Dogs

Home surveillance footage shows two dogs mauling two miniature horses to death at a residence in Valley Springs on Oct. 14. The dogs were tracked to Stockton and impounded, but were later released. 

Two dogs suspected of mauling two miniature horses in Valley Springs on Oct. 14 have been released into the care of their owner and returned to Stockton last week.

Calaveras County Animal Services Manager Evan Jacobs confirmed on Oct. 30 that the two dogs were found to be microchipped and returned to their owner after insufficient evidence was found by the department to link the animals to other reported attacks in the county.

“This is the first documented incident regarding either of these dogs and does not meet the legal standard for Animal Services to file a ‘potentially dangerous dog’ petition under state law,” Jacobs wrote in an emailed response to the Enterprise. “Animal Services is aware of what has been posted on social media regarding the other attacks, but our investigation has found that these reports are either inaccurate or cannot be substantiated.”

Earlier this month, following a swarm of social media outrage and widespread news coverage, the reported owner of the two dogs, Raymond Carringer, was tracked by an animal control officer to Stockton and arrested for an unrelated probation violation.

The two dogs were impounded and transported to the Animal Services shelter in Calaveras County, but were later released to a different owner, according to Jacobs. He did not share the identity of that owner.

The San Joaquin County Jail and Stockton Jail confirmed on Oct. 30 that Carringer is not currently in custody at either facility.

Marilyn Denney, the owner of the two horses, Silver and Izzy, believes the same dogs could have killed as many as 10 domestic animals in the area.

“This is extremely frustrating that the county is doing absolutely nothing and sweeping this under the rug,” Denney told the Enterprise after learning of the dogs’ release. “I have two hours (of footage) of those two dogs mauling my horses. I don’t know what more evidence they want. ... Next time, it might be a child or an elderly person.”

Denney said she showed the department surveillance footage of the gruesome attack, reportedly showing a pair of pit bull-type dogs “torturing” the two horses for hours before leaving the scene at the 2600 block of Holmquist Lane.

She also showed them photos of her two dead horses. Silver was killed with a bite to the jugular, and Izzy was euthanized due to her injuries, Denney said.

Beyond the heartbreak of losing her “babies,” Denney said she spent nearly $1,000 on euthanasia and the removal of the bodies.

“They take care of those dogs, have them fixed up and released back. It’s kind of a slap in the face to me,” Denney said.

Additionally, the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office declined to respond to the scene and make a report after the incident, according to Denney.

Now, with the release of the dogs, the longtime Calaveras County resident does not know what to do next.

“I can’t have pets anymore because these dogs are going to be back. Do we have to move now?” Denney said. “I can’t have that joy anymore. I can’t have any more animals because of these dogs.”

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Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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