A Chihuahua died Sunday afternoon in the jaws of two pit bulls after they entered its south Richmond home and approached its owner's newborn child, police say."The pit bulls apparently entered the residence through an open front door and approached a 22-day-old infant, whom the mom had been feeding," said Dan Barrett, deputy director of the Contra Costa Animal Services department. "The family has a Chihuahua that confronted them. Of course, they focused their attention on the small dog."
The larger animals seized the Chihuahua in their jaws and carried it out of the house, on the 300 block of South 7th Street. Authorities later found it dead nearby.
Richmond police officers responding to several 911 calls about the attack beginning at 4:35 p.m., and tracked the pit bulls to a home on the 300 block of South 4th Street, Sgt. Bisa French said. No people were hurt.
The owner did not surrender the dogs for euthanization, meaning Animal Services will conduct an investigation and may hold a hearing in a future to decide what to do with them.
County ordinance allows owners of animals accused of violent behavior an administrative hearing before the agency imposes fines, monitoring requirement or euthanization.
The family of the Chihuahua could not be reached for comment.
Update June 28, 2010 11:48pm - The following article is by Alan Wang, KGO-TV:
Chihuahua dies protecting family against pit bulls
A Richmond mother does not want to think about what could have happened if her pet Chihuahua didn't stand up to protect the family. Luckily her little Chihuahua was there when two pit bulls stormed the family's home.
ABC7 first learned about this amazing story from our media partners at the Bay Area News Group.
Of course pit bulls are capable of attacking small children and small animals. In this case, the pit bulls had their choice of a 4-year-old boy, a 22-day-old baby, and a Chihuahua.
It was a frightening moment when two pit bulls burst into Mayda Estrella's one-bedroom apartment, Sunday afternoon in Richmond.
"We [were] having a barbeque out here outside," says Estrella.
Estrella says she had the door open and when the dogs rushed in. She ran into the bedroom with her 22-day-old son, grabbed the remote control and wacked one pit bull over the head.
Her 4-year-old son, Brian, jumped on his bed and as the other pit bull moved toward him, the family's Chihuahua -- named Manchas -- jumped in between the boy and the pit bull.
"And the dog just looked at Brian and just [took] the dog..." says Estrella.
Animal control officers found Manchas dead, nearby. The pit bulls ran back to their home where the owner, who did not want to speak on camera, tells ABC7 they escaped by chewing a hole through their wood fence while he was away.
"Those dogs were followed to the residence," said Dan Barrett from Contra the Costa County Animal Control.
Animal Control says the dogs, named Jade and Beast, are now subject to the dangerous animal ordinance. The owner says he's not going to appeal, which means the fate of the dogs is now in the hands of animal control.
When asked if the pit bulls needed to be euthanized because of what they did, Barrett says, "That would be my recommendation."
Estrella says it all happened within 10 seconds, but looking back, she believes Manchas may have saved her son's life.
The owner of the pit bulls is not facing any criminal charges, but under the dangerous animal ordinance, he could be restricted from owning pit bulls in the future.