Four miniature horses and a donkey are dead after two attacks earlier this month by two or three dogs that dug under two fences at Happy Hollow Park & Zoo in San Jose, a park spokeswoman said today.
One horse was found dead at about 7 a.m. Jan. 15 while the other three and the donkey were found dead at about 7 a.m. Jan. 20, Carolina Camarena, spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services, said.
One of the dogs suspected in the attacks was captured at the zoo while the other was found near the zoo about three days after one of the attacks.
The dog found outside the zoo resembles a dog seen in a video walking around the zoo, but the video is grainy so it’s unclear whether the correct dog has been captured.
The third dog, a Chihuahua, is at large but not believed to be a threat to anyone.
Julie St. Gregory, spokeswoman for the city’s Animal Care & Services, said the Chihuahua was probably not involved in the attack other than watching it occur.
St. Gregory said if the owners of the two captured dogs, which are both domesticated dogs, do not come forward the dogs will be euthanized:
“They will not be released.”
But if the owners do come forward, the dogs could be released if the owners go to a “dangerous dog” hearing, though that may be prohibitively expensive.
St. Gregory identified one dog as a Belgian Malinois mix and the other was a similar mix.
Camarena said crews have reinforced zoo fencing, increased patrols and set traps for dogs or wildlife. Zoo officials will continue to take steps to protect the animals, she said:
“Our priority is to ensure all of our zoo animals are safe.”
Dead are a Sicilian donkey named Maybelline and four horses named Luna, Spice Girl, Sweet William and Cayenne. The animals were part of the petting zoo.
“We are grieving here at the zoo.”
Community members have offered support and sympathy for zoo staff and the equines.
Camarena said zoo officials are going to have a memorial service for the animals but no date has been set.