Fresno woman disfigured by pit bulls may get plastic surgery in San Francisco

Pit bulls involved in the Fresno attack on woman were put down by SPCA officials.
Pit bulls involved in the Fresno attack on woman were put down by SPCA officials. The Fresno Bee

A woman critically injured when she was mauled by two pit bulls in central Fresno in early April may soon receive plastic surgery in San Francisco, police reported.

The woman was identified this week by Lt. Joe Gomez as Sanjuana Caceres, 66. She also goes by the name Janey Garibay. Police previously did not know her name and initially thought she was a transient.

Caceres was attacked in the early-morning hours April 5 near Diamond Street and McKenzie Avenue, just west of Highway 41. She was walking in an alley when the dogs escaped a fenced yard and attacked her.

Caceres was rushed to the trauma center at Community Regional Medical Center, where she underwent emergency transfusions. Surgeons were forced to amputate her left arm.

Gomez said Caceres needs plastic surgery on what remains of her left arm and may need it on the other arm, as well.

Gomez said Caceres has difficulty speaking because of the attack, but officials at the hospital were able to determine her name by pointing to a board containing the alphabet. She spelled her name by nodding when nurses pointed to the correct letter. The lieutenant also said he canvassed the neighborhood where the attack occurred and found a home where Caceres’ daughter lives.

Caceres may be transported to San Francisco because no Fresno surgeon capable of the procedure will be available for about six weeks. Gomez said he spoke to Caceres on Wednesday and that she appears to be doing much better than when she arrived at CRMC.

Police are not likely to charge the owners of the dogs involved in the attack because there is no evidence the people were criminally at fault, Gomez said.

The two dogs involved were euthanized the day of the attack. A third dog that lived at the home was euthanized the next day. A puppy that is less than 6 months old will be placed for adoption, according to SPCA officials.