Residents who live around the park and relatives of the 16-year-old high school boy who was killed refused to accept that dogs killed the youngest member of their family.
‘‘It’s not logical. I mean the dogs are small, they are domestic dogs. We don’t believe what the prosecutor’s office is telling us,’’ brother Enrique Martinez told The Associated Press.
Martinez said police told the family the couple was perhaps carrying a fish fillet which alerted the dogs. He said identifying the body was a horrible experience for him and his loved ones.
Fatal maulings of humans by dogs are extremely rare, but Dr. Sophia Yin, executive board member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, said they can happen, particularly when dogs that are used to being around people are moving in large groups, and people shout or run in fear when accosted by the animals.
‘‘It’s hard to tell people, stand completely still and relax, don’t turn your back. Almost anything else you do can get the dog more excited,’’ Yin said. ‘‘The more animals involved, the higher the excitement is.’’
Jose Luis Rodriguez, driver for a micro-bus service that travels through the park, said he had recently encountered a pack of 10 feral dogs that had growled at his father.
‘‘There are a lot of dogs around here. We give them something to eat and they go away,’’ he said. ‘‘People come and throw their dogs away in the park, abandon them. There are too many dogs around.’’
A veterinarian at the Iztapalapa shelter where the 25 dogs were being held said it appeared that at least one of the captured dogs had been a pet.
‘‘A family came and recognized a dog but we couldn’t give him to them because investigators have to decide what to do,’’ he said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
Rios said authorities will keep the trapped dogs until investigators determine whether they were involved in the attacks. He said people who can prove one of those dogs belongs to them can take the animal home. He said the rest will be put up for adoption.
Adriana Gomez Licon is on Twitter http://twitter.com/agomezlicon
Michael Weissenstein on Twitter: http://twitter.com/mweissenstein