PETS MAULED: Family’s Heartbreaking Discovery

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A pet owner made a gruesome discovery in his backyard earlier this week. Everything seemed normal until Buck Pratt opened his backdoor.

The snow is making it hard to forget. Still holding the drops of blood, the footprints, the signs of the struggle.

“It just made me sick to my stomach," said Buck Pratt, of E. 36th Street in Des Moines, "it was a horrible thing to come home from work to.”

Pratt had called out the back door for his dogs.  It took two steps into the yard to find out why they wouldn’t come.

“I didn’t have no clue what had done it, what had happened,” he said, shaking his head.

Roxy, weighing 20 pounds, lay near the swing set, two-year-old Jack, a few feet away.

“I said ‘wait a second, whatever killed them might still be in my yard’ and that’s when I searched my yard and found the back fence and saw where the dogs got in.”

The attacking dogs had bent the chain link, dug into the dirt.

“Any dog that would go through that much work to get in here to kill two dogs isn’t right in the head,” Pratt said.

Animal control found two dogs running loose nearby, one with blood all over its mouth.

Police say they’re owned by Steve and Carrie Pundzak of Des Moines, who admitted the dogs had had problems before - killing other animals and running loose.  But this case was even worse.

“Normally once animals are deemed dangerous," said Sgt. Jim Butler of the Animal Control Unit of the Des Moines Police Department, "there’s a euthanasia order shortly behind that.”

The suspects have been impounded, but thanks to the snow, their crimes are still right there for the Pratts and their daughters to see.

“(They've) been crying," Buck said. "It’s hard to explain to a two-year-old and a five-year-old ‘your dogs ain’t gonna come back, you ain’t never gonna get to see them again. Two mean dogs took ‘em.'”

Police say the blood on the attacking dogs matched that of the Pratt's dogs.

Under chapter 18 of the Des Moines municipal code, any animal that kills a domestic animal while off of its own property can be ruled dangerous. Dangerous animals are typically euthanized.

Police say the owners of the attacking dogs have been very cooperative with the investigation, but they'll likely be hit with charges of negligence and destruction of property.


  • Steve Johnson

    How does this story make the top story on the news with a long segment on it; meanwhile, a man kills his parents and it’s barely covered and is obviously not as important. Seriously, they are mere animals and they are nowhere near as important as precious human lives. Why do news stations feel the necessity to promote animal life over human life so regularly?

    • Ryan

      We are priviledged to have even known about the incident on the Meskawki reservation. Based on the arrangement with the federal government they could have kept this all in house and the rest of us would have never known the event happened. Because of the federal agreement they act as their own nation and could have acted as judge and jury with out letting the feds in. We dont hear about every person that is murdered/executed in north korea but, when you do it is because someone caught wind of it not because they wanted it published for public consumption. I would bet that someone caught wind of it, probably from inside the FBI, and spread it to the media. For someone who deems life as precious are all lives precious? Big or small he loves them all.

    • jasonwhited

      When people stop killing each other as often they do then maybe it will become news again. How many nights a week do you hear of someone being killed in a strange manner. And one more thing don’t be so self righteous that only people make the news. Cause truth be told some shouldn’t breathe.

    • 3hollyr

      That is all we have heard of is the kid killing his parents ! If you don’t want to hear about the poor dogs and heart broken kids don’t read it animal hater!

    • Annie Brown

      Yeah, it’s ludicrous to post a story about pits killing two dogs when they should have posted one one about the pit killing the baby on Monday. Where are out priorities? !

      • John

        According to the video story there is a dispute between animal control and the owners about the actual breed of the attacking dogs. Pit Bull mix was mentioned and they do look like pit bulls. Thankfully, the couples children were not in the backyard when dogs attacked.

    • Mindy Higgins

      Worthless pit bulls? Sounds to me like ur ignorant and have no idea what u r talking about. The owners knew these dogs had issues and didn’t take proper care to keep them at their own home. That isnt the dogs fault.. lots of dogs dont like other dogs but the owners take precautions. I happen to own a pit and a chiweenie and my little dog is more likely to maul a rabbit than my pit…dont give an opinion about something u know nothing about

    • April

      The dogs were outside barely 2 hours. He came home at around 10am and found them. According to neighbors, a lot of barking was going on at around 8 am, so shortly after Buck and his wife had left. The blame is 1000% on the dogs and the owners not on this poor family.

  • Valerie McCall

    Went to bed last night thinking about my old friends sad..woke up by a phone call of a double….

  • Debbie

    The owners of the dogs knew they were a problem but did not do enough to secure them to make sure it doesn’t happen again. They should be held responsible. Why are 2 small dogs left outside all day…it has been very cold. I don’t get people.

    • Scott

      Two things, first, you need to take a look at the two dogs in the video, they’re a longer haired variety that tends to enjoy colder weather. Secondly, they had an enclosure in one of the pictures that would’ve provided them adequate shelter to warm up when needed even in the colder weather. Additionally, the owner of the two small dogs had done their part in securing their enclosure. Two large dogs simply destroyed part of the enclosure to get to the smaller dogs. I’m sure you have locks and deadbolts on your house. Simple fact, if a grown adult or even an adolescent wanted to get into your house to kill you, those locks aren’t going to stop them. The fence the owner had in place would’ve been enough of a deterrent to stop any non-dangerous animal from getting to his pets thus proving that the attacking dogs and their owners are wholly at fault.

    • April

      Buck’s dogs were outside only about 2 hours. Not all day. He discovered them about 10am. Don’t blame this family. Blame the Pundzak’s and their vicious dogs

  • Tom

    WTF is wrong with peoples minds? The 2 attacking dogs and their owners are the ONLY ones to blame here! Simple as that and the owners shoudl be punished and the 2 dogs should be put down! Amazing how some have no common sense, wake up people!!

  • William Denison

    The Bucks could of saved theirs dogs if only they had video surveillance on the back yard. Maybe they didn’t want to be thought of as drug dealers.

  • RoccoG

    More white trash dog stores.
    Round up all these pit-like breeds and grind them up for fish food.
    Round up the scumbag dog owners too and ship them to El Salvador.

    • jasonwhited

      Same goes to you as the last post. People train dogs and are responsible for their animals. For your ignorant mind I will explain again. Pits are not vicious any more than any other dog. Even poodles can be trained to attack. So think a little more before you speak you uneducated mentally challenged individual.

  • Mike Curtis

    you know it would be nice if people would get there stories straight before running there mouth on the internet so let me drop some facts for you I know all parties involved If you go to carries facebook page she brags less then a week pryor to incident how one of her dogs eats small dogs and it would squeak while it chewed on it next fact BUCKS DOGS ARE NOT LEFT OUT ALL DAY and he does a lot for the homeless and less fortunate in this cit he is not white trash hes a good guy you trolls make me freeking sick.

  • Brenda Grant

    Both owners and their two pit mixes proved themselves dangerous.The killer dogs need pts immediately, and the owners should be held accountable with two charges for the animal cruelty that they were finally caught for.

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