Reporting Ian Schwartz
GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) – In one local county, citizens are dealing with a deadly case of dogs gone wild.
Some pit bulls were shot and killed while other dogs are still attacking animals.
If you think Breezy is a beautiful mule, you’re right. He’s a show mule at the Easley Ranch near Grass Valley.
“It breaks my heart because they are such innocent animals, and they can’t defend themselves from the dogs,” owner Bonnie Easley said.
Bonnie is talking about the vicious dog attack two weeks ago that left breezy limping with stitches.
“It was horrible, devastating, his whole leg was ripped open and he was laying down,” she said.
Bonnie and her husband Phil think a neighbor’s dog or dogs were left outside for the night and snuck under a fence and attacked.
This isn’t the first time free-roaming dogs have gone hunting in the area.
“They may be nice, happy, gentle house dogs, but when they get out roaming, the natural instinct comes in to pursue,” said Phil.
Nevada County Animal Control says a dog attack is reported about once a week in the area, and it is keeping an eye out for dogs that may be on the pasture prowl.
Phil walked up on dogs brawling with his livestock a few years ago.
“It was amazing how they could fight. I’ve been in law enforcement for 33 years, and had never actually seen a pit bull attack,” Phil said.
He shot and killed two dogs that day and says he’ll do it again when it comes to protecting prize mules like Breezy.
“You can only be neighborly so far and then you need to take action yourself,” Phil said.
The Easleys say it will take a year to see exactly how well Breezy’s wound will heal, and whether or not they will be able to show him competitively.
Nevada County Animal Control says dog owners who let their animals run free can be cited. However, people who shoot a dog in defense are protected under the law.