Dogs mauled to death in Prescott Valley backyard

Prescott Valley police continue to search for three dogs that mauled to death two small dogs inside their fenced backyard in the 8000 block of Manley Drive on Monday, April 18.

Police are looking for a white pit bull with black spots, a solid brown pit bull, and a dark colored pit bull mix, said Sgt. Brandon Bonney, spokesman for the Prescott Valley Police Department.

People in the neighborhood told officers that the three dogs had been seen being aggressive toward residents, running a fence nearby and heading toward the home, yet no one called to report the dogs to police or animal control, Bonney said.

"These dogs had collars and tags, and we're searching for them, but we could use the public's help," Bonney said.

Bonney said investigators hope someone who recognizes the dogs will call police.

The man whose dogs were mauled to death told officers he had left the two small dogs in their fenced backyard when he left the home to go to a meeting, Bonney said.

"Investigators believe the three dogs pushed in a closed gate, attacked the dogs in the yard and then fled," Bonney said.

The owner, who was deeply upset about what he found when he returned home, told police that the two small dogs who died had belonged to his mother, who recently passed away, Bonney said.

"It's sickening and heartbreaking what happened," Bonney said.

In 2009 to 2010, animal control received 2,100 calls for dogs at large and 108 calls for dog bites, Bonney said.

"It's a huge issue," said Bonney, who urged people to keep their dogs secure inside their home to protect them and neighbors as well. "When dogs get out, they get a pack mentality, and they'll hunt people and other dogs."

Bonney also urged anyone who sees a dog acting in an aggressive manner to call police or animal control so that the issue can be documented and dealt with.