VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WTVR) — The owner of King, a three-year-old Yorkshire Terrier/Shih Tzu mixed breed killed Sunday night at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, told CBS 6 in Richmond that everything happened so fast by the time she could react, it was too late.
Nakita Young took her children to Virginia Beach Sunday to spend the holiday with family.
The decision to take King was a last-moment one, she said.
“It was so hot, I thought about leaving the dog at home,” the Newport News woman said. “But it got a little cooler in the evening, and I thought King deserved some outdoor time.”
Less than an hour later, she said, King was dead.
It was around 7:30 p.m. Sunday when Young said she picked King up in her arms and walked down to the water near Neptune Park to help her children out of the ocean.
Back on the beach, she put King down on the sand, where he played with a woman and another dog.
“[Then] this grey pit bull came out of nowhere and scooped up my dog in his mouth,” she said. “He ripped my dog like he was a rag doll or chew toy.”
As Young screamed for help, some beach goers sprayed water on the larger dog in an attempt to get it to loosen its grip.
Others actually tried to pry open the dog’s mouth, she said.
But it proved to be too late.
King was dead.
Police arrived and officers were eventually able to capture to pit bull.
“We kept asking who were the owners,” Young said.
When the owners were found, she said, they initially refused to take responsibility for their dog’s actions.
“No remorse, no apology,” she said when asked to describe their reaction to the situation.
The pit bull’s owner, 37-year-old Kristin L. Foster, was arrested and charged with public intoxication during the incident. Charges related to the animal violations are still pending.
After the attack, officers informed Young that dogs were not allowed on the beach after 6 p.m., a rule that begins Memorial Day weekend.
“Make yourself aware of beach rules,” Young advised others. “And keep your pets on a leash…. that could have been a child that was attacked.”
While the investigation into the incident remains ongoing by Virginia Beach Police, Young is gathering the funds needed to cremate her pet.
“I’ve had him since he was four weeks old,” she said. “My children are traumatized by what they saw.”