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Oliver, a Maltese poodle, was killed after he was attacked by a German shepherd on Saturday in Amherstburg, Ont. ((Photo submitted by Matthew Deneau))

Police in Amherstburg, Ont., are looking for the owners of a German shepherd that attacked and killed a small dog.

Police said a woman was on her porch on Heaton Street on Saturday evening when a German shepherd came running into her front yard.

The large dog began chasing two smaller dogs the woman had in her care; a Maltese poodle and a miniature schnauzer.

The German shepherd then bit the maltese poodle, named Oliver, killing the dog that weighed less than three kilograms.

The larger dog also bit the miniature schnauzer, named Mercedes, injuring the dog on its hip, leg and abdomen.

The woman taking care of the dogs was also bitten on both her hands when she tried to pry the large dog off the two smaller animals.

Dog was 'best friend'

The dog's owner, Matthew Deneau, told CBC News, Oliver was a best friend to both him and his wife, Patty.

Police said a neighbour arrived and hit the dog with a shoe until two women arrived and took the German shepherd, whom they called Keeta.

The women said they didn't own the dog and left, said Deneau.

The German shepherd is described as having black and grey patches and wearing a collar.

Amherstburg police are asking anyone who might know the dog to please contact them.

Deneau said his mother will require rabies shots unless it can be determined the German shepherd had been vaccinated.

"My wife and I are so angered as this is a tragedy that could have easily been avoided," said Deneau.

"Dog owners need to realize the importance and the legality of leashing their pet while out for a walk, even if the animal is not normally vicious."