RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Police Tuesday were investigating a case of animal cruelty after four dogs were killed in a stabbing attack.

Robert Carter found four of his seven Chihuahua-Pug mixes lifeless early Sunday morning in his yard in the 2000 block of Vermont Avenue in Riverside.

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A fifth dog survived stab wounds and two others were unharmed.

“Devastated is not the word,” Carter said.

The attack came three days after Carter said he had a verbal confrontation with a homeless man who threatened to “come back.”

The confrontation was caught on surveillance video.

“I started talking to him, and I asked him to leave. He called me the N-word, so I started talking to him like he was talking to me. I never thought that something would happen like this,” Carter said.

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Carter told police that the man claimed to have two knives and pepper spray.

“He basically said he was coming back and that I would know,” Carter said.

Carter said his security cameras malfunctioned on the day of the attack, leaving him without video of the crime.

Riverside police said they are actively investigating the case, saying they want to interview neighbors and the man seen in the security footage, though he has not been labeled as a suspect.

“When you cause an animal to suffer and then cause its death, that can rise to the level of felony animal cruelty,” police said.

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Anyone with information about the case should contact the Riverside Police Department at (951) 826-5700.