Just after midnight on Sunday, Sept. 16, Manuel Guzman heard a commotion outside his home on Cherokee Oaks Drive in Three Rivers. When he grabbed his flashlight and went out his door he saw the aftermath of what turned out to be a fatal attack on his five-year-old German shepherd companion, Bogey.
After Guzman was able to chase off a large black dog of an unidentified breed, an unidientified dog, and a third dog that he identified as a pit bull, Guzman took his immobilized and badly injured dog to the on-call veterinarian at a 24-hour emergency animal hospital in Visalia. After several emergency surgeries to close some serious bite wounds, Bogey remained paralyzed.
Several veterinarians examined Bogey, but Guzman knew the inevitable was coming. There would be too much pain and suffering so he made the difficult decision to euthanize his injured dog.
“There was so much invested in that dog, all the love, the time and training to ensure that Bogey would be good-natured with whomever he met — dogs and people,” Guzman said. “He was just growing into himself. Now that he is gone, I feel I owe it to the community to make sure something like this doesn’t happen to someone else.”
For the next several days, Guzman knocked on doors and talked with his neighbors. Eventually, he found a trail that led to an owner who lives on Ferndale (in the Cherokee Oaks neighborhood, a few blocks away from Guzman) who had dogs matching the description of the three suspects. Reportedly, these dogs had killed some chickens previously, but Guzman did not hear reports that the perpetrators were attacking other dogs or people.
“Those dogs have a taste for blood now so the owner must be held responsible,” Guzman said. “On Thursday [Sept. 20], animal control officers are coming to Three Rivers to investigate.”
Routinely in these mauling cases, the owner will be asked to surrender the dogs to be placed in quarantine. In 30 days, a decision is made.
In rare cases, the owner is allowed to keep the dogs. But most often, the quarantined dogs are euthanized.