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Search for dogs that killed beloved horse in San Marcos

Posted at 12:20 PM, Nov 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-28 21:51:57-05

SAN MARCOS, Calif. - A San Marcos family is heartbroken after they say their beloved horse was attacked by two dogs.

According to family members, two pit bulls mauled Smokey on Saturday night in a side-yard corral.

Michelle Barclay said the horse belonged to her father, who tried to fight off the dogs with a shovel. He went back for a gun, but the dogs ran away.

Smokey was so badly hurt that the family had to put him down.

Barclay said her father and Smokey had been together for more than 20 years. She told 10News her dad and Smokey were also part of a couple of Hollywood movies -- Back to the Future III and Rocky III.

"He was just devastated to see him go like that," she said. "The horse suffered and it was just really traumatic for all of us."

Barclay said they have had trouble with the same dogs before.

10News learned two dogs were found wandering in the area (see second photo in gallery) and taken in by a resident who was concerned about them, as both were bloody and one was believed to be injured.

The person turned the dogs over to San Diego County Animal Services. Officials believe the pair may be the two dogs involved in the attack on the horse.

The dogs were returned to the owner, who told Humane Society officials that they had gotten loose again.

Officers began patrolling the streets, searching and warning the administration at nearby Woodland Park Middle School to be alert.

One neighbor told 10News, "It's horrifying to me; I'm more afraid of the owners than the pit bulls. No matter what I do to keep him protected, if someone else isn't being a responsible pet owner then it doesn't matter what I do."

Barclay added, "If they can kill a horse, they can certainly kill a person and if it comes to human life versus dog's life, then I think they need to be put down."