Tom and Janet Williams, owners of the Solitaire Ranch outside Ukiah, were both saddened and sickened Friday in the wake of a bloody pit bull attack that left two of their four pet llamas dead.
Janet Williams, who was home alone and asleep when the two dogs from a neighboring property attacked shortly before midnight Thursday, was awakened by the screams of her four female llamas in their fenced enclosure about 50 yards away.
But what she saw when she went outside with a flashlight haunts her, and she can't discuss it without crying.
One llama, Lilly, already was dead, and both dogs tore at the neck of the smallest one, Blossom. A third llama also was bitten in the face, Tom Williams said.
"It was just pure carnage," said his wife. "When I went out there, one of the llamas only had eyes left on her face."
Her husband of 35 years said he's as worried about the impact of the trauma on her, a true animal lover, as he is about the loss of the llamas.
"There was meat and blood all over," Tom Williams said after returning home from an aborted business meeting in Tahoe so he could console his wife. "It looked like a battleground out there."
Janet Williams tried to scare the dogs off, but when they turned on her, she had to retreat behind her front gate.
She called the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, so deputies were on the way when she managed to scare the dogs off into a canyon below the house, where they waited, growling and barking, for a chance to return.
Deputies had arrived when the dogs charged for a second attack and the deputies shot at them, killing one, the sheriff's office said.
The Williamses said the second one may have been struck before it ran off, though sheriff's officials were not available to confirm whether it, too, was hit.
Using tags on the deceased dog, authorities tracked down an address for the owner about a quarter mile away. The second dog was handed over to Animal Control Services, where it was in quarantine Friday, authorities said.
Sheriff's Capt. Kurt Smallcomb said authorities were not releasing the dog owner's name because the case was still being investigated. He said the dogs were apparently new to the area.
The Williamses believe the pit bulls lived across the creek from their house, though they hadn't seen them before.
"I'm so upset about this," Tom Williams said. "I want to do something about it."