A 47-year-old woman identified as Yvette Picconi, was riding her horse, Mecca, on Foothill Blvd. and Walnut Avenue, near the San Dimas Equestrian Center about 9 a.m. on February 23, when two Pit Bulls suddenly attacked the horse. Officials report that the Pit Bulls escaped from a home or possibly a Pit Bull rescue in the area, reports NBC4 News.
One of the dogs grabbed the horse’s leg and caused it to fall to the ground. The rider managed to get clear of the horse as it fell, and she was not seriously injured, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Berg.
“She's distraught, horribly distraught,” Shelley Kresan, a friend of the rider told NBC News. “After the first bite, the horse tried to run off. And the horse collapsed with my friend still on the back of the horse ...”
"The dog was latched onto the horse and wouldn't let go," Lt. Berg said. "A third party, an uninvolved person, used a small-caliber rifle and shot one of the dogs dead."
The local resident who fired several shots from a .22-caliber rifle was identified as John Eichler, 24, of San Dimas, the relative of a neighbor who saw the attack and was trying to get the dogs away from the horse by using a flashlight. He was calling for someone to help when the Pit Bull latched onto the horse and locked down on its leg, according to NBC4 News.
“They had to shoot him several times to get him to stop,” said Lt. David Vega of the LA County Sheriff’s Department, adding that no arrests were made.
The horse, Mecca, sustained a 10-inch gash in its leg and was immediately taken to a veterinarian, Lt. Berg said. It was not believed that it would be necessary to euthanize the horse.
Animal control officials took custody of the other Pit Bull and are investigating the incident.
Eichler, who shot the dog, was not cited or arrested, as the shooting appeared to have been necessary and carried out responsibly, Lt. Berg told the Brian Day of the Tribune.