A fatal dog attack is being investigated by Lexington County Animal Control officers, after two pets were reportedly killed by neighborhood dogs.
The incident occurred on Monday in the 3000 block of Wessinger Road, according to Lexington County public information officer Harrison Cahill.
The owner of the dogs that were killed told authorities that several neighborhood dogs entered a home through a “doggy door” and killed his dogs, which were believed to be Irish setters.
The owner of the dogs that were killed said he wasn’t home at the time of the attack, but the neighbor’s dogs were inside when he returned and wouldn’t allow him to enter.
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A Lexington County animal control officer wasn’t able to remove the dogs, who remained in the residence until their owner, Ryan Ezzell, arrived and brought them out.
Ezell’s dogs were all hound mix breeds, described as being short-haired dogs with long snouts, according to Cahill, adding, “We do not believe them to be pit bulls.”
Ezell’s dogs had escaped from a fenced-in pen on his property, but it isn’t known how they escaped, Cahill said. The dogs they killed were able to enter and leave their house as they pleased through the doggy door, but were confined to the yard by an invisible fence.
Ezell, 42, received six citations for violation of restraint and confinement and 10 citations for failure to show proof of rabies inoculation, according to Cahill.
Ten dogs were seized from Ezell and are being held at the Lexington County Animal Shelter, Cahill said.
The animal control officer saw six dogs removed from the neighbor’s house, according to Cahill. Four more of Ezell’s dogs were seized when he was unable to provide proof they had been vaccinated for rabies.
In addition to those 10 dogs, Ezell also owns two other dogs, which were confined to pens inside of his house at the time of the incident, Cahill said. Those dogs weren’t seized and are considered family pets.
Ezell is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 16.
If convicted, the maximum punishment Ezell could face is a fine close to $1,000 per citation, 30 days in jail or both.
There was previous complaint against Ezell for his treatment of his dogs, but after an investigation Lexington County officials said it was an unfounded complaint.