A cancer-stricken boy lost a miniature horse presented to him by a foundation when two pit bulls wandered into his yard and killed the animal.
The 31-inch (79-centimeter) tall horse, Anniversary, was a gift from Make-A-Wish Foundation to 3-year-old Christian Vasquez, who was diagnosed in January with a malignant form of brain cancer.
Two days later Christian's father, Raul Vasquez, found Anniversary dead on his property in Pampa, Texas, The father was nearly attacked by the dogs but managed to climb a tree and call emergency authorities on his cell phone.
One of the dogs was captured and remains in custody at the Pampa animal pound, while the other escaped and remained on the loose, Gray County Sheriff Don Copeland said.
It was unclear how the dogs entered the property, which is surrounded by a 4½-foot-(1.4-meter)-high fence.
Workman said the foundation will not be able to supply a second horse but was getting calls from residents who wanted to donate money for a new one. Anniversary cost $1,300 (914 EUR), and the foundation included free feed, training and veterinary care for a year in its gift.
"This horse was beautiful," said Jelaine Workman, executive director for the foundation's Amarillo chapter. "It just makes me angry that people allow their dogs to run on the loose."