An Alberta couple is demanding three pit bulls in their neighbourhood be euthanized after they said the dogs killed their beloved bichon poodle mix before their very eyes.

Mae and Hughie MacDougall’s 10-year-old dog Mitzi had to be put down on Sunday after they said three pit bulls attacked her in the front yard of their home in Lavoy, Alta., located approximately 118 kilometres east of Edmonton.

The MacDougalls said Mitzi was sitting under her favourite tree when the three larger dogs approached her and dragged her under a nearby trailer.

“One was at the front end and one was at the back end and they were pulling on her,” Hughie told CTV Edmonton on Tuesday.

In an attempt to rescue Mitzi, Hughie said he grabbed one of the pit bulls and tried to pry its mouth open so it would release the little dog. Instead, the dog snapped back at him and bit his hands.

Hughie said he received 32 stitches on his hands following the incident.

“That I can live with, but my little dog is gone,” he said.

The couple said they called police when they realized they wouldn’t be able to save their pet themselves.

“The side of her face was all ripped apart and it was deep,” Hughie said as he choked back tears. “I knew then. I seen Mitzi then and I knew she was finished… ripped apart.”

When police arrived at the scene, Mitzi was so badly injured that the responding officers offered to put the dog down.

“I’ll never get over this. I can’t even sleep. I close my eyes and I see her [Mitzi] and it haunts me,” Mae said. “We know they’re animals, but we consider them our family. What if it was one of our granddaughters?”

Police said the dogs that attacked Mitzi live at a neighbouring home, but would not confirm their breed. Two of the dogs have already been seized and put into quarantine. Police are still trying to seize the third animal.

The MacDougalls said they want all three of the dogs euthanized in order to protect the community.

“They did it before and they’re going to do it again,” Mae said.

With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Nicole Weisberg