A Wildomar man who fatally shot a pit bull attacking his Chihuahua was unapologetic today.
"I definitely was not going to let it off of this property," Donald Mason, a military police officer with the California Army National Guard and former Marine, told The Press-Enterprise. "I got my 9 mm."
Mason, 48, said pit bulls have become a problem in The Farm neighborhood off Bundy Canyon Road. The dog he killed Tuesday, was believed to be the same one that attacked a woman and her dog recently, he said.
Mason said he saw another loose pit bull Wednesday night. Animal control officers failed to find that dog, but set a trap for it in Mason's front yard on Wagon Train Drive.
Patricia Mason, 42, said she was washing her car in the driveway when she noticed a white streak pass by. Moments later, she heard the sound of her 11-year-old daughter's Chihuahua, Jersey, being attacked. The pit bull got into the back yard through an open side gate.
Donald Mason heard his wife and daughter screaming from an upstairs study. By the time he made it outside, the pit bull had dropped the Chihuahua and was eyeing his wife though a door.
Mason said he grabbed his pistol and fired twice at the pit bull, but the slugs didn't seem to faze it. He said the pit bull was bigger than most and may have been crossbred with a mastiff.
He said it took at least six shots to knock the dog down.
Jersey could not be saved.
"I picked him up and I wrapped him in a towel," Patricia Mason told the newspaper. "I was just crying and screaming."
Jersey was a present for his daughter and would have turned 1 year old on Monday.
The owners of the pit bull have not been identified, according to Monique Middleton of Animal Friends of the Valleys, which provides animal control services in Wildomar.
After Jersey died, the Masons got two Australian cattle dog puppies from the Wildomar animal shelter.
Mason said he plans to write state legislators to urge them to regulate the breed.
"I'm not even messing around with this. It's a mission. My daughter calls it 'Justice for Jersey.' I should not, in front of my family, have to execute a dog in my backyard," he said.