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Fatal Mauling Dog Ordered Destroyed

February 23, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The second dog involved in the fatal mauling of a woman was declared ``vicious and dangerous″ Thursday by a police sergeant who ordered the animal to be destroyed.

Sgt. William Herndon made the decree after hearing testimony about the animal last week.

However, the dog’s life is legally protected for now. Last week, the district attorney ordered the dog, Hera, be kept alive, saying she might serve as evidence should charges be brought against the dogs’ owners, Robert Noel and Marjorie Knoller.

Animal control officials said they would comply with the order to keep the dog alive until prosecutors complete their investigation.

Two Presa Canario-mastiffs attacked and killed 33-year-old Diane Whipple on Jan. 26 in the apartment building where she lived down the hall from Noel and Knoller.

Bane, the dog said to be Whipple’s main attacker, was put down immediately after the attack.

The couple has repeatedly denied any knowledge of dangerous training the dogs may have undergone when they were raised in rural Hayfork.

But officials at a state prison say Bane and Hera were part of a ring of dogs raised to fight each other and guard illegal drug operations.

Noel and Knoller did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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