â€œWhat we had happen earlier this month was just a horrific event,â€™â€™ said a spokesman for the county Department of Animal Services.
Riverside County animal control officers captured 29 dogs and one sickly cat during a sweep today in the Salton Sea community of North Shore and nearby Mecca.
About a dozen officers were deployed to search for loose dogs in an area where one person was killed and another seriously injured earlier this month by unattended pit bulls. Twenty dogs and the cat were found wandering unattended in North Shore, while nine other canines were picked up at a Mecca mobile home park known for aÂ prevalence of stray animals.
â€œWhat we had happen earlier this month was just a horrific event,â€™â€™ said John C. Welsh, spokesman for the county Department of Animal Services. â€œWe really needed to show that community that we care.â€™â€™
The dogs were taken to the departmentâ€™s shelter facility in Thousand Palms, where they were examined by veterinarians. Those animals not claimed by their owners will be made available for adoption, if theyâ€™re deemed to have sufficiently safe temperaments for placement.
The cat, which was picked up because it was in extremely poor health, was humanely euthanized, Welsh said.
On the morning of Sept. 8, 65-year-old Emilio Rios was found dead in the front yard of his home at 70670 Sea Gull Drive, sheriffâ€™s spokesman Armando Munoz said.
Deputies summoned at 6:17 a.m. on a report of a dog attack heard a woman screaming for help and realized she was also being attacked by the canines, he said. They drove toward the woman with their patrol carâ€™s lights and sirens activated, which caused the dogs to run away.
The woman, who lived in the neighborhood and was not related to Rios, was taken to a local hospital for treatment of major injuries, Munoz said.
Deputies and Riverside County Animal Control officers found the dogs at a local residence. Both dogs were tranquilized and taken to an Animal Services facility, where they were put into quarantine.