Woman Bit, Small Dog Killed in Carlsbad

Owner: "It took it, shook it, tore it open and ripped it apart"

A Palm Springs woman was bit and her small dog was viciously killed by a large, mixed-breed dog Wednesday afternoon on a Carlsbad boardwalk, the victim's husband said.

The dog's handler, believed to be in his early 20s, idly watched the leashed dog bite Rene Hillman, 55, above the right wrist and kill her dog before fleeing from a park north of Carlsbad Village Drive after 12:30 p.m., Bill Hillman said.

Hillman says he saw the attack while walking to purchase food. He ran to assist his wife and their white, six-pound Pomeranian, kicking the attacking dog twice in the head before it finally released, he said.

"It took it, shook it, tore it open and ripped it apart," Bill Hillman said. "The owner did nothing but hold his skateboard as his dog mauled my dog after mauling my wife. Then he ran away, and that's what made me the most upset ... It's just really sad. I can't believe a human being would do that. It's just very, very sad."

Hillman believes the dog weighed 110 to 120 pounds and was a Golden retriever-Labrador mix; Animal Services later described it as a German Shepherd/Labrador Retriever mix. Witnesses told Hillman the dog's barefooted owner was a local, he said.

The Hillman family lives in Palm Springs where they run Cool Dawg Store, a dog apparel company. Their dog, named Ewok, appears on the cover of the couple's company website.

Hillman said they were in town delivering merchandise to a San Diego County Fair vendor and stopped in Carlsbad to have a picnic with fish and chips.

Bill Hillman said Rene didn't see the dog charging until it was too late, but the couple's Pomeranian hid behind her legs in the final moments before the attack.

Rene Hillman may need rabies vaccinations if the man and dog are not located, he said, adding she  sustained six puncture wounds and was knocked down during the attack.

Bill Hillman said he hopes the man and dog are found.

"I don't want my wife to go through rabies shots or for this to happen to another person or another dog," he said.

Wednesday's attack was the latest in a series of incidents around the county.

On Tuesday, a 1 1/2-year-old pit bull bit his owner's 40-year-old friend in Mountain View. The victim's father said his son was scheduled to have surgery Tuesday night after the dog bit "chunks" from his right arm.

On Friday, a dog attacked a 1-year-old in Chula Vista. The baby was taken to the hospital and animal services euthanized the dog, which a family member said was a pit bull. The pit bull was one of five dogs that lived in the house with the baby. A family member said the dog was “stupid and aggressive."

Earlier that day, a woman walking her dog in Grant Hill was attacked by a pit bull and a boxer. The woman’s dog was injured in the attack, and the boxer and pit bull were impounded by animal services and placed into quarantine.

A much more serious incident occurred on June 18, when Emako Mendoza was attacked at her home in the 5800 block of Alleghany in Paradise Hills around 6:30 a.m. when she went outside to get a newspaper. Mendoza's husband said the 75-year-old woman lost a leg and was in danger of losing an arm as a result of the attack by two pit bulls in her backyard.

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