TAMPA — Police arrested three people on animal cruelty charges after an investigation that began when two of their dogs escaped from an enclosed yard and attacked a woman riding her bicycle Monday night.
Authorities asked the public for help in locating the two pit bulls involved in the attack.
Vanessa Watts, 48, who lives two blocks from the dogs, was riding north on Ninth Street at 10:30 p.m.
As she pedaled past a fenced yard at 9407 N Ninth St., police said, two dogs broke through the fence, pulled her from her bicycle, and bit her on the left arm and both legs, police said.
She ran home for help.
Police summoned Hillsborough County Animal Services to collect the dogs.
Three people were arrested on animal cruelty charges.
James C. Green, 48, and Lula Greene, 50, were released from jail Tuesday morning after each posted $4,000 bail on two counts each of animal cruelty.
Demetrius Floyd, 31, was released after posting $2,000 bail for one animal cruelty charge.
Watts was treated at University Community Hospital and released.
An investigator seized two severely injured dogs from the home.
The two dogs that attacked Watts were missing, said Dennis McCullough, operations manager for Hillsborough County Animal Services.
McCullough suspected the missing dogs were deliberately kept from authorities.
"I don't think they ran away at all," he said. "We need to know where these dogs are."
The "blue" pit bulls are adult males with gray coats, he said.
One is larger than the other.
Authorities ask anyone with information to call the daytime hotline at (813) 744-5660.