Crime, Fire + Courts

Rottweiler rescue founder dies in rural Davis home

By From page A1 | August 17, 2014

The tragic case of dead and malnourished dogs found at a Rottweiler rescue operation in rural Davis took another sad turn Friday with the discovery that the organization’s onetime president, Elaine Greenberg, had died in her home.

Greenberg’s body was found at about 1 p.m. inside her house in the 26000 block of County Road 96, Yolo County sheriff’s Capt. Larry Cecchettini confirmed Saturday. Deputies performed a welfare check after a friend reported that Greenberg did not answer her door for a scheduled dinner together Thursday night, and multiple phone calls also went unanswered.

“When deputies arrived they looked through windows and noticed the woman down,” Cecchettini said in a news release. The officers summoned paramedics and made entry into the home, but Greenberg was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy was performed Saturday morning, but Greenberg’s cause and manner of death have not been determined pending further testing, Cecchettini said.

Greenberg, 74, had been under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office since last month’s discovery of three dead and 11 starving Rottweilers at Second Chance Rottweiler Rescue Inc., the rescue and rehabilitation organization for at-risk Rottweilers that Greenberg had operated as a nonprofit organization since 2002.

In addition to removing the surviving dogs from the property, authorities placed Greenberg on an involuntary psychiatric hold, though she was later allowed to return to her home, she told The Enterprise in an Aug. 5 phone interview.

The case had been forwarded to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office, which last week requested additional information before deciding whether to file criminal charges in the matter. That decision had not yet been made as of Friday.

Second Chance’s board of directors announced in a website posting last weekend that Greenberg, who had sheltered and found new homes for rescued Rottweilers for more than five decades, had apparently suffered from a “medical issue” and was relieved of her post as president of the organization.

An email sent to an address accompanying the board’s statement was not answered Saturday afternoon.

During her interview with The Enterprise, Greenberg said she ran the operation largely on her own in recent years and that she was hoping to have the confiscated dogs returned to her.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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