ROYAL OAK, Mich. - A Royal Oak man watched his small dog get killed by another dog.
But the owner of the attacking dog isn't being blamed; instead the animal control officer who seized the dogs is facing threats.
The dogs that attacked are rescue dogs and rescue groups are coming to their defense and alleging the Yorkie was to blame and the animal control officer was to blame for taking action.
"The first thing I did was yell 'Maks' it's like seeing your kid," said Tony Ancevski.
But it was too late.
A couple of weeks ago Ancevski says he and Maks were making their way to his car when three dogs on the same leash appeared on his property out of nowhere. One of the dogs lunged at the little Yorkie and attacked.
It killed the four-pound animal right in front of his owner's eyes.
"It hurts," he said. "I wouldn't want anyone to lose their pet the way I lost it. I was sitting on the porch in shock with a box next to me.
"I'm like 'My dog is dead.' He said, 'I'm sorry, I thought it was a squirrel.'"
The next day Ancevski filed a report at the Royal Oak Police Department, the case handed over to the animal control officer. She revealed this isn't the first time complaints have been filed against these dogs.
Officer Gail Briggs was forced to remove two of the rescued animals from the neighbor's home.
"(My attorney) advised me that it probably isn't a good idea (to comment)," said the owner of the dogs who attacked.
But instead of blaming the owners or the dogs for their behavior, people are now targeting the animal control officer, harassing and even threatening her online.
Detroit Pit Crew Dog Rescue posted the picture of the dog, Cooper, involved in the fight and blaming the Yorkie, Maks, for starting the fight. They also claimed the officer unjustly removed the animals.
This caused uproar on social media.
"She is a police officer animal control a police officer they put her phone number online, people are calling her, harassing her," Ancevski said. "(They are) threatening her, it shouldn't happen. She was doing her job."
FOX 2 spoke to Gail Briggs by phone. She says she is very upset about how people are reacting on social media and the threats especially because they don't know all of the facts, but she wasn't able to comment on the case any further.
FOX 2 has learned the three separate police reports have been filed against the owners of the dogs over the last two years - and someone even called 911 complaining about their vicious behavior the very same morning Maks was killed.
Ancevski says something needs to be done, worried next time it may be a child.
"I just feel that they need more control over the people allowed to have these dogs," he said.
Ancevski said that his dog was on his property.
There is a history of attacks, meaning the owner could face police charges. In the meantime, Ancevski is planning to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dogs.