Police say a woman whose body was found in a California Costco parking lot was likely the victim of a dog attack.
No official cause of death has been released pending an autopsy, but 23ABC cited BPD officials as saying the woman had been attacked by multiple dogs.
The victim’s name has not been released. Local news outlet Bakersfield.com identified the woman as a transient.
“Officers are still looking for any evidence, witnesses, and the investigation is ongoing,” Sgt. Sean Morphis of the Bakersfield Police Department told 23ABC.
Two Pit Bulls and a ‘Large Mixed-Breed Dog’
BPD officials were cited by KGET as saying that three dogs were involved in the attack, two of them pit bulls and the third a large mixed-breed dog.
A business owner from the vicinity owned the large mixed-breed dog and one of the pit bulls, KGET reported, while the second pit bull was a stray.
Three dogs, two being pit bulls were involved in an attack on a woman found dead in the Costco parking lot Sunday morning. https://t.co/dypmhPOo9m
— KGET 17 News (@KGETnews) June 17, 2019
Business owners cited in a follow-up KGET report said two of the three dogs had been seen walking around the area in the past. The business owners reportedly did not call animal control because homeless people from the area were known to occasionally bring in strays.
KGET posted security footage purporting to show two of the three dogs possibly involved in the attack.
Animal control officers have found all three dogs and taken them into custody, according to 23ABC. One of the dogs has been euthanized and the other two are scheduled to be euthanized, according to KGET.
23ABC posted the story on its Facebook page, garnering numerous reactions.
Carmen Estrada expressed sympathy for the victim but pointed to the problem of dogs on the loose on the streets of Bakersfield.
“My heart goes out to her family, but sadly, until a tragedy like this happens nobody does anything about the problem we have of the loose dogs on the streets,” Estrada wrote. “I don’t care what breed of dog it was that attacked her, it should not have been on the street loose to begin with.”
Erica Kimmel wrote: “I just want to lay this out there. Pit bulls can be aggressive and can attack, especially in packs. BUT, so do other dogs…even little ones. The difference is not the proclivity to attack, but the amount of damage that can be inflicted with even just one bite. I love pitties, but they need to be loved and trained/socialized. No dog should ever be fully ‘trusted.'”
KGET posted the story on its Facebook page, also sparking numerous comments.
Connie Hess wrote: “What is wrong with this post is everyone is so busy defending these dogs when a human being was viciously attacked. A horrible horrible way to die. Where’s the compassion for this poor woman? I only see compassion for these dogs.”
Michelle Marie Katelyn Lyon replied: “Connie Hess most are mad not because of the dogs but because the news is sensationalizing the pit bull breed being mixed up in what happened.” She later added: “It’s not the dogs faults two of them belonged to someone and he probably trained them that way but once a dog of any breed gets a taste for blood it is too late for them they do have to be euthanized. This is why people should not be mad at the news they should instead be mad at the owners.”
In a separate KGET post on social media, one commenter shared a photo of two dogs that may have been the ones involved in the attack.
Rose Evans wrote in her comment that the dogs did not appear to be aggressive, stating: “I believe that I may have encountered 2 of these dogs on Saturday night. I had seen them earlier in the week, running through the Costco parking lot. It appeared both times that they were looking for food. On Saturday, the mixed breed dog approached me. I believed that the dogs must have been “dumped” as they had appeared malnourished and skinny. I gave the dogs bones and stayed with them for about 20 minutes to keep them company. I had pet them and even took the bones from them when they had finished the meat. They didn’t even try to nip at me or anything when I took the bones, even though they appeared starved. There were no signs of aggression and they were very sweet and calm. I do not believe these dogs should be euthanized when it hasn’t even been made certain if the lady was already deceased when the dogs got to her.”
Jody Argentine-Orr commented on the post, saying: “Rose Evans Thank you for trying to help them and for caring about their fate.”