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Pit bull victim dies of injuries from Sept.

Louis Tenorio of Tucson was hospitalized for two days after the Sept. 15 attack, but his injuries didn’t heal and he was readmitted Nov. 19.


Citizen Staff Writer

A Tucson man who was attacked in September by three pit bulls died Thursday at a Tucson hospital.

Louis Tenorio, 59, was mauled on Sept. 15 by his neighbor’s dogs. One of his tear ducts was torn and his right ear was torn off. Police arrived at the scene as he lay on the ground with the dogs circling him.

Tenorio was treated at Tucson Medical Center and released two days later, but his wounds did not heal fully. He was readmitted to TMC on Nov. 19.

His sister said the torn tear duct became infected and the infection spread throughout his body.

“He was just bleeding; they couldn’t stop the bleeding,” said Delores Tenorio.

On Dec. 1 he was placed on a ventilator. His family took him off of life support Tuesday, and he died 30 hours later.

“He was just in too much pain,” his sister said.

Two of his sisters, Delores (Tenorio) and Dorothy Tenorio, and his mother came to Tucson from Denver to be with him in his last hours and will take his ashes back to Colorado.

“He was a nice person,” Dolores Tenorio said. “He would help anybody.”

A nephew, Francisco Cordova, said the family couldn’t communicate with Tenorio this week. But they talked to him nonetheless.

“I just told him I loved him and that he’d be with grandpa soon,” Cordova said, referring to Tenorio’s father, who died in 1991.

It was difficult for Tenorio’s family to see him, with his face gashed and missing an ear.

“It’s terrible seeing him like that. You see him as you last (saw) him and then he’s just laying there with his face all torn apart,” Delores said. His sister found it difficult to talk about the brother she lost.

“He wasn’t doing anything, he was just cleaning and the dogs just came out and attacked him,” she said.

She said the owner of the pit bulls, Sonia Pennington, should have been punished more severely than she was.

Pennington was fined for having two dogs without licenses; two of the dogs were killed by Pima Animal Control Center.

Delores Tenorio said the family hasn’t talked about suing yet.

“When you have 180 pounds of dog on you and you have trouble walking in the first place, you are in a lot of trouble,” Tenorio said.

Of pit bulls, she said:

“Those dogs are just vicious. It happens to other people,” she said. “I don’t know why people are allowed to have these dogs.”

Tenorio is survived by his mother and his brothers and sisters: Delores and Dorothy, John Cordova of Colorado, Richard Tafoya and Rita Cordova of Colorado, and Betty Trujillo of California.

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