Dog may be evidence against owners after fatal attack

[SAN FRANCISCO, California]

February 27, 2001
(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A dog involved in an attack that killed a young woman has a stay of execution while prosecutors decide whether they need her as evidence against her owners.

Last week, a judge in San Francisco ordered that the Presa-Canario-mastiff, Hera, be destroyed. put down. Hera’s owners, Robert Noel and Marjorie Knoller, may face criminal charges for the death of Diane Whipple, who was mauled outside her apartment.

Another mastiff, Bane, has already been put down. Hera is in solitary confinement at an animal shelter.

Noel and Knoller, both lawyers, have been fighting to save Hera’s life, arguing at a hearing that it is not an aggressive animal. But their neighbors also turned out to say they feared both dogs.

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