Four pit bulls went on a rampage after getting loose in California and killed at least five Chihuahuas in a neighbor’s yard before being caught and killed, officials said.
The pit bulls escaped their yard in San Diego and entered the neighbor’s yard, where the attack took place.
The pit bulls were eventually restrained and owner Juan Jimenez handed them over to officials, who had them euthanized.
The pit bulls were males aged 2, 4, and 11 months; and a 6-year-old female named Toast.
Officials disposed of the five dead Chihuahuas and two others were missing as of the last report.
Officers had previously received complaints about the pit bulls, and in 2013 went to the Jimenez household to investigate a report of a pit bull breaking off its chain and attacking a deputy.
Toast and another pit bull were impounded but later returned to Jimenez, reported the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Another complaint in 2013 said two pit bulls were running loose but animal control officers were unable to verify the report so no action was taken, reported City News Services.
Dan DeSousa, Department of Animal Services director, told the Tribune that animal control officers couldn’t charge Jimenez on Saturday due to the current law because they didn’t witness the attacks on the Chihuahuas personally.
However, the owner of the Chihuahuas made a private arrest, so Jimenez was charged with eight counts involving the pit bulls killing the Chihuahuas.
Animal Services Lt. Loren Bunnell told NBC that the owner of the pit bulls was “remorseful” and fully cooperating with authorities.