Watch CBS News

Modesto woman, 93, dies after being attacked by 2 dogs in her own front yard

Modesto woman, 93, dies after being attacked by 2 dogs in her own front yard
Modesto woman, 93, dies after being attacked by 2 dogs in her own front yard 00:27

MODESTO – Police say a senior in Modesto has now died after she was attacked by dogs in her neighborhood Thursday afternoon. 

The incident happened along the 3600 block of Dothan Drive around 2 p.m. and Modesto Police were on scene investigating until after 5 p.m. 

The woman, who has been identified as 93-year-old  Chanthy Philavong Maetu, was initially stable but family was waiting for definitive updates from doctors at the emergency room hours after the attack, they said. The extent of her injuries was still being reviewed, but her family said she was in as best of spirits as she could be Thursday evening. 

Modesto police later revealed Friday night that Maetu had succumbed to her injuries earlier in the morning at the hospital.


The case remains under investigation by detectives, police said. 

Neighbor Jeniece Dendulk said the two dogs, identified by her security video as two Cane Corsos, approached her front door. On video, the dogs are captured at the door, wagging their tails. Dendulk said she opened her door, but not the metal screen door that separated her from the dogs. 

"I open the door, and there's the screen, there the two big ol' dogs. I'm like, oh we're not gonna answer the door," said Dendulk. 

She yelled to a nearby neighbor who said they were attempting to contact the dogs' owners, as it appeared they had escaped from the backyard of the home next door to the woman who was attacked. 

Dendulk said the dogs left her porch quickly and moments later she heard screaming and what sounded like an attack. 

"We knew they weren't friendly," said Dendulk about the Cane Corso dogs. 

When she came out of her home she saw the 93-year-old woman being attacked by both dogs. She grabbed nearby shoes and planters to throw in the direction of the dogs, cautious that she didn't hit the woman, only the dogs, she said. 

In moments they were distracted, Dendulk said she, alongside neighbors, was able to get the 93-year-old inside her home. Dendulk said they held the metal screen door closed while the dogs continued to be aggressive toward them. 

Then, she attempted to move back to her home when she says the dogs followed her barking and growling. She was able to get inside without any injury but was shaken. 

"I'm grateful they're not here. I almost asked my daughter to take out the trash cans 10 minutes before that,"  said Dendulk, replaying the attack in the hours that followed. 

Modesto police confirmed both dogs are in a 10-day rabies quarantine, which is standard protocol. The next steps are "yet to be seen" according to an MPD spokesperson.

The dogs' alleged owner told CBS13 they did not want to comment on the situation, but then denied they had dogs at the home at all. 

Neighbors told CBS13 the owners were not home at the time of the attack, but that the dogs had shown repeated aggression since they were puppies. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.