A stray dog runs from a Dallas Animal Services van in front of the Nancy J. Cochran Elementary School in Dallas.
A Dallas woman is in jail after police say her PIT BULL attacked two people in a month.
The arrest Friday of Alicia Hernandez, 64, was the first by the Dallas Police Department in a case alleging ownership of a dangerous dog.
It comes as the city is trying to get a handle on a loose dog problem that led to the death of a woman in May. A new study estimates that about 8,700 dogs roam in southern Dallas, in poorer neighborhoods where the problem is worst.
Hernandez, however, lived north of Interstate 30, in the 4400 block of Rosewood Avenue near Harry Hines Boulevard.
Deputy Police Chief Rob Sherwin said the case against Hernandez rose to a criminal offense by law because she should have known her 65-pound pit bull was dangerous.
The tan-and-black dog escaped from her yard on July 9 and attacked a woman working on a home down the street, police said. The 41-year-old victim was bitten in the torso. Dallas Animal Services seized the dog for a 10-day quarantine.
Animal Services cited Hernandez, and returned the dog to her on July 19. Police said the city was in the process of declaring the animal a "dangerous dog," which would have required Hernandez to comply with specific safety requirements, when it attacked again.
The pit bull got out of Hernandez's yard through an unsecured gate about 7 a.m. Saturday, police said, and attacked a 38-year-old woman who was walking to a DART station.
The dog tore a "large portion of flesh" from the woman's calf, according to investigators.
"I don't think I've had a case where it's been this clear before," Sherwin said Friday.
Police said Hernandez was cited seven times in 2010 for numerous animal-related violations.
Meanwhile, no arrest has been made in the case of Antoinette Brown, the homeless veteran who died after being bitten more than 100 times in May.
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