A memorial is set up at the San Marcos corral where a 15-year-old horse was mauled by two Pit Bulls on Saturday. The horse had to be put down due to its injuries. Photo by Tony Cagala
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Update: Dogs that mauled horse located; will be euthanized

SAN MARCOS — Officials with the County’s Animal Control unit said they were confident on the whereabouts of two Pit Bulls that were believed to have mauled a horse on Saturday night.

Steve MacKinnon, chief of humane law enforcement, said on Wednesday that Animal Control officers with a police officer were headed to a location they believed the dogs to be.

On Thursday, the San Diego Humane Society released a statement saying that the dogs were located and that the owners “relinquished both dogs San Diego Humane Society last night for humane euthanasia.”

Animal Control received a tip to the location from the public.

The attack, which occurred at a residence on Fulton Road, led to the death of a 15-year-old horse named Smoky.

After the attack Animal Control officers and Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene and searched the area. MacKinnon said the search revealed no leads on the dogs.

Several hours later, a good Samaritan called Animal Control saying she had found two dogs that were “tired and wet,” MacKinnon said.

While not certain they were the dogs in the attack, though MacKinnon said they were fairly sure they were, the responding officer brought the dogs to an animal hospital for treatment at approximately 1 a.m. on Sunday.

However, there was some miscommunication with the responding officer that there was a hold on the two animals, MacKinnon explained, and the dogs in question were released to their owners after receiving treatment.

The owners, according to MacKinnon, have received a number of visits from Animal Control with the most recent visit prior to this incident back in January.

“Prior to that, in previous years, we’ve had multiple contacts with them,” MacKinnon said. At least one of the two dogs that had received prior visits is believed to be one of the dogs in the horse attack.

The owners, MacKinnon said, have been “less than cooperative,” in the investigation, adding that they’re not facing any charges at this point.

Due to the nature of the attack, there was concern for the public’s safety.

“Because this was such an unusual attack, it’s unusual for two dogs to attack something as large as a horse,” MacKinnon said. “So the fact that they are willing to do this causes us concern. Could the public be at risk in some way? We just can’t say. But we’re going on the side of caution,” MacKinnon said.

Officers had been in the area since Monday searching for the dogs.

“This is all-around an extremely tragic incident and our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected,” the Humane Society statement read. “We’re committed to ensuring the health and safety of all animals, along with the safety of our community residents. The decision to euthanize an animal is never easy to make, and we take this responsibility very seriously. But public safety is the ultimate priority.”

This story has been updated since its original posting.

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2 comments

Carol Miller December 5, 2016 at 3:51 pm

It is not at all unusual for pit bulls to attack horses. My horse was attacked in a public park by a single pit bull. That attack changed my life. The horse lived but he will never be the same, neither will I.

History teaches us that confined horses that are attacked by pit bulls will die without immediate human intervention. Horses that have the opportunity to run may survive.

Jane Brown December 5, 2016 at 11:12 pm

This is not unusual. Open your eyes.

Pit bull attacks on horses
A collection of blog posts from the DogsBite.org Blog documenting serious and fatal attacks by pit bulls inflicted upon horses, ponies, miniature horses, police horses, and donkeys.

Report: Dog Attacks on Livestock and Horses January to May 2008 – DogsBite.org

Pit Bulls and Thoroughbreds Were Selected for ‘Performance’
Pit Bull-Mix Chases Horse to Death in Cody, Wyoming
Mendocino Pot Dogs (Pit Bulls) Killing More Horses and Goats
Woman Kicked in Face by Horse After Pit Bull Attacks
Pit Bulls Kill One Horse, Severely Injure Another in Las Vegas
Pit Bulls Kill Three horses; Maim One in Willits, California
Flashback: Quarterhorse Zack, Killed by Attacking Pit Bulls
Pit Bull-Mix Attacks Two Horses and Pony in Kanahooka
School’s Pet Pony Attacked and Killed by Vicious Dogs
Pit Bull Attacks Horse on Burnaby Trail in North Vancouver
Apple Valley Attack: Pony Attack Victim Shares Photos
Horse Attacked by Neighbor’s Pit Bull Boxer-Mix
Killer Dogs Euthanized After Week Long Rampage in Apple Valley
Pit Bull that Attacked Horses in New Zealand to Be Destroyed
Bears Rarely Try to Bring Down A Full-Grown Horse; Pit Bulls Do
Pit Bull Kills Mini-Horse in Levelland, Texas, Injures Another
Video: Two Pit Bulls Attack and Kill Horse in Kingsport
Flashback: Miniature Horse Killed by Pit Bulls in San Antonio
Two Pit Bulls Attack Shetland Pony then ‘Misdirect’ Attack onto People
Dogs Attack and Kill Horses in Saline County
‘Wanted’ Posters Go Up After Pit Bull Owner Flees Horse Attack
Rider Thrown from Horse after Pit Bull Type Dog Attacks
Video: Pit Bull Attacks Herd of Horses in Harford County
Pit Bull Attacks Three Horses Killing One (Possibly Two)
Donkey Dies Following Bull Terrier Attack
Attacks on Livestock by Pit Bulls in Aiken County
Molly the Pony Survives Katrina and Pit Bull Attack
Semi-Rural Area Endures Another Horse Attack by Roaming Dogs
Flashback: Companion Trained Pit Bull Attacks Police Horse
American Bulldog and Bullmastiff Attack Pony and Rider
Pit Bulls Attack 2 Ponies in Severn
Another Horse Attacked by Pit Bull Near Auburn
Police Seize Two Pit Bulls After Killing Donkeys in Vineland
Video: Pit Bull Attacks Horse; Owner and Dog Flee
Pit Bull Attacks Horse in Classic Bull Baiting Form
Pit Bull Owner Gets Jail Time After Dogs Kill Arabian Horse
Emotions Flare During Dog Attack Hearing
Amarillo: Pit Bull Attacks Horse in Pen
Dogs Kill Another Miniature Horse in Lubbock
Miniature Horse, Jolly, Dies from Pit Bull Attack
Lubbock Horse Hurt by Pit Bulls in Fight for Life
Volunteers Step up for Lubbock Horse Hurt in Pit Bull Attack
2 Pit Bulls Shot After Killing Kingsport Woman’s Horse
Pit Bull Attacks Another Horse in the UK
Flashback: Race Horse Euthanized After Pit Bulls Attack
Pit Bulls Attack Five Miniature Horses, Killing One
Pit Bull Attacks Horses and Riders in New Zealand
Arabian Horse Euthanized After Pit Bull Attack
Owner Denies Pit Bull Attacked Horse and Rider at Park

This list is JUST horses and does not include sheep, goats, alpacas, llamas, and other livestock.

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