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4 dogs killed in apparent stabbing attack in Riverside

Riverside police have launched an animal cruelty investigation after an attacker fatally stabbed four Chihuahua mix dogs, officials said Monday.

The attack took place over the weekend in the 2000 block of Vermont Avenue after the owner told officers he'd had a verbal confrontation with a transient who then threatened to "come back," said John Welsh, spokesman for the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

The owner found the pets Sunday morning. Two of the dogs were dead, and three others were injured. Two of the injured animals were euthanized, officials said.

"It's total animal cruelty," owner Robert Carter told KTLA-TV Channel 5. "The dogs didn't do anything to anyone."

He told the station the transient "had a little knife" in his hand and taunted the dogs during the confrontation. Carter said he later found his wounded pets "with stab marks and blood all over the place."

He said he was hoping the dog that survived would improve. "She's in bad shape," Carter said, "but she's hanging in there."

An Animal Services Department veterinarian is scheduled to perform necropsies on all four Chihuahuas, a standard procedure in animal cruelty cases.

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Twitter: @LAJourno

robert.lopez@latimes.com

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