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Mar 23 2012

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BEWARE THE DEVIL DOG: Animal terrorizes family, veterinarian warns of rabies

animal

Pictured are cell phone images a local couple say their daughter captured of an animal that recently terrorized a neighborhood. Also shown (above) is a local veterinarian studying the cell pictures. (Staff photo by Michael Rodriguez)

By MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
Managing Editor
editor@sbnewspaper.com

animal2What the devil is it?

That’s the question that was posed inside the San Benito News office Thursday afternoon when two residents came in to report an animal of some sort that they dubbed “the devil” roaming a family member’s neighborhood.

Juan Manuel Vega, 57, and his wife Irma Guajardo, 45, showed cell phone pictures to the News displaying what appeared to be a sort of canine they claimed terrorized a family member who lives in the vicinity of Gamble and Hudson Roads.

A visibly frightened couple, Vega and Guajardo said their loved one, who did not wish to be identified for this story, detailed a harrowing encounter with the animal, claiming that at one point it stood up on its hind legs. Also, they say the animal has been spotted by other people in the area for some time now and blame it for the disappearance of a number of neighborhood pets.

animal3It all started Wednesday night, when the two were informed by the family member in question of an incident that occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m. that day. According to the family member’s account, two children were outside playing on a trampoline when they suddenly began screaming about “the devil” attacking their pet dog, a pit bull.

“It ripped it apart,” Vega said in Spanish before commenting on what he believed the animal was. “I guess it looks like some kind of alien… looks like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. Maybe it’s the chupacabra, I don’t know.”

Guajardo said, “To me, it looks like it is half human and half animal, like the devil, because it stood up and they (family member) said it was over six feet tall.”

The News took a skeptical approach to identifying the supposed beast and sought the advice of a local veterinarian, Dr. Allison Tewell-Merritt of San Benito Animal Hospital.

In Dr. Tewell-Merritt’s opinion, the pictures that Vega and Guajardo said showed a devil-like creature of possible alien origin was actually a dog, possibly a pit bull, with a bad case of mange.

How bad?

When first viewing cell photos of the animal, Dr. Tewell-Merritt stepped back from shock and promptly informed the News that the animal needs to be euthanized as soon as possible.

“The skin issues are really bad, and it looks like it’s been a year since anyone’s taken care of it,” Dr. Tewell-Merritt said. “It clearly has mange, bacterial and skin infections.”

There was only one other case that the veterinarian said matched the severity of the dog’s condition, and given its reportedly aggressive nature, she stressed for residents of the neighborhood where the animal’s been seen to take their pets in for rabies vaccinations.

Calling it a public health concern, Dr. Tewell-Merritt further urged that people not come in contact with the stray.

“Three bats have tested positive for rabies in one week,” Dr. Tewell-Merritt said. “They could bite that dog or any stray dogs, and if a child is infected, it could be fatal if not treated.”

In the meantime, the News informed Gus Olivares of Cameron County’s Animal Control Department of the situation, who said an animal control officer would be sent to the area where the stray was last seen once contact was made with Vega.

Still, though pleased that the matter is being addressed, Vega and Guajardo disagreed with Dr. Tewell-Merritt’s identification of what they believed was a malevolent creature.

“It’s not a dog,” Vega said adamantly. “How can it stand up and walk around then?”

But Dr. Tewell-Merritt, a veterinarian for two years at San Benito Animal Hospital, said she’s familiar with the anatomy of a canine and is confident in her initial identification of the animal.

“You just have to know what a dog looks like without its hair,” Dr. Tewell-Merritt said, motioning to the cell phone photos. “And that’s a dog with really bad mange.”

Those who think they may have seen the animal are asked to report its whereabouts by calling Cameron County Animal Control at (956) 247-3599.

Permanent link to this article: http://sbnewspaper.com/2012/03/23/animal-terrorizes-family-veterinarian-warns-of-rabies/

32 comments

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  1. Matias Jimenez

    That’s is some crazy looking animal if you want to call it that . In my opinion I people should go out on a man hunt and capture that creature . Now we all know that the stores our grand parents told us when we were small are true .

  2. Drake

    This Is Just Stupid Its all fake… don’t believe this !

    1. Jay

      Not too bright, are ya, son? Ever heard of mange?

  3. anonymous

    This is ridiculous. It’s a poor creature has been though hell, not from hell. People may be blowing this out of proportion. Of all the things they are calling this poor creature. No decent person calls a person ugly for having a disease so why are people calling this animal a demon for looking the way it does. This is completely ridiculous. If any thing people should pity this poor creature and any one who claims it is a monster is over reacting and wants to make an excuse of something that can be proved with logic if given the chance when they currently have no clue. Calling this a demon is like calling a wild animal a monster. it may very well be a new breed of dog or canine. If so then who are we to deny it’s right to live? Yes maybe it may be a danger in a town or city but that just means our local government should take action and help find a safer location for this creature. It may also be a dog with mange like our LICENSED vet. said. Yes, the animal may not be safe to be around so of course take caution but hardly any animal attacks unless provoked. – A high school student

    1. anonymous2

      Wow You Really Need To Get A Life !!!!!!!

      1. anonymous

        You really need an education.

      2. Dogbert

        This is a chat board. You should thank anonymous.

  4. bobby

    kill it its a monster

  5. Editor

    Well said, anonymous. Keep in mind, however, that this family appeared genuinely frightened, and may have only reacted out of that fear. They still believe it’s some sort of mythical or supernatural creature, even after our attempts to provide a logical explanation as you’ve asserted. So it’s important to remember that this, whatever it may be, may have indeed felt real to them. It’s also important, though, to remain skeptical. In the meantime, we’ll have updates on this story in future issues. Happy reading.

  6. unknown

    well…… what can i say? this is too funny….

  7. Maria Chavez

    You People Are So mean i saw this at mexico too ! So I think its so realllll !

  8. anonymous3

    This Is Real OMG Lol LMAo !!!!

  9. Lola Juan Gruza

    MATALO!!

  10. anonymous

    Never did i say it wasn’t a frightening sight. The unknown is a scary thing but it doesn’t mean it’s a demon. Yes I understand why the children claimed to see the devil but they are children and they are taught what to think, do, and how to act. For all I know I may have reacted the same way but when it all comes down to it people need to step back take a deep breath and think of all the possibilities and outcomes of this animal.

  11. Editor

    Preaching to the choir.

  12. anonymous

    I don’t preach I use the First Amendment.

  13. Editor

    I think you’re grossly misunderstanding my comments. So again, “Well said, anonymous.”

  14. anonymous 123

    I mean like it is just a dog. It is not the dog fault for have MANGE, or RABIES!!!

  15. Shane Derek

    OMG the dog has rabies and mange ok that is a dog not a devil.

  16. Shane Derek

    okay stop makin a big deal

  17. Shane Derek

    Okay if this thing is real why Havent i seen it? explain that to me

  18. Pablo

    First of all great story any story that gets people talking and thinking is a great story . for all the peeps that feel for the dog I feel as well I have 3 dogs and a rabbit love them all, but have also had the misfortune of having to put down my first pet that had rabies, its a horrible feeling but was somthing that had to be done .if this animal and let’s face it mythical or actual poses a threat it must be destroyed .

  19. Editor

    Just an FYI, we’ll have a full update on recent developments on this story in Wednesday’s paper.

  20. Tesla Raine

    This is so crazy!

  21. Riley

    I agree it is just a bad case a mage and rabies. You people who think its the devil get educated. Apprently you havn’t seen a dog with out hair. Its a poor creature. I love animals in fact I want to be a vet, and I would never want to uthinize an animal, but in this case it should. The owner of this poor pet should never have had it if they could not mange to take care of it. It walks on two legs? WOW! thats so the devil! NOT! my dog try’s to climb trees! their animals! they are able to stand on their hind legs.

  22. Sharon

    That looks like a sad poodle with mange in need of some care.

  23. Samouel Bernstein

    Terrorized by a dog?

    You can capture and euthanize a crazy dog… but how about the neighborhood being terrorized by the children of a San Benito County Sheriff’s Deputy?

    We are subject to screaming dirt bikes racing up & down the street, bottle rockets launched into our yard (dry grass all around), eggs tossed at our house, our children taunted daily with profanities in front of our house and at school.

    The SB Co. Sheriff’s Deputies that respond never take any action, refuse to take reports or cite the Deputy’s kid’s for their behavior. Sometimes when we call no one even bothers to respond… the Deputy is on duty and is cancelling our requests for service!

    We have been collecting video evidence from our home CCTV system for the past year. We will soon follow up with a civil lawsuit in Federal Court. There will be no San Benito County “good old boy” crap in front of a Federal Jury.

    1. Editor

      I think you may be commenting on the wrong website. This is the San Benito News, as in San Benito, Texas. You may be referring to San Benito County in California.

  24. Cirrus

    Hmmm, how come you can show the front of this animal? Oh, thats because its a fake!

  25. Dogbert

    There have been many photos of the “Texas Devil Dog”. Many of them look the same.

    Recently one carcass was found and sent to a laboratory for DNA testing:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chupacabra

    “The video footage was shown on an April 2011 episode of the Syfy television series Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files where an investigative team tried to recreate the dashboard video footage using a miniature horse and a Mexican Hairless Dog (both of which were bred locally). Neither test animal matched the creature in the video. The team had also tested a DNA sample taken from an alleged carcass of one of the creatures found by a local rancher which was later identified as being a hybrid wolf/coyote.” (This is a Coywolf).

    Interestingly, the team who did the DNA testing ruled out mange. My conclusion:
    * Most of the photos are real (why fake this crap?).
    * Mange probably accounts for most of the sightings, but some of them appear to be true hybrid creatures.
    * Many hybrid animals look like “mutants” and cannot reproduce (e.g., mules).
    * Too many carcasses have been found for this to be other than a real phenomenon.
    * Maybe a Coywolf species with bad crossbreeding could produce the mostly hairless skin.
    * A hairless Coywolf would indeed look like very strange.
    * It is real, but sightings have been wildly exaggerated.

    Comments?

  26. antoinette

    ummmm…..im from memphis and i dont have no worries but i want to see how the face of that thing

  27. bella

    it is real but it is just a sick dog i sall it in the middle of the road on the yellow line it just looked at me then it ran into the woods i dont know why you would call it a devil dog just because of its looks.

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