A full grown horse was attacked and mauled to death by two pit bulls in San Marcos over the holiday weekend, a San Marcos family confirmed to NBC 7 San Diego.
The attack happened Saturday around 9 p.m. off Woodland Parkway when Bri Valdivia, a resident and horse owner, heard an unfamiliar bark outside her family's home on Fulton Road.
As Valdivia approached the noise, she realized there were two pit bulls attacking the family's horse, Smokey. The dogs had somehow wiggled into the family's yard.
When the dogs growled at her, she ran back to the home and came back with her grandfather, who was armed with a bat and flashlight.
The family scared off the dogs.
Valdivia said she could see what appeared to be a trail of blood leading from her house to a nearby park.
As they rushed to call a vet to come to the home, however, the dogs returned and tried to continue the attack. Her grandfather scared off the dogs.
The two pit bulls were on the loose overnight, but officials told the family the dogs were found Monday morning. They were released to their owners, who were cooperating to give up the dogs. However, when Humane Society officials came to get the dogs, they discovered the animals had escaped again.
At this time, the two dogs remain on the loose. San Diego Humane Society's Kelli Schry said officers are searching for the dogs. Once they are found, a medical team will see if the dogs are a match to the ones who attacked the horse.
"Public safety is the ultimate priority right now," Schry said.
Anyone with information on the dogs is asked to call San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement division at (619) 243-3466.
Meanwhile, Animal Control officials removed the horse's body Monday.
Neighbors have been stopping by the home as the family grieves, putting up balloons and setting up a vigil at the home.
No other information was immediately available.