Cat owners in Santa Rosa are demanding answers after their pets were killed by wandering canines.
Dale, a gray and white short-haired male cat, with green eyes, was killed Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, by two roaming dogs. Dale’s owners say the dogs came onto their property near Santa Rosa's Proctor Terrace neighborhood and attacked the cat. (Matt Malik and J. Mullineaux)
Two families are sad when two free-roaming dogs allegedly killed their cats on their own property in central Santa Rosa on Friday.
After the dogs pushed through the couple's gate and attacked their cat at 5 p.m., Matt Malik and J. Mullineaux said they and a neighbor kicked and struck the two dogs, described as pit bull-mixes.
They claimed they tried to save Dale, a young man with gray and white short hair and green eyes, but the dogs would not let him go.
After trying to fight the dogs, we're really beaten up, Mullineaux added. The severity of the attack is something I can't get out of my head.
Later, Malik said, They were lightning fast.
The pair said they were distraught by the attack and had been crying and not eating since it happened on Saturday night.
The dogs were loose in the neighborhood for almost two hours on Friday, according to the pet owners.
According to Alan Butler, a 26-year homeowner with his wife, Margaret, in the Grace Drive tract in the neighborhood Proctor Terrace, they first attacked Bel, a male orange and white short-haired domestic cat, chasing him from the driveway through the breezeway and into the backyard.
Butler stated, It was quite horrific, and we were pretty helpless to stop them.We were in my wife's painting studio, and we were afraid to intervene because of the injuries we'd heard about pit bulls causing. Butler stated, We witnessed them kill our cat and then play with it.They basically ripped him apart.
He said he hurried out after the dogs left to warn people on Grace Drive who were out walking their pets, including his next-door neighbor, a woman in her 90s, who was walking her teeny, tiny puppy, he said.
But obviously he was too big for them, Butler said of the dogs chasing a donkey within a fence.
According to the residents, the dogs then continued to explore the neighborhood before attacking Dale. Butler claimed that neighbors had already contacted Sonoma County Animal Services, and that an officer was on his way from Sonoma.
Dale was brought to a veterinary hospital, according to his owners. The cat was still holding on, but Mullineaux said he barely lasted a minute at the hospital.
According to Malik, a local resident was able to grab the dogs in another neighbor's backyard and give them to Animal Services officer Andy O'Brien when he arrived.
Bel, a 13-year-old cat, was one of a pair of kittens reared by the Butlers' son, Elliot. Butler explained that the two were named after the band Belle and Sebastian. Elliot continues to live in Santa Rosa and makes frequent visits.
Dale had been with Malik and Mullineaux for 15 years, and when they relocated to Santa Rosa and into a 1951 vintage house that they rebuilt, they brought him with them.
Malik stated, He was such a wonderful cat. People would gather in the hopes of seeing Dale. Just a friendly, sweet feline. They don't want to come back in once they've been outside. We were able to get him in during the nights, at least. All of this occurred just as we were about to check him in for the night. It was simply a terrible catastrophe.
The dogs' owner's name was not immediately known, and O'Brien did not respond to a phone call or an email sent on Saturday evening.
According to Butler, O'Brien told the cat owners that they could file a paperwork calling the dogs dangerous animals, which would require them to be kept inside and muzzled when walking on a leash.
Malik stated that several other residents in the neighborhood assisted in the search for the dogs and stopped over to express their sympathies.
Without our neighbors, we wouldn't have been able to get through this, he said.
If the dogs were allowed to stay in the neighborhood, both families expressed concern.
Malik and Mullineaux have already filled out a dangerous animal form and plan to speak with their insurance agent about filing a claim for the damage to their home caused by the attack, blaming the dogs' owner.
We want to make sure this never happens again, Malik said.