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74-year-old man mauled by pit bulls while trying to help his Pomeranian, which was “ripped apart”

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LINCOLN HEIGHTS, Los Angeles -- A 74-year-old man walking his Pomeranian was severely injured after apparently being attacked by two pit bulls in Los Angeles Thursday evening, February 2nd officials said.

Valentin Herrera is expected to survive the attack, family said, but his five-year-old Pomeranian Dodger was killed in the incident, which was reported about 5:20 p.m. in the 2600 block of North Lincoln Park Avenue, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Witnesses and family members told KTLA that Dodger had been walking off leash about 75 feet ahead of Herrera when the two larger dogs went after the smaller one, then mauled Herrera as he tried to help.


"Two pit bulls ran out after my dog and just ripped it apart," said Christian Flores, the victim's grandson. "My grandfather saw it walking up the street because he was walking the dog. The dogs attacked him when he was trying to get it off."

Flores said his grandfather routinely walked the neighborhood with Dodger.

Pit bulls

Neighbor Frank Carrasco said he saw the Pomeranian being attacked when returned home Thursday.

"I saw these two pit bulls pulling something apart — I thought it was a piece of couch," Carrasco recalled. "And the dog was probably ahead of him walking, so when they attacked the dog, he was maybe a house down. When he walked up in front of the pit bulls' house, that's when they attacked him."

Another witness who spoke with KTLA on condition of anonymity said the pit bulls' owner was nearby at the time of the attack and eventually sought to corral the dogs.

"I don't know if he was in shock, but once he heard me yell, he came out and he was able to drag one dog in, kind of struggled with the other one but got them both behind the fence, and that's when we called 911 right away," the man said.

The pit bulls are both about two or three years old and officials have placed them in quarantine for 10 days, according to Angela Llerenas, an animal control officer with the Los Angeles Animal Services Department.

The dogs will be held longer, until officials can hold a hearing to determine the dogs' fate, which Llerenas said should occur in about 30 to 45 days.


  • Voice of Reason

    Shoot those d@mn dogs! That is a horrible breed that needs to be extinguished. The owner needs to be sued and pay out some huge $$$ to that poor man!!

    • Rudy

      Tragic, but it’s illegal to have any of them off leash on the street and out of your control. If all had been on secure leads, different outcome. And plenty of nice pit bulls, I know them.

    • Rudy

      Tragic, but it’s illegal to have any of them off leash on the street and out of your control. If all had been on secure leads, different outcome. And plenty of nice pit bulls, I know them.

  • Sal

    Viscous dogs. Never hear anything good about them. They should be terminated immediately and owner penalized severely for having such a dangerous evil animal.

  • Mom of 4 blessings

    I hate when people blame only the animal. I blame the people who decide they want this breed but do no research and do not know how to properly raise and train the dog. Also, getting any breed from a reputable breeder is a must.

    I never was one for Pit Bulls. My favorite breed is a German Shepherd, which has had its own stereotypes, but we recently acquired a 6 month old Pit who needy a home. He is the best, most loveable, incredibly cuddly and easiest dog I have ever trained. He doesn’t need any hard corrections. In fact, he is very smart so training is fast. I did research, took him to obedience class and have established myself as the Alfa over all our dogs. Also, dogs should NEVER be off leash unless you have a fenced in yard. This is just common sense. That is what ALL responsible dog owners should be doing.

    • Wow

      I have a shepherd and a pitbull I rescued when she was 6 months old. She is now 6 years old. Sweetheart. Loves everyone. Not one issue with her. She was trained properly and has a fenced yard. Really sad that so many mental midgets like to buys these dogs and MAKE them into monsters.

    • pitbullaware

      All “good” game insane pits mature to suddenly have the drive to attack UNPROVOKED and PROLONGED.

      Dog men call it “starting or turning on”. These two pits simply “started”.

      It can happen when the pit is a puppy or when senior, but most commonly happens between 18-36 months of age.

      No training is needed, and training will not prevent your game insane pit from having the mutant man-made drive to KILL a member of his own family, over nothing.

      Proof that pits are different and the best at killing dogs is the fact that essentially all UK and NA dog fighters all choose pits.

      Proof that pits are different and the best at causing financial losses is the fact that essentially all insurance companies place pits at the top of their least wanted lists.

      Pits are victims too of these man-made birth defects.
      Let’s stop making more victims.

  • marcus wilson

    I agree shoot those useless dogs and the owner too. there is no place in our society for these menaces to public safety sick of hearing stories like thisand while were at it lets get those dam coyotes also sick of hearing stories like this

  • Proud APBT owner

    I’m just a little confused on why the gentleman’s dog wasn’t on a leash? There are a lot of things this article isn’t covering like how did the “pit bulls” get involved? Jump the fence? Or were they also off leash? I’m not condoning this behavior but I have an APBT Staffie mix and she is the sweetest dog I’ve ever been around. I’ve been bitten by three small dogs since I’ve owned my girl, so I’m a little biased on the breeds that I don’t like.

    • Amy

      Somehow I doubt that. Leashes are great, but I don’t think a leash on the Pom would have changed the outcome here.

    • Maureen Parker

      I had an adult pom that I never used a leash with. She would walk right next to me always. In this case I don’t think a leash would have made any difference either. Except the elderly man probably would have been more severely injured.
      I blame the pit owner as much as the dogs. Should not have happened, leash or no leash.
      My prayers for the gentleman that was hurt. And I am so sorry for the loss of your Pom.

  • Rabecaa

    It is all in they way they are raised it all their fault just not owners. I have a small dog who was attack by a pit when she was younger now she is afford of all big dogs. It don’t me feel any different about big dogs. Like I said it all in the way the owner raises the.

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