Bri Valdivia said she heard unfamiliar barking outside her family’s home about 9 p.m. and decided to check on the noisy but unknown dog. She thought the dog might have been hurt or perhaps hungry, so she brought out Thanksgiving leftovers.
As she neared the noise, Valdivia said she was stunned to realize that the sound was two pit bulls attacking Smokey, the family’s horse.
After an evening of rain, it was too muddy for the horse to squirm away from the dogs, who had somehow gotten into the yard of the family’s Fulton Road home, just east of Woodland Parkway.
The two pit bulls looked at her and growled. “My instinct was to get away. I backed up and then I ran,” said the 26-year-old.
Valdivia said she quickly returned with her grandfather, armed with a bat and a flashlight, and they scared off the dogs. But while they were arranging for a vet to come to the home, the dogs returned and tried to continue the attack, she said. Her grandfather scared them off.
They called 911, but the dogs were not found. Validivia said she found a trail of blood stretching from their home to nearby Woodland Park, a popular site for families.
“We just want the dogs found,” Valdivia said. “We don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”
The dogs had attacked Smokey on his backside, tearing out arteries and tendons in his legs and bringing him to the ground. Valdivia said she could see steam rise from his wounds on the cold night.
She said Smokey was a gentle horse. Neighborhood kids knew him, and people from the nearby community garden liked to feed him. Smokey was a bit of an unusual sight. Not many horses live in the suburban neighborhood that popped up around his owner’s home.
“He was in his corral, minding his own business,” Valdivia said. “He didn’t stand a chance.”
Valdivia posted the following on her Facebook:
Spent the last 40 minutes washing my horse, Smokey's, blood and mud off myself. Spent the hour before that desperately trying to save his life, combating the rain and what little time he was given.
We had to put him down due to severe injuries caused by two pit bulls. One brown and spotted, the larger of the two. The other dog, white and black. A blood trail leading from my house, through Woodland park was found and a city worker saw the dogs headed towards the fire station on Woodland Parkway.
Please let me know if anyone has any information about these dogs.
Currently, I'm still in shock. Saw the most horrific things tonight that won't ever be forgotten and the fact that my horse had to suffer greatly because of an irresponsible dog owner, while he was doing nothing but minding his business in his corral has me full of rage and certain feelings I've never felt before.
Smokey was an amazing horse and friend to me. Had him for 15 years. I don't really know what else to say other then no one should have to go the way he did and the owners of the dogs who did this, owe me and my grandpa our family member back. Love you, Smokey. I'm so so sorry.
(The San Diego Union-Tribune - Nov 27, 2016)