The Modesto Police Department Animal Control Unit is investigating a rash of cats mauled by loose dogs in the La Loma neighborhood.
Animal control officer John Bear confirmed that six cats have been killed by dogs in the past two weeks, but neighborhood residents say the actual number is at least double that.
“I have a lot of people who are contacting me now but didn’t call when the incident took place, so there is not a lot I can do several weeks later,” Bear said.
The first attack was reported by Lindsey Hodge on Sept. 10 on North Santa Ana Avenue.
Hodge wasn’t home when it happened, but neighbors told her one of the dogs was a shepherd mix that appeared to have recently given birth and the other was a brindle pit bull mix. One of them was wearing a collar, so it appeared they were not strays.
“It’s very unfortunate that people don’t take care of their animals and let them roam like that,” Hodge said. “I have a 3-year-old. He likes to ride his tricycle, but we can’t do that. We are not going on any walks because of the dogs.”
A different pair of dogs attacked and killed Shelly Woods’ 13-year-old cat, Cali, on Monday. “She had just come inside to eat and I saw her go out the cat door, and 15 minutes later … ,” Woods’ voice trailed off.
Her own dogs had started barking wildly in the backyard, so Woods went to the front yard of her El Rio Avenue home to investigate. She found Cali lifeless on the ground.
“It was just devastating to see that,” Woods said. “I lost it.”
Security cameras in her front yard caught images of the dogs after the attack.
Both appeared to be pit bulls; each was wearing a collar. One was tan with a white spot on its chest, and the other was white with big black spots. “Kind of like Snoopy,” Woods said.
While Bear was talking to Woods and getting video of the dogs Thursday, he was dispatched to another fatal attack on Edgebrook Drive.
The La Loma neighborhood “is not the kind of place that we generally get a lot of stray-animal calls, so this has been a spike for that particular neighborhood,” Bear said.
He’s getting many different descriptions of dogs responsible for the attacks but can confirm the description only of the two caught on camera.
Anyone who has information about the dogs or their owners – or who sees the dogs – is asked to call Modesto Police Department’s nonemergency number at (209) 552-2470 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.