JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There's a neighborhood safety alert for Jacksonville residents living along St. Augustine Road between San Marco and Lakewood.
According to several nearby pet owners, two wild dogs are suspected of killing 16 house cats in their yards, as well as seven chickens in a fenced-in San Marco backyard, over the last two months.
Neighbors said the latest attack happened last weekend in a yard on Bishop Circle.
That's where an 8-year-old deaf cat named Big Baby did not hear the dogs approaching and was fatally mauled, according to the pet's owner.
"It was wet and muddy because they drug him through the ditch," said Cynthia Carter-Ross, the cat's owner. "He was pretty much eviscerated."
Carter-Ross said she took the cat to a veterinarian, hoping he would survive.
"They said there was no hope for him," she said. "They just put him out of his misery."
Her neighbor up the street, Mark Bronstein, said he also had a cat killed by the same two dogs.
“I came out just in time to see the two dogs carrying my cat away in their mouth," Bronstein said. "We got the dogs to drop the cat. But by then, it was too late.”
Two miles away in San Marco, the same two dogs were spotted killing a cat named Finch in his owner's yard.
"We were devastated," said Lisa Alexander, Finch's owner. "He was 18 years old and he was deaf.”
Just around the corner, another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, walked out her back door and caught the same dogs attacking her chickens. Seven chickens died. One barely survived.
“I loved them," the owner of the chickens said. "It's really devastating."
San Marco and Lakewood residents told News4Jax the dogs have acted aggressively toward people walking their pets, which is why residents are worried the dogs could possibly attack a small child.
“I just don’t want any children to try and approach these dogs and get bit, maimed or killed, because they’re pretty vicious," Carter-Ross said.
Bronstein added that a lot of children play outside in his neighborhood.
"They could easily attack those kids," Bronstein said. "Then what?"
There are also health concerns, because it's unknown whether the dogs are carrying a disease that could be transmitted through a bite.
Animal Control set a trap for the dogs in the woods, where they are known to live. But, as of Thursday, the dogs had not been captured.