A small city in southern California is currently being terrorized by a wild animal that has attacked and killed at least three dogs this month.

Rena Ventimiglia found her dog fatally injured on the morning of Jan 2.

“[She] came stumbling out of the bushes,” she told local newspaper the Daily Press. “You could see her muscle tissue and there was a huge gash on her spine. She sat in a puddle of blood.”

“Frankie’s collar was ripped off, and there were chunks of meat and fur,” she added to KCAL-TV. “Blood all over the backyard. I just lose it … I don’t know what happened … the first thing I thought was someone poisoned my dogs.”

Ventimiglia’s neighbor also lost a dog in the attack that her husband thinks was committed by a lion.

“When I got home and saw the damage that was done, there’s no way that an animal that was much smaller than him was going to break his neck like that,” he said, adding that “there’s been a lot of sightings of mountain lions” around the area.

Animal experts, however, disagree and think a bobcat is likely the culprit, noting that the animal’s paw prints left at the scene hint toward that particular wildcat.

“Bobcats are actually typical in our area,” animal control officer Suzanne Edson said. “They live amongst us.”

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