FORT WORTH — A grieving north Texas family wants answers — and so do police — after two small pet dogs were brutally killed.
The nature of the attack has unnerved neighbors.
Holly was a nine-year old miniature Schnauzer; her pal, Peppermint, a two-year-old Chihuahua mix. Both were well-loved members of the Traylor family.
Photos show the two sleeping together, with Holly's paw draped over Peppermint.
They went out in the backyard together about 10 o'clock Sunday night in the 4200 block of Jenny Lake Trail in north Fort Worth. Then the family heard yelps.
Frank Traylor said his wife came out first. "She sees Peppermint walking up to the stairs, and she's visibly shaking, struggling to walk," he said.
They rushed Peppermint to a vet, thinking she'd been bitten by a snake. "She in fact had been bludgeoned by what the vet described as a bat," Traylor said. " And there were visible signs of her throat being cut."
Peppermint died a few hours later. A responding Fort Worth police officer found Holly lying dead in the weeds behind the house.
The location is near a drainage ditch and open field, but Traylor does not suspect coyotes. "She had been severely beaten and stabbed," he said. "Her head and jaw were crushed."
There's more. The Traylor family cat, Buddy, disappeared earlier that same afternoon. A black cat named Zeke is the only pet left in the family.
Their next-door neighbors just got a boxer puppy, and they are nervous.
"Someone who can do that crime to a defenseless animal, you have no sense of security as to what could happen next," said Al Gaither. "That could be the tip of the iceberg."
Police took a report, but there aren't many clues — only grief and anger.
"We have no idea of who could be capable of such a monstrous act against little dogs," Frank Traylor said, shaking his head.