Two pit bulls, Yogi and Luna, somehow recently managed to get out of their home on N.E. 80th Street and bite two women near a Kirkland school.
Now, Kerri Osmulski, 49, is left with a great fear it will happen again and Yogi and Luna face being “humanely destroyed” if their owner doesn’t redeem them or abide by the Regional Animal Services of King County’s (RASKC) sanction.
“Dangerous dogs are Regional Animal Service’s top priority, to make sure they aren’t an extreme threat,” said RASKC manager and veterinarian Jene Mueller.
This is not the first time one of the dogs have attacked, according to a Kirkland Police report.
Osmulski was walking home for lunch heading west on N.E. 80th Street from her job at Rose Hill Elementary when she felt a dog bite the back of her thigh just under her buttocks on Sept. 14. The attack blood soaked her jeans, according to a Kirkland Police report.
“I flung around and went into the middle of the road,” Osmulski said. “I was terrified.”
She said the dogs circled around and lunged at her. She said she screamed for what seemed like “hours” before her neighbor drove up beside her and told her to get in her vehicle.
“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” she said. “But I’m just glad I was attacked and not a child.”
Rose Hill Elementary is one block away from the location of the attacks.
After multiple witnesses called police, officers “dry fired” Tasers to keep the dogs at bay until RASKC arrived. The police report said Yogi was unneutered and Luna appeared to have just given birth.
This was just moments after Suzanne Shaw Peerman, 81, was bitten on the upper leg in her driveway in the same area and treated for a similar bite. She was able to get inside her house and close the door.
Osmulski and Peerman went to Evergreen Hospital’s emergency room for bite wounds. Doctors packed Osmulkski’s gash with antibiotics, wrapped it and diagnosed her with post traumatic stress disorder because she described feeling very anxious and fearful of being around the dogs again, she said. She doesn’t live far from where the incident occurred.
Both women feel the dogs’ owner Louis Valente Lopez Chavez, 19, should pay for their medical bills. Animal control fined Chavez, a student with a part time job, more than $2,500.
That day, Chavez and his mother left the house at around noon – just 30 minutes before the incident. Chavez said he locked the doors and shut the blinds.
“When we got home, the front door and the back slide door were completely open,” he told the Reporter.
And stranger, he said, was that his mother found blood on the couch inside their living room.
Chavez speculates someone could have let the dogs out. He said he’s seen immigration agents around his home, one even taking photos of his fence, and has had officials pull him over while he was driving his dad’s vehicle. He believes they are looking for his father, who has been away for some time.
A US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson said the agency would not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation in the Kirkland area.
Chavez has had the dogs since they were puppies.
“They’re good dogs,” he said. “They’re loyal and they protect my little sister. They like to be loved just like any other dog. But when I (take them on a walk) people look at me like I have a gun in my pocket.”
Peerman and Osmulski say they both have a love of dogs but these dogs were vicious. Both say they didn’t provoke the dogs at all – they were minding their own business. Chavez said when he returned home, the dogs were shaking as though they were terrified.
One week before the accident, an officer met with Chavez for an unrelated incident, according to police documents, and during the encounter Chavez said: “The male pit bull had attacked a child at a park approximately one month ago.” The report continues: “(Chavez) told her that he would like to give the dog away but felt that he would have to neuter it first.”
Yogi and Luna will be put down if Chavez doesn’t redeem them by the end of the week and relocate them to another county, he said.
“We can’t afford to take them back (from RASKC),” he said.
Chavez sold all of Luna’s recent puppies but hopes that he will be able to get one back if his dogs are put to sleep.