LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Three-year-old Gracie and one-year-old Bo brought joy to Joy Lee's life.
"Gracie would sit beside me and give me this funny look and in just one little leap would jump in my lap and turn over with her belly up and lay with me," Lee said.
Now, those memories and a handful of pictures are all Lee has to remember the friendly pair of Irish Setters.
"They were mauled to death in our house," said Lee, who lives on Wessinger Road outside Chapin. "They were mauled to death."
Lee said a pack of dogs from a neighbor's house – possibly six in total – burst through her doggy door Monday evening around 6 o'clock or so and viciously attacked Bo and Gracie. Lee wasn't at home at the time and neither was her husband.
"When he got home, he noticed that Bo and Gracie did not come out to greet him like they normally do, and he got out of the car and was walking toward the house. He saw a different dog stick his head out the doggy door, and then two dogs – unfamiliar dogs – ran toward him as if they were going to attack him, and he kicked them off," Lee said.
Lexington County's on-call Animal Control Officer made entry into the home a short time later in an attempt to remove the neighbor's dogs with a catch pole but was unsuccessful. According to the county, shortly after the officer's arrival, the owner of the dogs arrived on scene and removed them from the home.
"These dogs were vicious," Lee said. "If I would have been home alone, I feel sure they would have killed me. If I would've driven up and gotten out of the car, I couldn't keep them off of me."
That's why she's appalled the dogs weren't taken by the county Monday night. Other neighbors share that opinion. Lee said the Lexington County Sheriff's Department and animal control should review her case to see what both can do better next time.
Nevertheless, Tuesday afternoon, Lexington County Animal Control seized ten dogs from the home of Lee's neighbor, 42-year-old Ryan Ezzell.
Animal Control issued Ezzell 16 citations, which include six citations for violation of restraint and confinement and 10 citations for failure to show proof of rabies inoculation.
WIS reached out to Ezzell but didn't hear back.