Compton pit bull breeder mauled to death by his own dogs identified

A 35-year-old man, who may have been breeding pit bulls, was found mauled to death Friday morning in the backyard of his Compton home.

The Compton Fire Department along with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department responded to a 911 call from a woman saying that her boyfriend was hurt in a backyard dog kennel around 8 a.m. Friday.

The man, identified as 35-year-old Dominic Cooper of Compton, was found dead in the backyard after being mauled by the dogs.

The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner listed his cause of death as "deferred."

The incident occurred at the intersection of N Thorson Ave. and E Saunders St. in Compton. Investigators believe that two of the homes in the area were allegedly breeding pit bulls.

Officials with the sheriff's office said the mauling was believed to have occurred around 7:30 or 8 p.m. Thursday, and there is surveillance video that depicts at least part of the attack. The investigator said Cooper appeared to have been feeding the dogs when some of them began fighting, leading to his attack.

Investigators said there were 13 dogs total at the home, five of them adult and the others considered puppies ranging in age from four to six months. Los Angeles County Animal Control responded to the residence to remove the pit bulls from the backyard area.

While the sheriff's office could not immediately confirm Cooper was breeding the animals, they said it appeared likely given the number of dogs at the home and the presence of several kennels in the backyard.

The animals were transported to the Downey Animal Care Center for impoundment and thorough examination by the center's staff veterinarian, according to officials. It was unclear if any of the animals would be euthanized.

The investigation is still ongoing, according to authorities. 

"Our deepest sympathies are extended to the family and friends of the victim," DACC Director Marcia Mayeda said in a statement. "We are committed to conducting a thorough investigation to determine the facts and ensure the safety and well-being of both the community and the animals involved."

City News Service contributed to this report.