Four dogs died after an apparent stabbing attack in Riverside, the animals’ owners and authorities said Monday.
Robert Carter, who owns seven Chihuahua-pug mixes, said five of his dogs were found stabbed in his yard early Sunday morning. Sainty, a female mix, was recovering with a broken rib.
“She’s in bad shape, but she’s hanging in there,” Carter said.
Two other dogs were not attacked.
Two of the stabbed pets had to be euthanized by animal control officers, Carter said.
“Dogs are family. This is like losing my kids,” Carter said.
The attack came after a man walking near Carter’s home exchanged words with Carter — calling him a racial epithet and threatening to return — in a verbal altercation caught on surveillance video last Thursday. Carter described the man as a transient.
The man reached over Carter’s fence and gestured at the dogs with an object, the video showed. Carter yelled and told the man to get out of his yard.
On Sunday, Carter found the dogs after the attack. He believed they were stabbed in the early morning hours, when the dogs were sleeping outside overnight.
“I found the first one in the corner,” Carter said. “He was just lying down like he was sleeping.”
But as Carter got closer he realized the horrible truth.
“He’s got stab wounds and blood all over him,” Carter said.
Authorities confirmed they were investigating after finding the dogs stabbed at the home in 2300 block of Vermont Avenue (map).
The dogs’ owner provided video of an argument between himself and another man, possibly the suspected stabber, Lt. Chad Milby of the Riverside Police Department confirmed. There was no active search for the stabber as of midday Monday, Milby said.
Animal Control Officer Dylan Gates, who responded to the home on Sunday, told Carter two of the dogs were so severely injured that they should be euthanized, according to John Welsh, a spokesman for the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
The four dogs were taken to the Western Riverside County/City Animal Shelter in Jurupa Valley, Welsh said.
A veterinarian will perform necropsies on the dogs, as is standard in animal cruelty investigations, according to Welsh.
KTLA’s Sara Welch and Jennifer Thang contributed to this report.