NATOMAS (CBS13) — A tiny Yorkie that died in front of a 5-year-old boy in front of a Natomas home may have been killed by a neighbor’s pit bulls, the boy’s mother claims.

It’s an emotional time for Maureen Garcia. She says her 3-pound teacup Yorkie, Gizmo, was killed in front of her 5-year-old son.

“He’s the family dog. He’s been through us for everything,” she said.

She says her son and a friend’s daughter went to grab a blanket from her car in the driveway and Gizmo followed them out.

“All I hear is the two kids screaming that there was two big dogs outside,” she said.

Garcia ran outside and says she found Gizmo’s lifeless bloody body and two pit bulls standing nearby.

“I’m staring at the pit bulls, and they’re staring at me. I don’t know whether to go forward or backward, and I’m telling the kids to get in the house, but I’m looking at my dog,” she said.

Shelby Soderholm says her 115-pound pit bull-mastiff mix named Viking is accused of killing Gizmo. She wasn’t home during the incident, but admits the dogs escaped from her backyard.

“My housesitter took the trash out, and it didn’t latch,” she said. “He got out and was hanging out.”

She disputes Maureen’s story and believes Gizmo could have been hit by a car.

“I don’t know if he went over to sniff, we’re not sure,” she said, adding that the 5-year-old may not have been telling the truth.

Garcia took to social media to alert her neighbors, and even got police and Sacramento County Animal Control involved, hoping to have the dogs removed.

“Our whole life has changed,” she said.

While Garcia is concerned for her children’s safety, Soderholm says she shouldn’t be and that precautions have been taken to keep the animals from escaping.

“There’s a padlock on my gate now,” she said. There’s two fences just in case as far as having a housesitter, and there’s chicken wire around the fence.”

Maureen says animal control is still investigating the incident and may decide soon on a ruling.

Animal control says it’s important to always keep dogs on a leash. In case of a dog attack, always carry a walking stick to distract the animal, and don’t pick up your pet to protect it, as an aggressive dog will not be able to differentiate your body from your pet.


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