Dogs attack, kill show pigs

September 17th, 2009 by

PLANT CITY - A Plant City girl found her prized pigs that she was getting ready to show at the fair dead, attacked by dogs.

The show hogs were attacked in eastern Hillsborough county in Plant City.

For the last year, 9-year-old Jessica Edwards has been raising her prize-winning pigs, “Holly” and “Molly.”

She was getting ready to show both of them at the Hillsborough County fair.

When she went to feed them Saturday, the fourth grader found her pigs slaughtered in their pen.

“They were defenseless. You could just see they had run and run and basically, it was just blood everywhere,” said her mother, Marylynn Edwards.

She and her mother say three neighborhood dogs viciously attacked the pigs before lunging at them. Edwards said she grabbed a piece of rebar to defend herself and her daughter.

“I grabbed it and swung at the black one, and the two of them ran off,” she said.

“It was horrific,” said Jessica’s father, Chad Edwards. “One was up on her back. Blood completely filled the pen. And the other one was yanked halfway through the cage with her ear chewed off and its leg chewed off.”

Chad Edwards said he ran out and shot the third dog.

But their pigs weren’t the only ones dead. A neighbor’s cat and two show pigs were also killed.

“These dogs come on our property. Dig under the pens to get in and kill them. Literally tortured these animals to death,” says the Edwards’ neighbor, Susan Fernandez.

Her cat was gutted. So were her son’s show pigs — Firecracker and Dynamite.

“I really cared for them. I cared for both of them,” said 15-year-old Nicholas Fernandez.

Hillsborough County Animal Control seized four dogs from their neighbor’s home.

“They never leave the yard. Like the black one, we have no doubt that it left the yard. But the white one, she never leaves the yard. We’re pretty surprised at the whole situation,” said Ashley Sauls, dogs’ owner.

Ashley and Derrick Sauls say they paid several hundred dollars in fines, and were allowed to take one of the dogs back home, a lab-cur mix named Georgia.

“She never leaves the house. The other dogs, they’ve run off before. They run off in the woods and stuff, but she never leaves,” Derrick Sauls said.

Animal control says the dog showed no aggression toward them. But the Edwards say they’ve seen it for themselves.

“To see these dogs running loose and not in cages or on leashes, anything, it’s concerning. They could come back again,” said Chad Edwards.

That concern and fear are hitting their 9-year-old daughter hard, the Edwards say.

“She has nightmares now. She’s like, ‘Mommy can we pray I won’t have any nightmares tonight’ before we go to bed,” Marylynn Edwards said.

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