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Chihuahua dies in Ocean Beach dog park attack

Posted: 7:26 AM, Jul 06, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-06 18:17:48-04
SAN DIEGO -- A larger dog attacked and killed a small four-pound Chihuahua at the Ocean Beach Dog Beach Friday, making this the third deadly small dog killed there in the past year.
 
Mary Kelsey of Los Angeles rescued Cali Rue two years ago from an abusive breeder.
 
“She wouldn’t walk for the first couple of months, actually. I would carry her in a pouch,” Kelsey said.
 
On Friday, Kelsey met her family in San Diego for vacation. She was walking with Cali and her other small dog just before noon on Dog Beach.
 
“[Cali] was just walking beside me and then out of nowhere came a very large pit bull and grabbed onto her,” Kelsey said.
 
Screaming, Kelsey tried to pry the pit bull’s jaws off Cali, herself getting bitten in the process. She said the pit bull’s owner, a woman, was nearby and tried to tell her dog to stop the attack. 
 
Cali suffered massive internal injuries, and was paralyzed from the neck down. Kelsey had to put Cali to sleep. Kelsey said the pit bull’s owner gave her a bad phone number and address. 
 
Kelsey wants change at Dog Beach. She wants large signs that warn dog owners that small dogs have been attacked and killed here. She also wants separate areas for small and large dogs.
 
“I would like signage. I would like, small area like there are at dog parks, it’s a dog beach, it’s a dog park.”
 
In March, a Chihuahua named Baby was attacked and killed by two large dogs, possibly pit bulls. In August 2015, a Maltese names Aria was attacked and killed by a large dog, possibly a Labrador. 
 
In all three cases, the owners of the attacking dogs fled the scene or gave false information to the victims. 
 
When 10News contacted San Diego City Councilor Lorie Zapf, a spokeswoman said Dog Beach is under the enforcement of San Diego County of Animal Services. 
 
Animal Services Deputy Director Dan DeSousa has told 10News in the past that the agency can only take action in a dog-on-dog attack if an officer witnesses it.
 
On Wednesday, DeSousa said:

"By State Law, our animal control officers cannot arrest a person or issue a citation for a misdemeanor offense (which one dog attacking and killing another would be), without witnessing the violation. A victim or witness can request a 'private persons arrest' where we would take their statement and that of the violator and submit the case to the City Attorney's Office for review.

As dog beach is in the City of San Diego, it would be the City's responsibility to install any cameras, signage, or fencing."