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Pit bull owner to be placed under house arrest

LAS VEGAS (KSNV My News 3) - Jesse Vonstaden, the owner of four pit bulls that attacked senior citizens last week, appeared in court Wednesday and entered a not guilty plea.

"These were rescue dogs. There's nothing to suggest that these dogs were dangerous at all," Vonstaden's attorney Todd Leventhal told Judge Janiece Marshall.

He says Vonstaden is not dangerous, and her dogs are no longer at her home on Looking Glass Lane.

"Might have been something that riled up the dogs. The dogs have really never shown any aggression before," Leventhal said.

Vonstaden wasn't in court long, before the judge set bail at $40,000 and ordered her to be under house arrest.

Leventhal says Vonstaden is not doing well since her arrest Friday, when her pit bulls got loose and attacked neighbors. "This was an unfortunate situation. She feels bad about it and I understand that it's bad, but she's not a danger in terms of having any more dogs," Leventhal said.

Three of the dogs have been impounded. The fourth was killed by police as it charged an animal control officer.

Prosecutor Amy Ferreira emphasized how severe the attack was, and how the dogs were found to have no food or water. Leventhal disagrees. "There's a 50 pound bag of food just sitting there right now, as far as water, these dogs have always been taken care of," Leventhal said.

In the meantime, Celia Aguilar, 67, remains in the hospital recovering from the severe mauling.

Vonstaden is in jail facing felony charges. Even if she posts bond she will be in jail awhile, because it takes some time to set up house arrests. Her next court date is March 11.

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