SAN ANTONIO — The wife of a man charged with his dogs' deadly attack last Friday is defending her husband, and said he is not to blame for what happened.
She is also apologizing to the victim's family.
"From the bottom of our hearts, we're sorry... but my husband is not responsible," Abilene Moreno said.
She said her husband, 31-year-old Christian Moreno, did everything by the book to keep their dogs, who were Staffordshire terriers, from escaping their property on Depla Street.
Now, her husband is behind bars on felony charges after the dogs killed 81-year-old Ramon Najera outside of their home's fence and injured three others.
On Sunday, Moreno showed KENS 5 how her dogs, named King, Snow and Legend, escaped from their yard. Moreno said the dogs pushed down the fence near where Najera exited his car.
Moreno said she and her husband weren't home at the time, but before they left, the couple harnessed, tethered and locked the dogs behind the gate.
"We were coming back and I saw the dogs behind the gate but they were covered in blood," said Moreno.
When the couple returned home, the dogs were out of their harnesses. First responders told them their dogs King and Snow had attacked four people, killing one.
"It's traumatizing to see my dogs that I have raised since they were puppies do that to somebody," she said.
Her heart goes out to the victim's wife, who was also severely bitten but lived. Moreno said the dogs were never raised to be aggressive.
"We never hit them, neglect them, never abused them," she said.
Moreno did admit the dogs have a history of escaping the yard. She said her husband is quick to fix any holes the dogs dig up. She also confirmed Animal Care Services' claims that King and Snow have been involved in two bite cases in the neighborhood. King was involved in one case while Snow had been involved in both cases.
The most recent bite case was last month, and ACS took the dogs into custody as part of policy.
At that point, Moreno said her husband didn't want King or Snow back. He was happy with keeping Legend and the litter of puppies Snow recently birthed. However, the couple's kids wanted the dogs home.
Before that could happen, Moreno said ACS wanted to sterilize the dogs and proceeded with the procedure. When the dogs returned home, Moreno said the dogs were fine but then later showed more signs of aggression. She even asked ACS best practices for keeping the dogs harnessed and tethered in the yard.
However, Moreno agreed with her husband to take the dogs back to ACS due to their behavior.
"I was like, these dogs aren't for us anymore," Moreno said.
But before they could, the deadly attack happened.
KENS 5 reached out to ACS. and they said the dogs' sterilization had nothing to do with the bite incident. They said "allowing their pets to roam has a direct correlation to this bite incident."
Now, Moreno said the family has no pets. They surrendered Legend and the rest of the puppies late Friday. With her husband in jail, Moreno is fearful of being in the neighborhood.
"Because of people saying certain things, threats from neighbors," she said.
Moreno is focused on paying her husband's bond to get him out of jail. Until then, he is expected to appear in court on March 28 for a pre-hearing.
"We're sorry for everything that happened and we never intended for anybody to get hurt," she said.