Crime

2 charged with owning dogs that mauled woman in Tacoma

Pierce County prosecutors have decided that a Tacoma couple should be held accountable for what their two pit bulls allegedly did to a 67-year-old woman.

Devin Cannady, 33, and Johnny Cannady Jr., 38, have been charged with being owners of a dog that attacks. They are to be arraigned Oct. 29.

Their dogs, Paws and Bandit, remain under the care of animal control officers. Tacoma city officials have said the hope is to euthanize them because they are potentially dangerous dogs.

Devin Cannady contends that her pit bulls were not the ones who severely mauled Donna Berto on July 31 outside a smoke shop in the 6200 block of 29th Street Northeast.

The attack took place after Berto walked out of a store and “the two dogs lunged at Berto, knocking her to the ground,” according to charging papers.

“These dogs are right in my face and (I was) trying to to push them back and push them away from me and protect my face as best I could,” Berto said after the attack.

A store employee fired warning shots into the air to scare the pit bulls away. Several passersby stopped to help the woman by trying to pull the dogs off her.

The pit bulls ran into a wooded area behind the business, Berto’s purse wrapped around the legs of one dog as it ran.

Berto was taken to Tacoma General Hospital, where she underwent 12 hours of surgery. Berto suffered bites to her face, lip, scalp, left hand and lower extremities. She also fractured a finger.

Puyallup Tribal Police officers searched for the dogs but couldn’t find them.

Investigators found surveillance footage showing the dogs, which each weighed about 100 pounds and had noticeable white markings, running through an alley before and after the attack.

Prosecutors said the dogs ran from and toward the direction of the Cannadys’ home.

Days later, Tacoma police found two pit bulls matching the description of the dogs that attacked Berto in a fenced yard. Johnny Canady told officers his dogs never escaped but admitted to making fence repairs the day after Berto was mauled.

Paws and Bandit were seized that day.

Federal Way Animal Control also encountered the Cannadays’ pit bulls at one point but the date is unclear.

Paws allegedly bit a woman’s arm three times and was taken for 15 days because the owners couldn’t produce proof of rabies vaccination. The dog eventually was returned but deemed a potentially dangerous dog.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653

stacia.glenn@thenewstribune.com

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