Odessa police arrested the owners of two pit bull mix dogs on felony charges after investigators say the animals viciously attacked a 67-year-old woman who suffered life threatening injuries.
A few hours later, Rodriguez had been upgraded to fair condition at Medical Center Hospital, a designation that meant she was conscious and that doctors considered her prognosis favorable.
OPD Capt. Jesse Duarte said the attack was unprovoked. The dog owners, 40-year-olds Aurelio Hernandez-Leyva and Maria Quintero-Leyva, were charged with third-degree felony Attack by Dog under the Texas Health and Safety Code.
The Leyvas, 716 S. Lee. Ave., were listed as being held Friday afternoon at the Ector County Detention Center, each on two counts of the felony charge. Their bond had not been set.
Texas law finds a dog owner criminally negligent if they fail to secure a dangerous dog that makes an unprovoked attack on someone outside the area where the dog is restrained. Such cases are rare in Odessa, Duarte said.
In this case, police reported witnesses said the dogs had been aggressive before and said there were previous escapes. Investigators found the fence surrounding the Leyva’s backyard was in disrepair, with a broken gate and holes in the chain link.
“People that have these types of dogs have to be responsible,” Duarte said. “Imagine if it had been a 2 year old . . . That little child would not have survived this type of attack.”
Duarte said the dogs will be held in quarantine for 10 days to make sure they do not have rabies. Then, the police captain said one of two things can happen.
One is that the Leyvas could release the dogs to Animal Control so they could be euthanized. If they decline, police could seek a court order to euthanize the animals from a Municipal Court judge.
“Once they see the pictures of the injuries, they will do it immediately,” Duarte said.