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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Regional

Witness Tells of Dogs' Frenzy in Mauling

May 11, 1999

HUNTINGTON BEACH — A witness to the weekend mauling of a Huntington Beach woman said the dogs were in such a frenzy that one of the animals had no reaction when the witness used a clay flower pot to strike it over the head.

Cyndy Nefroney, 53, remained hospitalized Monday with bites to her face, arms, legs and chest. She was knocked to the ground and attacked while trying to break up a fight between her boxer and two pit bulls owned by her son. The dogs were eventually killed; one was shot by a law enforcement officer in self-defense and the two others were euthanized by animal control authorities, officials said.

"I ran over there, and got up on the fence and saw the whole thing," said neighbor Mike Turner, 17, who said he tried to call out to one of the pit bulls--named Chopper--but the dog didn't respond. "I yelled out their names and threw a clay flower pot, and it hit Chopper on the head, but it didn't even faze her. She was just in attack mode."

Nefroney, who is an amputee, was attacked for more than five minutes before police arrived, authorities said.

"What is tragic is that she tried to come to the aid of one of the animals, and, in turn, she is brutally attacked by another animal," said Huntington Beach Police Lt. Chuck Thomas. "These pets ended up causing serious injury to a woman who cares a great deal about all animals."

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