Horse euthanized after brutal attack by pit bulls - Morgan Hill Times: Community

Horse euthanized after brutal attack by pit bulls

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Posted: Monday, June 18, 2012 7:06 pm | Updated: 2:57 pm, Thu Jan 3, 2013.

A Morgan Hill woman had to euthanize her 23-year-old Arabian horse after two pit bulls who lived nearby “viciously” attacked the animal.

The attack happened about 3:30 p.m. Thursday on Burnett Avenue near Baumann Court, according to the horse’s owner Twila Salvador.

She was inside her house when she heard some commotion coming from outside. Salvador looked out her window to see men running after some dogs running after her horse in her pasture.

Familiar with the two pit bulls that belonged to a neighbor, Salvador called 911.

She later learned that one of the dogs jumped up and bit the horse’s face, and the other bit the horse’s right front leg and latched on until its jaws removed a chunk of muscle, Salvador said.

Salvador’s husband was able to knock one of the dogs loose from the horse with a rake.

Pictures Salvador snapped of the horse before it was euthanized show bloody flesh exposed from missing chunks of skin that had apparently been ripped from the horse during the incident.

Salvador said deputies from the sheriff’s office and the county’s animal control officer responded to the scene and took statements.

The dogs can now be classified as “vicious” by county ordinance after having attacked another animal, according to Salvador. The dogs’ owner reportedly surrendered one of the dogs to authorities, but has not yet done so with the other.

Authorities confirmed that an incident involving the horse and dogs happened Thursday, but Santa Clara County animal control supervisor Albert Escobar declined to provide more details until the investigation is complete.

Salvador and her husband tried to seek treatment for the injured Arabian, Joe.

The horse suffered a broken leg in the attack, but didn’t know it as he ran around the pasture in shock and panic before his owners were able to fully assess the injuries.

When Joe finally calmed down, his owners noticed he was walking funny, and it was later determined that his leg was broken.

“We had to put him down,” Salvador said.

Vicious dogs must live by strict guidelines, but Salvador said it’s still not fair.

“We’re in the county, so we can shoot anything that harasses our livestock. But we did not,” Salvador said. “I was just thinking about saving the horse. To me it just seems wrong. My horses were minding their own business. These dogs get another chance.”

Salvador said she has lived in the rural area of Morgan Hill for 23 years and until has “never been afraid to go outside.”

Her other horse is older than Joe but healthier, which is likely why the dogs were able to catch up to the 23-year-old Arabian first.

Sorrely, Salvador’s 34-year-old quarter horse, “is so lonely” now that the Arabian is gone.

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  • hypocrisyhater posted at 8:00 am on Mon, Jul 9, 2012.

    hypocrisyhater Posts: 234

    Pit Bulls: The dog of choice for posers in Ed Hardy t-shirts and gangbangers with small ____ complex everywhere.

    The breed should be eradicated from the planet.

  • doglaws posted at 11:02 pm on Sat, Jul 7, 2012.

    doglaws Posts: 1

    12 years ago my life changed in so many ways because of a pit bull in my neighborhood. My dog had a metal plate replace the many bones that were shattered by the pit bull's teeth. As for me I tried my best to save my dog from a serious fate or death. My arm was severely injured by the loose vicious pit bull. It refused to release it's jaws encompassing my arm. That night I had 68 stitches and my arm will never be the same again. I have worked so hard to change the laws in my city and I hope this tragedy involving a horse makes people in Morgan Hill unite to change laws. I several years ago spoke to the Gilroy city council with many other victims and they actually listened to us. Gilroy has a pit bull law that forces owners of that breed to spay or neuter their dogs. It really makes me sad to hear that the horse had to be put down. My heart goes out to the owners. Pit bulls are dangerous pets and they need to be treated as such.

  • School Mom posted at 2:40 pm on Sat, Jun 23, 2012.

    School Mom Posts: 56

    Really Sarah? You must be a pitbull owner who lets her dogs roam because the breed is soooo gentle. The owners of the dogs are responsible for the trespass and damage their "puppies" created on someone else's property.

    I'm getting really tired of irresponsible people causing pain and damage and not being held accountable.

  • SarahD posted at 3:43 pm on Fri, Jun 22, 2012.

    SarahD Posts: 7

    Its not the dogs fault.. Blame the irresponsible owners. And the people who allowed the neighbors dogs access to their property and didn't take the necessary steps to stop the tragedy before it happened. If she was indeed familiar with the dogs that's her fault for not taking measures to protect her animals. So, blame the owners who let the situation happen.

  • cafotogirl posted at 9:30 am on Thu, Jun 21, 2012.

    cafotogirl Posts: 2

    This is so nasty. That horse must have died in so much pain.

  • dava posted at 4:05 pm on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    dava Posts: 1

    This is so tragic and even more so that it is happening somewhere every single day...EVERY SINGLE DAY. Two pitbulls inflicted these same type of injuries to my beautiful neutered dog in my own yard and nothing has been done to them. Speak up! Demand pitbull regulations! Don't back down to ridiculous, self-reinforcing lies that pitbulls are nanny dogs, sweet, gentle, loyal, that it is always the owner's fault. If owners were capable of turning sweet gentle dogs into mauling, maiming, killing machines the all the breeds would have attacks like these, but they don't... PREVENT THE DEED, REGULATE THE BREED. SHOUT IT LOUD AND CLEAR.

  • rouge posted at 4:04 pm on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    rouge Posts: 3

    If it was my horse I would of shot both dogs right away pit bulls are bad Mcay

  • Horse_Owner posted at 2:48 pm on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    Horse_Owner Posts: 1

    Wow. I am surprised that this horse owner would be so ignorant as to not only take pictures of their horse's severely neglected feet, but allow them to be published in the newspaper. Those hooves look like they have not been trimmed for a year, and the hoof in the close-up photo is so severely foundered that the hoof capsule is about to slough off. Of course this horse couldn't run. He probably couldn't even walk.

    This comment is not meant to take away from the tragedy that happened, but I sure hope they take better care of their other horse.

  • SJG posted at 1:02 pm on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    SJG Posts: 7

    Pit bulls kill, guns kill, people kill - they should all be illegal!

  • School Mom posted at 12:25 pm on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    School Mom Posts: 56

    It is enraging to me that irresponsible people are allowed to maim, damage, and destroy other peope's pets and property this way. I sincerely hope the owners of that poor horse prosecute these idiots, and then sue them in civil court. Good luck with that. Time and time again we read about some ignorant pit bull owner senselessly harming or killing an innocent animal or child through their "pet".

    My own pet chihuahua was torn to pieces by a pit bull in my front yard. Thankfully, she survived after surgery and a week long stay at the vet. I've seen the damage these dogs can do, and I'm not naive to believe its just the breed, I understand any dog can become vicious with the right creep for an owner.

    If you are too stupid to keep an animal bred for attacking confined, you're also probably too stupid to own anything of value worth filing a lawasuit over.

  • Calle posted at 11:58 am on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    Calle Posts: 64

    I must disagree with the idea that such images should be banned from public view. I believe that such images bring home the reality of this situation. These dogs are out of control and have done great damage to a anamial as large as a horse. Just image what they could do to a child.

    It seems odd to me to see 13 year old children waling down the street with two or three pit bulls on a leash with citizens scurrying to get out of their way in fear of being attacked while at the same time the meare display of a gun on one's own land will bring the Sheriff with red lights and siren.

    Why do we allow these dogs to roam the streets and kill at will?

  • Iheartsunsets posted at 9:57 am on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    Iheartsunsets Posts: 1

    I am without words on so many levels. First, the owners of these dogs need to be held accountable both financially and criminally. Both dogs without doubt should be euthanized before they destroy another precious life.

    I am also extremely disgusted with the Morgan Hill Times, for allowing these graphic pictures to be published and viewed by all (including children). Yes, while it is true a picture is worth a thousand words and I’m sure the Times was trying to add additional impact to the story, by publishing the pictures... But unfortunately, we are all too familiar with the damage dogs can do to a precious life. We've seen it before, too many times... and I truly do not feel it was appropriate or necessary to publish these.

    My heart goes out to Steve, Twila and the sole surviving horse. No one should ever have to witness or become a victim as a result of someone else’s neglect.

  • Calle posted at 9:23 am on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    Calle Posts: 64

    Just a quick thought....why is it ok to own these dogs but you can go to jail if you have a 4th of July sparkler?

  • cat posted at 8:45 am on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    cat Posts: 10

    The dogs should have been shot on the spot. It is clear that the owners of the dogs were not taking care of them properly for them to be that vicious. They should lose the right to have animals or kids!

  • Shirley posted at 8:00 am on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    Shirley Posts: 24

    I have much sympathy for the family and loss of their horse. Both dogs should be surrendered to Animal Services. That is a situation where I definitely would have grabbed my gun to protect my animal, on my property!

  • Monchen posted at 7:46 am on Tue, Jun 19, 2012.

    Monchen Posts: 2

    What if the horse had been an elderly person or a child? Both dogs should have immediately been confiscated and euthanized !! And the "owner" slapped with a huge fine!

  • WilliamYancey posted at 9:08 pm on Mon, Jun 18, 2012.

    WilliamYancey Posts: 390

    Poor thing. I won't condemn pit bulls as a breed. I've met plenty there were sweet, gentle animals. But, these two clearly are dangerous animals. The horse's owners would have been well justified in shooting the animals, and it's outrageous that the dogs weren't immediately taken in and put down. They're irredeemable.

  • storyteller20 posted at 9:03 pm on Mon, Jun 18, 2012.

    storyteller20 Posts: 2

    I think that the dog should be euthanized. Even though that sounds cruel, the horse was just minding its own business when the owners pit bulls got loose probaly because the owners fencing was to low so the dog jumped out or the owners had bad housing for the pets. Not all pit bulls are mean and cruel. It just depends on how the owner treats the dog(s). But in this case i think it is cruel, unfair result, and sad. Now for no reason the other horse is lonely and 1 of the pit bulls is still out there. Something else should be done with the dogs. I know dogs have feelings too but the owners should of been more careful and kept their dogs closer to their side. A horse shuld never have to go through this and have to die because an owner of a pit bull wasn't watching their dog(s). I feel bad for the owner having to go through this terrible tragidy.

  • phattomato posted at 8:47 pm on Mon, Jun 18, 2012.

    phattomato Posts: 4

    I still cannot yet understand why someone would want to own a pitiful other than to fluff up ones ego!!!!
    There is no good thing that could come from an animal breed to kill!!!!!!!