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Dogs who killed homeless woman will be euthanized

Dogs that killed the homeless woman will be euthanized
Cindy Georg, Houston Chronicle
Updated 2:59 pm, Tuesday, July 1, 2014

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  • Osby Pinles shows his bloody knuckles after he tried to pull two female pit bulls off a woman around 
2 a.m. on the corner of Glen Prairie and Leonora. Photo: J. Patric Schneider, Freelance / © 2014 Houston Chronicle
    Osby Pinles shows his bloody knuckles after he tried to pull two female pit bulls off a woman around 2 a.m. on the corner of Glen Prairie and Leonora. Photo: J. Patric Schneider, Freelance

 

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Houston authorities have impounded a second pit bull involved in a weekend mauling that killed a homeless woman, and the dogs' owner has received multiple citations for improper care of the animals.

On Monday, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences identified the woman as Christina Burleson, 43. The agency determined "blunt and sharp force injuries of the neck and upper extremities" as the preliminary cause of death.

Her last known address was the Servants of Christ United Methodist parish in southeast Houston.

Burleson, who also was known as Christina Bell, was attacked around 2 a.m. Sunday on Glen Prairie near Leonora by the female pit bulls. The animals caused minor injuries to two men - one of whom tried to pull the dogs off of Burleson.

Both pit bulls will be euthanized following an investigation, according to Christopher Newport, a city spokesman for the BARC animal shelter.

One of the dogs, estimated to be 1 year old and around 30 pounds, was caught shortly after the incident by City of Houston Animal Control officials.

That pit bull was "covered in blood" later determined to match the deceased woman, Newport said.

A second animal was impounded Sunday afternoon when officials located a woman who claimed both dogs, and she surrendered custody. The animals are being held in quarantine, Newport said.

The owner has been cited for allowing the dogs to run at large. After officials discovered four puppies in her apartment, she also was ticketed for not having current rabies vaccinations or pet licenses for any of the six dogs and for violating the city's animal "care and keeping" regulation.

"The apartment was kept in an awful condition," Newport said, adding that there were "feces and urine everywhere."

The Houston Police Department and the Harris County District Attorney's Office will determine whether to pursue criminal charges against the owner.

"We'll see what HPD needs as far as evidence for potential prosecutions before we put the dogs down," Newport said.

Anyone who owns a dog or cat older than four months in the Houston city limits is required to have the pet licensed and vaccinated against rabies annually.