“Maetu” (grandmother) Chanty Philavong, a 93-year-old Lao-American woman living in Modesto, California was attacked and heavily wounded by a neighbor’s dogs after returning from a doctor’s visit last week, and she later succumbed to her injuries.
The incident occurred along the 3600 block of Dothan Drive in Modesto at around 2 pm last Thursday afternoon. Modesto police arrived at the scene soon after and investigated the incident until after 5 pm.
The two dogs that attacked Chanty were identified as Cane Corsos, a large and powerful dog breed, from CCTV footage captured by Chanty’s neighbor, Jeniece Dendulk.
According to CBS News, the dogs were first captured on video in front of Jeniece’s door, wagging their tails. She said she first opened her door, but not the metal screen door that separated her from the dogs.
Recalling the incident, Jeniece said, “I open the door, and there’s the screen, there [are] the two big ol’ dogs. I’m like, oh we’re not gonna answer the door.”
She then yelled to a nearby neighbor who said they were attempting to contact the dogs’ owners, as it appeared that the dogs had escaped from the backyard of the home beside Chanty’s house.
Moments later, Jeniece no longer saw the dogs on her front porch but promptly heard the harrowing screams of Chanty, who was being attacked by the dogs.
Janiece said she quickly grabbed shoes and plant pots from nearby and threw them in their direction, cautious not to hit Chanty and only the dogs.
In the moments the dogs were distracted, Janiece and Chanty’s grandsons ran to help her and bring her into the house, “It was chaos. It was a matter of 80 seconds,” Jeniece told KCRA 3, “Just like that everybody’s lives changed. It was awful.” The dogs kept on being aggressive towards the group, but the closed metal kept the animals from attacking the people inside the house.
Chanty was later taken to the hospital with major injuries. Chanty was initially said to be in a stable condition but succumbed to her injuries the following day.
According to Modesto Police, both dogs are in a 10-day rabies quarantine, which is standard protocol.
The dogs’ alleged owner told CBS13 they did not want to comment on the situation, but later denied they had any dogs at all. Neighbors of the alleged owner say that they were not home during the attack, but the dogs had shown repeated aggression since they were puppies.
Modesto police are still investigating the situation, and are yet to comment on whether the owner will be ticketed or charged.
A GoFundMe has been set up by family and relatives of “Mae Tu” Chanty Philavong.