By Rachel Wulff


CALAVERAS COUNTY (CBS13) — Calaveras County Animal Services is investigating a pit bull attack that left two miniature horses dead, and they need the public’s help tracking down the killer canines in Valley Springs.

The owners say the dogs likely came through their neighbor’s yard, jumped a fence and ran up to their back door where they attacked the two horses.

Swipe through pictures of the horses below

“One was crouched down here initially,” Robert Hughes recounted what he saw when he opened his back door Monday morning just before 6 a.m.

“I look out and see a dead horse, and another bloody horse shivering and bleeding to death and two pit bulls looking up at me. They were calm and licking blood off themselves,” he said.

By the time he came back with his shoes, the dogs had taken off. Hughes called his girlfriend Marilyn at work to break the news to her. He then called the veterinarian.

“This is devastating for both of us,” said Marilyn Denney.

Together they watched the surveillance video which showed part of the brutal two-hour attack on their beloved miniature horses Izzy and Silver.

“You can see Izzy try to get up and the dogs keep on biting at her and she is trying to get up and her bones are sticking out –her skin is hanging off of her. And Silver was already dead,” he said shaking his head.

Robert and Marilyn have no children. These horses were their children. They got them from a rescue organization six months ago.

READ: Man Might Have Had Seizure Before Possible Pit Bull Attack

“They sit outside that door and they talk to you and they heard you in the kitchen,” said Denney.

They say the horses were starting to come out of their shell and were gaining weight, but then this happened.

“I don’t blame the dogs. I blame the owners,” said Denney.

The couple says the dogs had collars, but they don’t know where they came from. They are hearing more and more about animals being killed by stray dogs in the area.

“They frighten the neighbors. They get together in a pack mentality. You need to learn how animals behave if you are not smarter than a dog… then you probably shouldn’t own one,” said Hughes.

The stable is empty as the owners contemplate if they even want more horses. At this point and time, animal services is investigating the case.

CBS13 reached out to the Calaveras County Sheriff’s office. They did not respond to our calls. Animals Services did not respond to our calls by time of publication.

Comments (4)
  1. Dora Renee Firmin says:

    Owners ultimately should be held accountable for the arbitrary actions of their property. Laws are lackedasical at prosecuting owners and euthanizing dogs that mangle and kill. The nanny myth and anthropomorphic humans who think you can love the nature out of the beast is a growing cancer in this country.

  2. Toby Chappel says:

    If they decide to take on more ponies or livestock I would add to their family a “Couple “of large Guardian dogs they will sound off if anything is going wrong plus they are very protective of your livestock if they are brought up around them. We have 3 great Pyrenees on our property. I really doubt those dogs would have gone onto that property if there was Guardian dogs facing them. It could have been any breed that could do this if they were possibly dumped by their owners and hungry. They just happen to be pits.

    1. Wind says:

      Amen Toby, I had a pitbull that wouldn’t kill so much as a bantam chicken and the labs next door try to fight my dogs and aren’t trusted with the chickens or the goats that they have…..it literally can be any breed.

  3. MMCovault says:

    That’s why you need a shotgun handy and know how to use it quickly. If you are in a fairly rural area, people let their dogs run, but bird shot (while not usually fatally wounding) will discourage them from coming on your property after your livestock.

Leave a Reply