A swarm of bees reportedly killed three dogs at a Southern California home on Wednesday, repeatedly stinging the animals in an attack officials say was provoked by their barking.
The dogs are believed to have been yapping away at a pool cleaner next door to their Santa Ana residence when a hive of Africanized honey bees, also from the property next door, became agitated, Santa Ana Animal Control agents told KTLA.
Thousands of killer bees swooped in and attacked the Australian shepherds, relentlessly stinging the pups until they were dead.
"It is heartbreaking. It's devastating," said dog owner Linnea Chapman, who did not know what happened until she came home and noticed her pets, Bailey, Bartlett, and Remy, weren't barking like they normally do.
Chapman found all three dogs dead in her backyard covered with dead insects.
Sonia Berg, from Santa Ana Animal Control, arrived at the scene and quickly located a massive hive still swarming with bees inside a shed next door.
"The bees were covering the dogs' bodies," Berg told KTLA. "There was thousands of bees and there's thousands of bees still in the backyard that are dead on her property."
The neighbors were apparently unaware they had a bee hive in their backyard. It has since been removed.