13 pit bulls euthanized, including 8 puppies, after owner is mauled to death

An aerial view of officials looking around a lawn and driveway next to a gate with two dogs, one reclining, on the other side
Officials investigate the yard in Compton where a man was mauled to death last week, apparently by his own dogs as he was feeding them.

Authorities have euthanized all 13 pit bulls that were found in a Compton man’s backyard, where he was mauled to death last week.

The dogs — five adult pit bulls and eight puppies — were all put down “due to evidence linking them to the attack,” according to a statement from Don Belton, spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control.

“Given the potential threat they posed to the community, this action was deemed necessary,” Belton said. He added that there was video evidence showing that all 13 dogs were involved in the mauling, and therefore posed a danger.


A Compton man was pronounced dead Friday morning after a dog mauling.

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Deputy Miesha McClendon, a spokesperson for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, said there were no updates in the case Tuesday night, noting that the decision to euthanize the dogs was made by Animal Care and Control.

Initially, deputies said the dogs’ owner had been mauled by one or more of his pit bulls.

The owner was identified as 35-year-old Dominic Cooper, according to the Los Angeles County medical examiner.

Deputies and firefighters responded to a call about a person who appeared to have been attacked by his dog on North Thorson Avenue in Compton early Friday, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Commercial beekeeper Andrew Strehlow estimates he’s had 1,000 hives stolen over the years. The latest theft, of 96 hives from a Fresno County orchard, was his last straw.

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Upon arriving, they encountered the 13 dogs. Sheriff’s investigators initially said it appeared that Cooper had been feeding them when he was attacked.

Animal control officials said he appeared to have been involved in breeding and selling pit bulls.

Animal control took all of the dogs into custody with the consent of Cooper’s father, according to the agency.

Times staff writer Karen Garcia contributed to this report.