FORT PIERCE, Fla. - A Fort Pierce woman is living in fear after she says she had to use a shotgun to save her small dog from being killed by two pit bulls.
Those dogs are still living next door to her. But St. Lucie County Animal Control is investigating to see if that should change.
Thursday evening, Patricia Saenz said her Chihuahua mix named Skippy was under attack. Saenz said pit bulls from the next door neighbor's yard came over and went for the five year old, eight pound dog.
"All of a sudden I hear squealing; loud squealing like I have never heard before," said Saenz. She said two much larger pit bulls were going after her dog. She grabbed her shotgun.
"The dogs were right here attacking my dog so I took the gun - boom!," she said. "I shot at them and they scattered."
Saenz said the ordeal did not end there.
"They backed up. And when they backed up, I grabbed Skippy." She put Skippy inside the house and then Saenz said she had to defend herself. "I closed the door and they're trying to come in," she said. "So I took the gun again and - boom - I shot them again."
"I miss them but I hit them in the ear and they took off running back in their yard," said Saenz. "That was the end of that."
Saenz' dog was alive, but with several puncture wounds to his neck, stomach, back and legs. "I thought that he was in shambles," she said. "Before I got to him to look at him, I thought he was all torn up. I didn't even want to look."
St. Lucie County Animal Control officers arrived and cited the dogs' owner for three violations - an $850 fine.
Saenz said she has no ill will towards the pit bull breed.
"They're very good dogs. They're very protective dogs and there's nothing wrong with the pit bull breed," she said. "It's the owners. That's the problem."
The owner of the dogs may have to surrender his animals if animal control deems them as 'dangerous'.
For at least the rest of this weekend, the pit bulls are still right next door.
That could all be changing as this investigation continues into next week.