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(KTVI)– Three small dogs were mauled inside their own home in Granite City.

Two larger dogs from the neighborhood got into the house through a doggie door and attacked the smaller dogs late Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

The most recent victims said there have been at least 11 small pets attacked and killed in this neighborhood since November; the latest coming right on Pine Street Sunday a neighbor says.

It happened while the dogs’ owner was gone.

The gruesome scene she found when she got home broke her heart.

She called them Cowboy, Bandit, and Sugarbutt.  All three dogs were part Chihuahua.  All three were part of the family.

“They were her babies,” said Kimberli Green.

The dogs belonged to her aunt, Rebecca Green, who was still too shaken for an interview Tuesday.

Kimberli Green buried the three dogs for her aunt in her aunt’s back yard in the 2400 block of Pine.

“You walk in the door and these dogs are there to greet you every day and then they’re just not, and to have to remember that every time, to remember how they died.  It’s hard for me, and they’re not my dogs,” Kimberli Green said, fighting tears.

“My aunt never had any kids so her dogs were her kids – and to have all three taken from her like that and to have to watch it,” said Scott Watson, Rebecca Green’s nephew.

Two larger dogs apparently pit bulls or pit mixes, one brown, the other white with dark spots, jumped Rebecca Green’s fence and got into her house through the now boarded up doggie door, a neighbor said.

The police report said one of the larger dogs dragged Cowboy back into the yard. Cowboy was so badly wounded, his organs lying outside of his body that a deputy shot Cowboy at the family’s request to end his suffering.

Bandit was dead inside the home, Rebecca Green said.

Sugarbutt was still alive but suffered fatal puncture wounds and was euthanized, she said.

Katie Whittington, who lives one block over on Hemlock Street, said two dogs matching the description tried to attack her dogs within the past two weeks.

“I looked out and there were two pit bulls that were trying to get in through the window, at my dogs,” she said.

She was able to chase them away.

Investigators were canvassing the area looking for the suspected attack dogs Sunday and again Tuesday night.

“It’s just a matter of time before it’s something bigger than a cat or a dog,” Kimberli Green said.

She said there were 11 cases of pets being attacked and killed in the neighborhood since November;  the suspected attack dogs all match the same description.

Kimberli Green said she hoped the attacks would not flame a crusade against pit bulls.

She’s a pit bull owner and loves the breed.

If you have any information call the Madison County Sheriff’s Department at  618-692-6087.

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