Riverside County Department of Animal Services officials Thursday were awaiting authorization to euthanize three dogs that attacked an Anza woman, inflicting life-threatening injuries.
According to agency spokesman John Welsh, animal control officers on Wednesday presented evidence to an independent hearing officer showing good cause for issuance of a “destruction order” that would enable county veterinary staff to humanely terminate the canines — all pit bull mixes.
Welsh said that the “severity of the attack” justified putting the dogs down.
“The hearing officer did not render a decision (immediately),” he said, adding that a decision should be announced within 10 days.
The pits bit the victim, whose identity has not been disclosed, Sunday morning as she hung laundry outside her home in the 55000 block of Mitchell Road.
The attack was unprovoked; the dogs had gotten loose from their owner’s residence and went after the woman, according to animal control officers.
The canines were impounded at the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus. Their owner, who was not identified, was arrested for a felony warrant.
The victim remains in critical condition at a regional trauma center, Welsh said.
He said that the attack prompted a sweep Wednesday in which eight animal control officers and two other staffers drove through Anza, looking for roaming dogs.
Four strays were seized, and seven citations were issued to pet owners during the operation, according to Welsh.
“We … had performed a sweep in Anza three months ago. So we believe that played a role in why we didn’t find a lot of strays,” Welsh said.
According to the Department of Animal Services, loose canines have been an ongoing problem in the Anza Valley.
Unregulated indoor and outdoor marijuana growing activity has also been a challenge for law enforcement in the area.