San Diego

Two Pit Bulls Accused of Attacking, Mauling Family Horse Still Not Located

Two pit bulls who the San Diego Humane Society says are responsible for mauling a family horse to death have still have not been located, days after the attack.

The attack happened Saturday around 9 p.m. off Woodland Parkway when the family heard an unfamiliar bark outside their family's home on Fulton Road in San Marcos. 

Bill Barclay said he heard dogs in his backyard and ran out right away, where he saw them attacking his beloved horse, Smokey. 

He attempted to beat the dogs off with a shovel, but they continued to attack.

When Barclay went to get a gun, the dogs took off. By then, Smokey was gravely injured.

His daughter, Michelle Barclay, says her father was very close to Smokey.

“It was really traumatic for him to see him like that,” she said. Smokey’s injuries were so grave he had to be put down following the attack. 

Flowers, balloons and some of Smokey’s favorite treats rest outside the corral that the beloved horse occupied for nearly 15 years. Now, neighbors are coming by on Fulton Road share their grief.

Smokey was a familiar sight around San Marcos. Bill would ride him around the neighborhood and he would often be spotted pulling a buggy through the streets.  

“People would come to visit Smokey bring him apples and carrots so he was quite popular in the neighborhood,” Michelle said.

Additionally, Bill Barclay was an extra in several movies, including Back to the Future 3, where Smokey played a role as well. 

As the family grieved the loss of their beloved horse, they learned the two dogs responsible - who initially escaped - were picked up by a woman who lived nearby. The dogs were bloody and appeared injured, the family said. 

The family contacted Escondido Humane Society officials, who picked up the dogs and took them to a nearby emergency vet hospital, where the micro-chipped pit bulls were tracked to their owner.

The owner arrived and took them home. The owner was cooperating with officials, but since they went home with the woman, there has been no sighting of the dogs. 

The San Diego Human Society’s Chief of Humane Law Enforcement, Steve MacKinnon, explained what happened. 

“After being picked up from the hospital, due to some errors at the home, the dogs were allowed to escape once more,” he said, adding that it was the owner's responsibility to make sure the dogs were contained. 

Michelle Barclay says she can’t believe the dogs could be loose once again.

“I've never heard in all my life dogs who attacked a horse and killed it," she said. "And the community is very concerned, there are a lot of people out here, around here, to walk their dogs and obviously there's children with a school right behind us.”

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. 

Anyone with information on the dogs is asked to call San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement division at (619) 243-3466.

Escondido Humane Society
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