Stray pit bulls kill California couple’s miniature horses

CALAVERAS COUNTY, Calif (KOVR/CNN) - Robert Hughes couldn’t believe what he saw in his backyard this week.

A California couple says two stray dogs attacked and killed their miniature horses. (Source: KOVR/CNN)

"And 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, not aggressive. They were done. They were licking themselves," Hughes recalled.

By the time he came back with his shoes, the pit bulls had taken off.

Hughes called his girlfriend, Marilyn Denney, at work to break the news, then called the veterinarian.

"This is devastating for both of us," Denney stressed.

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

It went on for two hours early Monday.

"You can see Izzy try to get up and the dogs keep on biting at her,” Denney said. “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."

Hughes and Denney have no children, but the horses served as their kids. They got them from a rescue organization six months ago.

"They sit outside that door and they talk to you when they heard you in the kitchen," Denney remembered.

The couple said the horses were starting to come out of their shell and were gaining weight, but the attack happened.

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

The couple said the pit bulls had collars, but they don't know where the dogs came from. There have been more and more reports about animals being killed by stray dogs in the area.

"They frighten your neighbors. They get together in a pack mentality. You need to learn how animals behave," Hughes said.

The couple is now deciding if they should get more horses.

Calaveras County Animal Services is investigating the case.

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