for sure. It is stupid ppl like this that shouldn’t be allowed to even own a dog period. Again, my heart goes out to Emako.

  • deen

    These POS dogs can go off anytime…..I say round them up and them neuter them and put them on a deserted island. Problem solved.

  • JudgeTheOtherEndoftheLeash

    Deen – it’s ignorant ppl like you that should be neutered.

    • deen

      you first ..then me Ok …Happy???

    • deen

      Oh look who is ignorant now. People cannot be neutred you ignorant person.

      • Jenn Aldridge

        Deen… please stop making yourself look so stupid. duh.

        First off, it is NEUTERED, not NEUTRED.

        Secondly, yes people can be neutered…tubes tied, sterilized, however you want to call it..

  • JudgeTheOtherEndoftheLeash

    @ Jenn – Exactly !

    • deen

      Get your self neutered Ok and make sure your dog gets neuterd too….Relax do not get so defensive.

      • JudgeTheOtherEndOfTheLeash

        @ Deen – Relax ? Really ? I take this very seriously b/c my dogs are my kids & when ppl like you threaten me & my family; I do take it personally & sure I get defensive. I am being thrown into a sess pool of generalizations. My four pits have never harmed anyone or anyone else’s pets. They have in fact, been attacked by other dogs at dog beach so we stopped going. They are ALL spayed and neutered…as for your rude comment towards me : I was smart enough not to have kids, we have enough monsters on this planet already.

  • mitzi

    put down the pits and their owner. Ban pits all across the country. Give the woman who was attacked EVERY PENNY and all assets of the dogs owners.

    • Ron

      ABSOLUTELY !!!

  • Terry

    LOL..at these comments. You stupid people have never owned a dog, let alone a Pitt. Yet, everyone here thinks these dogs are the problem.

    I think most of you people should be taken out back and shot in the head, The world would be a better place.

    • Ron

      Stated like a TYPICAL IGNORANT wanna-be THUG or thugette, pitbull owner. Your remedy for anyone who disagrees with you, is shoot them in the head.

      • deen

        Well said Ron……

  • Linda

    I raise Pomeranians as guard dogs and have specifically trained them to dig under fences to attack any neighbor that dares to venture into their own back yards. My Pomeranians are the most gentle, calm and loving creatures until someone looks at me cross-eyed. They like to rip toes off one by one and play with them just like a Killer Whale plays with a baby seal; tossing it into the air, playing catch until eaten. The only beast that keeps my vicious dogs in line is my sweet chicken, “Chicken.” If one of those killer Poms gets in her face she’s likely to peck their eyes out! I need these animals for protection in my neighborhood. The neighbors do irritating things in their back yards like water and lounge. My dogs take care of that and if not, Chicken goes in for the kill. Why can’t people understand this? There is no reason for the child care laws that deny insurance coverage or licensing for people with Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds or Weimaraners. Next they’ll prohibit Poms and chickens! It’s just not fair!

  • Flip

    Let’s not be so polarized on this issue and try to look at things from a middle ground.

    Do Pits, on average, tend to have more aggression issues than many other breeds of dogs? Yep. Does the media play it’s role in sensationalizing the issue of pitts the second there’s a story? You betcha.

    Many of you who are so quick to criticize the BREED of the dog and instantly jump up in arms to ban them, whether it’s a rott, dobie, gsd, or pitt, have either never owned any of these breeds, or are the stereotypically-pretentious owners of the smaller dogs. It’s very easy to judge without have any insight on the issue, and just as easy to sound completely ignorant.

    Realize that there is a disproportionately large number of absolute morons out here, especially in socal, who get pits merely for their “badass” image. They take advantage of the dogs’ innate personalities and raise them to be even more aggressive sob’s. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that’s waiting to come true, like in this case. The owners are the main root of the issue.

    At the same time, I have no doubt that most of the pitbull owners on here raise downright sweethearts, and properly socialize and train them blah blah blah. You guys aren’t the problem, but understand that by saying “my dog would NEVER be mean etc,” you’re not making much of a case. You guys tend to be bind to the fact that Pitts ARE on average more aggressive and more sensitive to poor socialization than most working-type dogs. We appreciate you raising your dog properly, but that won’t give this poor lady her limbs back.

    I’m not for banning certain breeds from a municipality. But based on the current trends, things just might go that way, like in the U.K., because we have too many irresponsible man-children out there who need a MEAN dog to affirm their own badass image, or overcompensate for a lack of. It’s a sad, really.

    But seriously, guys, take a chill pill and let’s all step off of our pedestals for just a minute.

  • krg

    One thing that noone if mentions here is that a good portion of the time when the news says “Pit bull” it isn’t even an actual pit. I’ve seen them say pit when VIDEO shows it’s a rottie or doberman or some other large breed dog.

    The owners should absolutely be held responsible, but banning a breed won’t do a damn thing. The thugs that want vicious dogs would just move on to some other large strong dog.

    Pits do NOT have natural aggression and if you did a minute of study you would know that a fighting dog cannot have human agression in them because the handlers have to be able to deal with them. If a dog has human aggression it is because they have either been taught to (owner’s fault) or they have been abused (owner’s fault).

    Before pits it was rottweilers, before that dobermans, before that German Shepherds.

    Helen Keller had a pit bull for gods sake. They are not inherintely bad animals. The humans who train them to be that way are a different story.

    • proudpitbullmomma

      thank you

    • Jenn Aldridge

      @ Krg – thank you. Yes and so does Jessica Alba, Theodore Roosevelt did, Woodrow Wilson did, Michael J. Fox, Jon Stewart, Tom Brady, Adam Brody, Jessica Beal, Rachel Ray, Madonna, Brad Pitt, Mel Brookes etc etc…

      I wonder if they stay up at night thinking is my ticking time bomb going to go off at any minute ? pssbbtttfffttt ! Please !

      • Jenn Aldridge

        Ron your ignorance becomes more and more apparent with each comment you maketh… Do yourself a favor…lol. Do us all a favor.

        I’m saying that if pit bulls were as deadly as you witch hunters make them, people in the ”lime light ” would not be getting them. Secondly it’s to show that not all pit bull owners are ‘thugs’ as you all would like to swab us with…Third pitbulls make AWFUL protection dogs, if you really understood anything abt the breed & its history you would realize this, it is not a natural instinct like it is for a dobie or a GSD to be a guard dog.

      • Ron

        Jenn, WHAT now, are you saying that if a person gets a pitbull, they can become a celebrity, like all the people you mentioned. IF those people DO have a pitbull, I am sure it is not because they thought it was the most gentle dog for them or their families. It is most LIKELY for PROTECTION. And MOST LIKELY they can afford to keep them from getting out of their BACKYARDS and maiming some innocent person.

  • Cmonalready

    Ban all the pit bulls!! They do nothing but harm people. I’m so sick and tired of hearing how they were bred by a neighbor and attacked the innocent. ENOUGH ALREADY!! I hope that neighbor is charged with attempted murder and has to pay millions for that poor woman’s suffering! What a pig.

  • CandyO

    Funny how the owners of these dogs always defend them as being “sweet and gentle” until said dogs maim or kill someone.

    I’m also tired of people who say, “But the Little Rascals (Our Gang) had a pit bull!” That was over 75 years ago. The breed has changed since then, for the worse.

    Recently, two babies were killed by their families’ “gentle” pit bulls.

    Those creatures ARE time bombs waiting to go off.

    • Jenn Aldridge

      CandyO – (If you have children)… How about if I say that children have changed considerably over the years and b/c kids are shooting each other in High Schools, all children or youth are a potential risk of going off at any moment,. You would say ” Well mine aren’t and I can only speak for my kids.”

      Well – same for me – Just like my dogs – and the dogs I know (pits I know and have worked with for many years at the shelters) They are not time bombs waiting to go off at any moment. I have to say that I always find that saying so funny !! It’s like mass paranoia !! Please educated yourself on this breed a little more than what the mass media tells you.

  • proudpitbullmomma

    I have a pitbull. He lives in our motorcycle shop and is around customers and other store owners constantly. This is the silliest, goofiest dog Ive ever met. He loves people and loves to put on a show by crawling on his belly and making weird noises. Jenn Aldridge and JudgeTheOtherSideOfTheLeash are absolutely correct and the only ones who have researched the breed’s history. I think its sad that so many people are content with living in ignorance and vomiting their opinions all over the place any chance they get. I think it sucks that I have to protect my dog from stupid people who judge him as soon as they look at him and expect the worst to happen, when in reality he wants to meet them and play with them. Why is it okay to prejudge an entire breed of dog? Humans dont like being prejudged and discriminated against because of the actions of others. Why do any of you think this is any different?

    • JudgeTheOtherEndofTheLeash

      I would totally support your Motorcycle shop if I had a bike ! Thank you Proud Pit Bull Momma…

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