Natalie Lilley hurt her back when two Pit Bulls attacked her horse. R.O., and tried to grab her stirrup while she and her daughter were on an equestrian ride Friday morning in the Santa Clara River bed, reports the Santa Clarita Valley Signal.
Lilley, of Saugus, was riding with her 12-year-old daughter through a wash near Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country about 8:30 a.m. when an unidentified woman “lost control” of her two dogs and they charged toward the two horses and riders..
Lilley said she was just trying to keep the dogs way from R.O., she told the Signal. “I was hanging on for dear life.”
“I turned the horse to see the dogs coming when I realized these dogs were in attack mode,” she told KHTS AM News. “I screamed for my daughter to take off in the opposite direction. The dogs then took off after her, I ran interference and the dogs then came after me and my horse.”
These dogs were extremely vicious, Lilley told the Signal. She decided to jump up off the horse and let him run free.
R.O., suffered deep bite wounds to his legs and the Pit Bulls took out a chunk. of flesh on his stomach before Natalie Lilley could get him to run away without her, with the dogs in pursuit.
The terrified animal lost two shoes and pieces of his front hooves as he ran and is being treated by a veterinarian, Lilley said.
Now Natalie Lilley worries that the dogs may still be in the area and could attack a child, she told the Signal.. “If they looked at my horse like something they could attack, what about a child on a bicycle? What happens when they take a human life?”
Lilley called 9-1-1 and reported the incident and that she did not know where her daughter and her horse might be.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies responded and soon found the girl. Neither her daughter nor her horse were injured.
Deputies believe the owner of the Pit Bulls may be a transient living in the wash. The dog owner quickly left before they arrived.
Lilley filed a report with L.A. County Animal Care and Control, along with a description of the Pit Bulls and photos she took of R.O’s wounds.
She said she also called the Mayor’s office to alert city officials of the severity of the incident and because she fears that someone else may become a victim.
“It’s one thing when a horse is attacked,” Lilley told the Santa Clarita Signal, “A horse can be replaced, but you can’t replace a little kid.”