Man mauled to death by his own pit bulls; dogs are euthanized

Wave Wire Services

COMPTON — More than a dozen pit bulls found in the backyard where a man was mauled to death Feb. 16 were euthanized, the county confirmed Feb. 20, saying all of the animals were linked to the attack.

Deputies responded to the 900 block of North Thorson Avenue, a residential area south of Rosecrans Avenue, around 7:10 a.m. Feb. 16 to a report of a man who had been mauled by several dogs, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Dominic Cooper, 35, of Compton, died at the scene, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner, which listed his cause of death as “deferred.”

According to the Sheriff’s Information Bureau, the person who reported the death told deputies the man was her boyfriend. A sheriff’s official at the scene told reporters the mauling was believed to have occurred around 7:30 or 8 p.m. Feb. 15, and there was surveillance video that caught at least part of the attack. The investigator said the man appeared to have been feeding the dogs when some of them began fighting, leading to the attack.

Cooper was believed to have been breeding the dogs at his home, officials said. Following the attack, the county Department of Animal Care and Control took possession of the animals — five adults and eight puppies ranging in age from four to six months.

The dogs, which were formally signed over to the county by Cooper’s father, were taken to the Downey Animal Care Center to be examined. On Feb. 20, county officials confirmed that the animals had been euthanized.

“All dogs were euthanized due to evidence linking them to the attack,” a Department of Animal Care and Control spokesman said. “Given the potential threat posed to the community, this action was deemed necessary.”

“Our deepest sympathies are extended to the family and friends of the victim,” department Director Marcia Mayeda said in a statement. “We are committed to conducting a thorough investigation to determine the facts and ensure the safety and well-being of both the community and the animals involved.”