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Dog owner faces charges in mauling

The owner of four dogs that mauled a 65-year-old Las Vegas woman and her neighbor Friday has been jailed in the attack.

Jesse Vonstaden, 29, faces one count each of having dangerous or vicious dogs and willfully neglecting or disregarding the safety of people or property, according to Las Vegas police. She also had several traffic warrants out for her arrest.

The woman and her 69-year-old neighbor, Robert Sisterman, were attacked Friday morning in the 900 block of Looking Glass Lane, near the intersection of Bonanza Road and Sloan Lane. Sisterman tried to help his neighbor with a baseball bat and stones and was bitten himself.

Both were taken to University Medical Center. The woman had tears to her face and both arms. She also had a broken arm, a broken leg, about 100 stitches and significant loss of muscle in her right arm, Capt. Matt McCarthy of Metro’s Office of Internal Oversight said in a press conference Monday.

Sisterman was bitten on the right hand and came out with 20 stitches and a cast, his wife Janice Sisterman said.

The woman who was attacked was not identified by family or authorities.

Her daughter, Brenda Aguilar, said Monday her mother had plastic surgery to repair the skin and tissue on her face and right arm and had screws and a plate put in her left wrist. Her mother did not lose her arm or eye, and her vision was unaffected, Aguilar said.

She is expected to stay at UMC for another day or two, and then will be sent to a rehabilitation facility, Aguilar said. Doctors didn’t give the daughter an estimated time for when her mother would be able to go home but said it would depend on how quickly she recovered at the rehab center.

Metro and animal control made a human barrier between the animals and the woman, who was being treated by the fire department, McCarthy said. One of the dogs, which McCarthy said were all pit bulls, charged officers and was fatally shot. Clark County Animal Control took the other three.

Vonstaden drove up to her home shortly after the dog had been shot and killed. She was arrested the same day, McCarthy said.

“The reason for that is the attack on the victim was vicious, and I cannot overstate that,” McCarthy said.

Vonstaden is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

“If you’re going to be a dog owner, cat owner or animal owner, you have to be responsible,” McCarthy said. “You have a responsibility as a homeowner to ensure that that animal is not only well-cared for, but doesn’t cause harm to anybody else.”

Vonstaden had at least two previous complaints about the dogs. She was cited in November for having more than three dogs without a permit and for not having the animals vaccinated or sterilized, police said.

McCarthy said on that visit animal control learned that the dogs had not been fed or watered in some time, and that the pit bulls had injuries indicating they had been fighting.

Vonstaden has a court date in March for the November citations.

Contact reporter Cassandra Taloma at ctaloma@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Find her on Twitter: @CassandraTaloma. Contact Kimber Laux at klaux@reviewjournal.com or at 702-383-0391. Find her on Twitter: @lauxkimber.

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