FRENCH CAMP, CA - A pack of wild dogs terrorizing livestock in and around French Camp have led San Joaquin County sheriff's deputies and animal control officers to launch a major search.
Several witnesses and deputies confirm that the dogs include several pit bulls; one pit bull was already shot and killed.
Early Monday morning, 160 goats were seriously injured and killed at the livestock auction yard in French Camp. The manager said several other residents with goats also lost some of their animals to the dog attacks.
RELATED STORY: 160 goats dead in French Camp after wild dogs attack
Many of those residents stayed up overnight to keep a close eye on their livestock and make sure that the wild dogs would not return to attack again. But early Wednesday morning, the same pack of dogs attacked the goats at a home two miles away from the livestock auction yard. Benjamin Ruvalcaba said wild dogs attacked his 22 goats on Odell Avenue in south Stockton; five of them died from the attack.
Ruvalcaba got a call from the sheriff's department saying that the dogs attacked his animals around 1 a.m. A concerned neighbor, an animal control officer and a sheriff's deputy saw the pack of dogs and identified several of them as pit bulls.
"They said there were about 10 dogs," Ruvalcaba said. "They don't even eat the goats - just kill them and go to next one."
Ruvalcaba is worried the dogs might return so he carefully checked for any holes in his fence to protect his surviving goats.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Department is taking the attacks seriously. Deputies and animal control launched a major search Wednesday for the wild dogs.
"There are approximately six to eight dogs. They're running in a wild pack," San Joaquin County sheriff's Deputy Les Garcia said.
An airplane was called to help in the search. Deputies and animal control officers armed with tranquilizers, traps and guns searched for the dogs by a creek on French Camp and El Dorado roads. The search site is about a mile from the livestock auction yard, the site of Monday's attack.
As deputies and officers were searching, deputies were forced to kill one of the dogs, a pit bull.
"It charged one of the deputies," Garcia said. "The deputy fired and killed the dog."
On Wednesday night, officers planned on keeping a close eye on a trap they set up to catch the dogs. Inside the trap are two live goats; the hope is to catch the dogs before they attack again.
Meanwhile, concerned residents like Joe Mayar, the manager of the livestock auction yard, planned on staying up all night, being vigilant and making sure their animals are safe.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org