Woman charged for housing dangerous pit bulls that bit 5

EVERETT, Wash. -- A 32-year-old woman has been charged with a felony for housing dangerous dogs in Snohomish County nearly a year after two of her pit bills attacked five people, including an Everett police officer, prosecutors said.

At least one cat was also killed by Michelle Patino's dogs, who had been classified as "potentially dangerous" by Everett Animal Services in 2011, investigators said.

Officers were first called to the area of 13th and Lombard around around dawn on Aug. 25, 2012 on a report that a man had been attacked by two dogs. The first officers on the scene found a 44-year-old man with bites to his back and legs. Everett Police spokesperson Aaron Snell said that the man told officers that he was walking on Lombard when the two dogs crossed the street and bit him, but ran off when another person chased them off.

The dogs were soon found, but an officer was bitten in the leg when trying to get the dogs into his car. The dogs ran off when the officer tried to use a Taser on them.

Not long after, the dogs killed a cat, then officers got a report that a 27-year-old woman had been bitten as she got out of her car to go to work. This prompted police to use their public address systems to warn neighbors to stay inside because of the threat the dogs were posing.

Soon after, officers learned that another 44-year-old man had been bitten on the feet near 18th and Broadway, and a 54-year-old woman was bitten while standing in her driveway.

One dog, a pit bull, was Tased near 15th and Grand, a number of blocks west of the initial attack. Snell said that the dog died while attempts to
restrain it was taking place. The second dog, a boxer, was followed back to its home near 17th and Lombard. The boxer was later taken to the Everett Animal Shelter and put in quarantine until the investigation into the incidents was complete.

Investigators searching Patino's home after the attacks said they found evidence the dogs had dug under a fence and escaped their yard before, and in response, someone had placed a beer keg in front of the dug out area, according to court documents. However, investigators determined the keg was not enough of a barrier to prevent the dogs from escaping again.

Prosecutors said had Patino taken proper steps to secure her yard, the attacks would not have happened and thus the reason for filing their charge.

Patino is scheduled to be arraigned on July 8.