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Hybrid wolf-dogs fatally attack miniature horse, lawsuit claims

June 13, 2011 |  2:53 pm

Cochise A Perris man who says his miniature horse was fatally attacked by a pair of hybrid wolf-dogs is suing his neighbor for not keeping the animals properly penned.

Christopher Herron alleges in a civil lawsuit filed last week that Cesar Siordia, a neighbor in the rural Riverside County area, knew that his dogs could be aggressive but failed to keep them contained or on a leash.

On April 15, the wolf-dogs, Cochise and Trouble, escaped Siordia's property and pounced upon Herron's tiny horse, Bojangles, who was standing in his own corral, the lawsuit states.

Bojangles' remains were discovered by Herron's ranch hands, who shot one of the wolf-dogs five times, said Cynthia Hafif, his attorney.

That animal somehow survived and the other one ran off, she said.

An animal control officer later captured both animals and had them euthanized, Hafif said. 

The ranch hands observed the wolf-dogs eating the horse's corpse, according to the complaint.

Herron is seeking twice the $5,000 cost of Bojangles, as well as other costs and compensatory damages that could reach into the tens of thousands of dollars, Hafif said.

Siordia, who is representing himself, was not available for comment.

Like other states, California prohibits owning first-generation wolf-dog hybrids but generally permits those that are second-generation and beyond.

Canine experts caution potential owners that wolf-dogs require a lot of attention and training or they will misbehave, including hunting down domestic prey.

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-- Catherine Saillant

Photo: Wolf-dog hybrid named Cochise. Credit: Courtesy Cynthia Hafif, Esq.

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