Judge rules both dogs vicious in horse mauling
The second dog connected to a fatal mauling of a horse has been declared vicious and will be surrendered to a rescue group.
If a suitable rescue cannot be found within 15 days, the female pit bull named Mackenzie will be euthanized.
Mackenzie was one of two dogs implicated in the attack on a quarter horse earlier this month. She was described as an onlooker to the obvious aggressor, a male pit bull named Pano.
Judge Yolanda Torok officially ruled Pano vicious after a hearing in Yuma Justice Court on Tuesday and ordered him destroyed. She issued her ruling on his companion on Wednesday.
The horse's owner, Farrell Balentine, confirmed the outcome. She was pleased with the decision.
“I'm glad the dogs will no longer be able to be loose in the community,” she said.
The horse, named Spud, was in his stall on Nov. 5 when Mackenzie and Pano escaped from their neighboring home in the Foothills and squeezed into his pen. Pano was caught gnawing on the felled horse, with Mackenzie standing close-by. Spud suffered numerous serious injuries and a veterinarian concluded that it was more humane to euthanize him than to treat him. Spud, who was about 29 years old, was used in the area 4-H program.
Mackenzie and Pano were impounded a few days after Spud's death and kept at the Humane Society of Yuma pending the hearing to legally declare them vicious, or not. The owners' defense attorney did not fight Pano's viciousness, but did try to spare Mackenzie on the grounds that there was no evidence she did anything more than accompany Pano.
The state argued that Mackenzie wasn't as vicious as Pano but still vicious, and asked that she be sent to a rescue if possible — but if one could not be found promptly, that she also be put down.
One of the owners is still facing a charge of violating a state law that makes a dog owner liable for its dog chasing, hurting or killing livestock.