SUGAR LAND, Texas - A Sugar Land family says they were horrified to watch their cat being mauled to death by two neighborhood pit bulls who were roaming around unleashed.
The killing was caught on camera, and now residents in the Sugar Mill area are concerned a child could be next.
John and Pam Hatzenduehler discovered their dead cat, Meow, on the front lawn Thursday morning.
“She (Pam) came in the house screaming and crying,” John Hatzenduehler said. “She was in tears. There was cat fur everywhere.”
Home surveillance video shows two dogs, believed to have been pet pit bulls who escaped their nearby fence, go into the couple’s backyard, kill their cat then leave him dead on the lawn.
“It’s horrible to see something like that,” John Hatzenduehler said. "I watched them toss that cat around like it was a play toy.”
The couple posted about the mauling on their community Nextdoor website, worried for other neighborhood pets and kids.
Safety is exactly why there is a leash law which is enforced by Sugar Land Animal Services.
“It applies to not only dogs, but for cats as well,” said Kathryn Ketchum, manager of Animal Services for the City of Sugar Land.
If you’re wondering why cats need leashes, Ketchum explains that there are several reasons.
“You are attracting a lot of unwanted visitors, so by letting cats loose, coyotes are actually learning that there is a food source and inviting them to come into our neighborhoods," Ketchum said.
There’s also concern for other wildlife that cats like to kill, like birds, and disease.
It’s pretty obvious why dogs need to be leashed or properly contained, and the gruesome animal killing caught on the Hatzenduehlers' camera is a prime example.
“Something needs to be done before something else happens," John Hatzenduehler said.
Sugar Land Animal Services is open 24 hours a day, and residents are encouraged to report any loose animal they see. Dog owners whose pet attacks someone could face fines, need to buy special insurance or have to put their pets down.
For more information, visit Sugar Land Animal Services website.