Homeless man mauled by dogs in Downtown Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

It happened before midnight at the corner of San Benito and H St. near the Monterey Bridge.

The dogs began pursuing the man a few blocks away. They followed him all the way down to this homeless encampment off H St. and Monterey. Animal control believes a pack mentality played a role in this vicious attack.

Late Thursday night, Fresno Police officers and Animal Control were called downtown after a pack of dogs mauled a homeless man.

"There were four dogs that were at large and most likely this was a pack mentality type of attack. So it was unprovoked as far as we know, but he was badly injured," said Walter Salvari, SPCA Customer Relations Manager.

The 54-year-old man was taken to community regional medical center with severe wounds to his arms and bites to his legs and feet. Officers then were faced with the task of rounding up the dogs.

"It did take some time. They were running around and we were trying to stop them in between buildings and bridges and jump over fences. It took two and half hours for us to finally stop them and corral them all," Salvari said.

Animal Control says the three dogs of the dogs are shepherd mixes and the other one is a pit-bull mix. However, they believe it was the conditions rather than the breed that fueled the attack.

"They are going to be out there looking for food, but also might be protecting whatever's in that area that they're after. We do know that there were two boys, two males and two female dogs. So anything is possible in that situation," Salvari said.

The SPCA says it has seen an increasing number of abandoned animals in downtown. Officials hope that by spaying or neutering animals or reminding people to drop off unwanted pets at the shelter, it will cut down on such attacks.

The victim was treated for his injuries and released just hours later. Meanwhile, the dogs will remain in custody at the SPCA while officials investigate the dog mauling.

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