LITTLEFIELD, Texas — A family cat named ‘Lightning’ was killed by three stray dogs early Tuesday morning in Littlefield, Texas around 6:30 a.m.

The cat’s owner, Sally Nichols, said she was getting ready for her day when he heard some commotion outside.

“I started hearing more dogs yelling and barking at the back fence,” Nichols said. “There was one, one of them had my cat by the head and the other two by the sides.”

Nichols said she called animal control right away, but at the time, the facility was not open.

“I would have to wait till 8:30 whenever animal control was open, but she would try to get ahold of him and he didn’t show up to my house till 9 o’clock,” Nichols said.

Lightning was picked up by animal control with serious injuries, not long after, the cat died. Meanwhile, the dogs remain on the loose.

Nichols said animal control offered to set up traps in her neighborhood.

“I don’t think the traps are going to work, they’re really little traps and the dogs are pretty big,” Nichols said.

Nichols said this isn’t the first time stray dogs have killed one of her pets. She said Lightning’s mom was also killed in a stray attack.

“They’re there all the time and I’ve called multiple times to the city, and they say the same thing and it takes two three hours for them to show up,” Nichols said.

Nichols said Lightning will be missed.

“He lays on the floor with my 11 month old, my 11 month old bites his ear all the time and now my 11 month old is just looking for him,” she said.​​​​​​​

Neighbors also agree strays are a constant problem. Jocelyn Ortiz, a resident in the area, said she refrains from allowing her daughter to play outside because of strays.

“Sometimes they go in through the alley, and they started coming in our backyard and killing our roosters,” Ortiz said.

City Manager, Mitch Grant, said he acknowledges strays are a problem in the community.

“I feel sorry for the people that had this happen, hopefully we can catch these dogs pretty quick.” Grant said.

Grant said the town does have leash laws currently in place in an effort to prevent strays. He said if people are caught with their dogs not on a leash, owners can be fined. He also mentioned the city needs the community’s help in keeping strays in check by spaying and neutering their pets.