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(DeSoto County, MS) – A horse in Desoto County was attacked and killed by three pit bulls and it’s not the first time the dogs have turned violent.

DeSoto County Animal Services believes the horse could have been in heat which would have set the dogs off, but neighbors in the Eudora community say it’s no excuse; the dogs already proved they were vicious.

Not once but twice, a family’s beloved pit bulls attacked their own horses. This time, the dogs killed the five-year-old horse, Misty.

“I’ve never had them attack, never had them try to bite anybody,” said Marshall Ballard who owned both the dogs and the horse. “My kids would roll on top of [the dogs] and play with them and they’ve never even growled at them.”

Ballard is shocked by the violent nature of his three dogs. He claims they would often chase the horses, but this time they took it too far when Misty got stuck in the fence.

“She stepped off into the net wires, she couldn’t get out,” Ballard said. “I think that’s what got her down, she couldn’t defend herself anymore.”

A couple of weeks ago, two of the pits attacked a different one of their horses. Animal Services says it managed to survive despite wounds to its stomach and leg.

“It happened once but we thought it was an isolated event,” Ballard said.

Neighbor and horse-lover, Charlene Faulkner added, “Something should have been done. It shouldn’t take a horse to die for somebody to do something about it. It’s sad.”

The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department says the attack happened in front Ballard’s kids. He claims they didn’t see it. Regardless, Faulkner believes pit bulls are too dangerous to have around children.

“I mean, if they’re going to do that to a horse,” she said, as she paused, “and I have children myself, I couldn’t imagine. I wouldn’t take the chance.”

The Ballards aren’t taking that chance either. The family gave the three pit bulls to animal control.

The dogs will be quarantined for 10 days and tested for rabies. Then all three pit bulls will be put down.