Courtesy of Madera Police Department
This dog, identified as a cane corso, attacked a Madera woman Sunday outside the church she attends. This photo was taken by another victim, who was bitten on her stomach.
A Madera woman walking out to her car at church about 8:30 Sunday morning was attacked by a cane corso in the 500 block of Sunset Avenue as she opened a back gate, according to authorities.
The woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she had briefly seen the two loose dogs running, wearing green collars and tags just moments before being bitten, but was surprised by the speed and force of the bite.
She also said the dogs did not initially appear to be mean or attacking, but just looked like they were going to run and jump up on her in play.
“I’m just grateful I was able to stay on my feet and put my arm up in front of my face. I was five or six feet from and trying to get to my car. It happened so quickly ... then my arm was broken and had fleshy tissue hanging and chunks out of it. The dogs were gone. Then I was at the hospital and in surgery later that day,” she said.
A metal rod was inserted during surgery to stabilize the broken bone, she said, and then she underwent a series of preventive rabies injections at the wound site as a precaution, which hurt, she said.
“The dog was medium sized, I think, gray with short cropped ears. Heavily muscled,” the woman said. “It all happened so fast. The other dog was white, possibly with spots, smaller and a different breed. I’m just glad the dogs didn’t attack a child or someone frail or smaller. That could have been much worse.”
A second woman was bitten on the stomach by the same gray dog on Monday, in the area of N Street, though not as badly, police said.
Animal experts say that 98 percent of all bites are from unaltered dogs and those that get loose are much more dangerous and more prone to bite and attack because they are out reacting to powerful reproductive hormones that trigger fighting and roaming, and territorial or prey-drive instincts. Spaying or neutering an animal removes most of those problem hormones and behaviors.
Madera Police chief Dino Lawson said police were called by Madera Community Hospital Sunday after the traumatized woman ended up in the emergency room.
“She was sedated and the details were a little sketchy. But we have tracked the dog back to a residence in the 400 block of N Street,” Lawson said. “The animal is gray and was recently purchased from and is now (reportedly) back out with the breeder, in Madera County. We have verified the identity of the animal and will take it from out there, and into quarantine at the animal shelter.”
According to Wikipedia: The Cane Corso is a descendant of the Canis pugnax, dogs used by the Romans in warfare. Its name derives from cane da corso, an old term for those catch dogs, used in rural activities (for cattle and swine; boar hunting, and bear fighting) as distinct from cane da camera which indicates the catch dog, kept as a bodyguard.
In the recent past, its distribution was limited to some regions of Southern Italy, especially in Basilicata, Campania, and Apulia. Cane Corsos were also used to guard property, livestock, and families, and some continue to be used for this purpose today. Historically it has also been used by night watchmen, keepers, and, in the past, by carters and drovers.
In the more distant past this breed was common all over Italy, as an ample iconography and historiography testify.