A daily practice of walking her dogs through pastoral Tynehead Regional Park ended in horror last week when two pit bulls killed one of her dogs and savagely attacked another.
On the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 19, Yoshiko Lee was walking her four-year-old sheltie, Buddy, and her 10-year-old Yorki, Keepher, through Tynehead Regional Park.
She also had Blue, a 10-year-old blue heeler/border collie cross.
At about 9 a.m., she passed a woman having a hard time controlling her two pit bulls.
As she passed her in an open clearing (pictured below), she turned to see one of the pit bulls had Keepher in its mouth, swinging it from side to side. The second pit bull attacked Buddy, who was muzzled and virtually defenseless.
Lee kicked the pit bull attacking Buddy, but it just kept on attacking.
The woman with the pit bulls had lost control of the animals and now the second pit bull joined in on the attack of Buddy.
Realizing her sheltie was in the throes of death, Lee grabbed Blue and Keepher and took left for home, calling 911 on the way.
The woman with the pit bulls yelled, "Come get your dog."
Lee yelled back, "I can't. My dog is dead."
As she was on the phone with 911, Lee noticed the woman gather her pit bulls and run across 96 Avenue.
Surrey's Animal Control officers arrived and took Lee and her three dogs to the vet.
Buddy died at the scene, while Keepher suffered puncture wounds to its back and a dislocated shoulder.
Lee and Blue did not sustain physical injuries, but Lee suffered for days from the emotional trauma, as did her husband, David.
Kim Marosevich, Surrey's manager of animal care and control, said officers are getting close to identifying the woman who had the dogs.
"Definitely this is one of the most serious kinds of files that we would ever deal with," Marosevich said Friday. "All of the officers we have will be working on this."
Surrey currently has five animal control officers.
"We'd all feel better if we had a fast resolution, but the reality is it may take us some time," Marosevich said Monday. "But we certainly aren't going to let this go."
Lee's husband David said Monday he's shocked by the unexpected nature of the attack, especially since it was in an open, pastoral setting that's usually so calm.
He says the family has been through extreme trauma, and he fears for the public now that the dogs are still out there.
She doesn't believe the public is in danger at this point, because investigators think the woman is currently trying to hide them from animal control.
"I suspect they've put the dogs into hiding, which means they're not going to be out and about," Marosevich said.
Animal control knows which house the pit bulls ran to, and say the renters there have two pit bulls registered to their name.
It appears at this point that they've fled.
The couple have family in the city, and investigators are checking with them to see if they know where the dogs or their owners are.
The investigation continues.