Owner of pit bulls in woman's mauling fighting to get dogs back



TACOMA, Wash. - The owner of two pit bulls that police say attacked a woman in Tacoma is fighting to have her dogs no longer deemed dangerous to keep them from being euthanized.

Surveillance video shows dogs attacking 67-year-old Donna Berto outside a smoke shop on July 31.

Berto was knocked to the ground and the dogs bit her repeatedly in the head, leg, arms and face.

It wasn't until a man walked out of the store and fired a handgun that the dogs were scared away.

KIRO 7 spoke to Berto just after the attack.

"And these dogs are right in my face and (I was) trying to push them back and push them away from me and protect my face as best I could,” said Berto.

A week later, the City of Tacoma declared the dogs dangerous, but the owner of the dogs claims her pit bulls weren’t the ones that attacked Berto.

Prosecutors say the two dogs belong to Devin Cannady. Her two pit bulls are now in the custody of animal control and the city wants them euthanized.

While in court fighting to save her dogs Wednesday, Cannady cried as Berto testified about the attack.

"I was exiting the car and shut the door. I started for the door (of the smoke shop), and the next thing I remember, I was on the ground," said Berto.

"The dogs are dangerous and the city anticipates asking that the dogs be humanely euthanized," Tacoma Deputy City Attorney Jennifer Taylor said in court Wednesday.

In addition, Berto's lawyer showed KIRO 7 a police report showing one of Cannady's pit bulls attacked a woman while out on a walk in 2013 in Federal Way.  That woman had puncture wounds in her arm after she was bitten three times by one of the same dogs that was allegedly involved in Berto's attack.

As of noon Wednesday, the dogs' owner had not yet testified.

Berto says she loves dogs but believes the ones that attacked her are dangerous and should be put down.