WINSLOW (AP) – The owner of two pit bull dogs has been summonsed after her dogs attacked and killed a pony before the dogs were shot dead with a .22-caliber rifle.

Lee Giroux said he found the 500-pound pony, Pineapple, dead in his field at about 7 a.m. Tuesday. The horse was co-owned by his son and daughter-in-law, and a farm in Clinton.

As Giroux investigated, he came across the dogs – their muzzles covered with blood – before going back in his house to call police.

But when he saw the dogs attack Filo, a Shetland gelding owned by his daughter-in-law, in a field across from his house, he grabbed his gun and went back outside.

Giroux said the dogs worked in tandem and trapped the horse against an electric fence.

When one of the dogs attacked the pony’s hindquarters, Giroux shot and killed it. He said he fatally shot the second pit bull when it came to check on the other dog.

“It was so surreal,” Giroux said. “They never made any noise. They were focused on killing that horse.”

Winslow Police Chief Michael Heavener said Giroux acted within his rights.

“He certainly had a right to defend himself and his property,” Heavener said, “so he didn’t do anything wrong.”

Animal control officer Patrick Faucher issued summonses Thursday against Melissa Masse, the dogs’ owner, for having at-large and dangerous dogs. She faces up to $2,500 in fines, Heavener said.

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