2 Pit bulls attack woman; off-duty officer shoots dogs

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

SURPRISE, Ariz. – A Surprise woman is in the hospital after two pit bulls attacked her in her driveway Monday night.

It happened shortly before 9 p.m. in a neighborhood near Bell and Reems roads.

According to police, the dogs mauled and dragged the 72-year-old woman. The woman suffered serious injuries, including puncture wounds to her right arm and left thigh, and was air-lifted to a Phoenix hospital. She is expected to recover.

An off-duty police officer found the badly injured woman. He shot and killed the dogs, which reportedly also attacked three bystanders who were trying to help the victim.

Police said the dogs belonged to the victim’s neighbor. It’s not clear what triggered the attack or how they got out of the yard.

The dogs are brother and sister and are about 1 year old. Their owner, Cynthia Montoya, said the dogs were family dogs and were raised around children.

It’s not known if Montoya will face any charges in connection with the incident, which is still under investigation.

According to Arizona law governing the liability of dog owner (ARS 11-1020 and ARS 11-1025), “The owner of a dog which bites a person when the person is in or on a public place or lawfully in or on a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, is liable for damages suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of its viciousness.”