Neighbor's pit bull mixes attack Long Beach woman, kill her beloved dog

A Long Beach couple say they're heartbroken over the attack, but hope that action can emerge from the tragic loss of their dog.

Amanda Palacios Image
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Neighbor's pit bull mixes attack Long Beach woman, kill her dog
A Long Beach woman's walk out with her dogs took a deadly turn when she and her pets were attacked by two pit bull mixes.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Debbie Reis-Bastiaans and her husband are grieving the death of her rescued Chihuahua-terrier mix, Willy.

Last Monday, Reis-Bastiaans said she was taking her four dogs out for a walk when two large pit bull mixes suddenly ran over, knocked her down and attacked Willy.

"As I was starting to exit from the apron of the neighbor's driveway and walk across the street, a pack of dogs got out and attacked all four of my dogs and me," Reis-Bastianns recalled. "I tried to protect my dogs, but they got my Willy."

"From what I could see, it looks like she jumped on the ground and tried to cover them both up and looks like Willy slipped out from underneath her and got to the back," said Debbie's husband Lou Bastiaans.

Reis-Bastiaans said she rushed Willy and her other dog Gidget to the animal hospital. Gidget was treated for a broken leg, but Willy's injuries were too severe to save.

"He was so sweet. And just one second before you see him on the video - wagging his tail and happy, and then he's dead," Reis-Bastiaans said.

The owner of the pit bull mix dogs didn't want to speak on camera and said he accidentally left the gate open. He said he is taking full responsibility, and is sad that animal control took his dogs away. But neighbors said this isn't the first time something like this has happened.

"I've lived here for a little over 10 years, and he has been a problem with dogs, even the dogs he had before - barking and carrying on," neighbor Bonnie Dugar said. "It took my neighbor to lose her beautiful little dog to hopefully try and get some resolution."

Debbie and Lou said they are heartbroken about losing Willy, but they remain hopeful that action can emerge from this tragic incident.

"It took the life of my dog, and almost the life of my wife and the other dogs for them to finally come out and pick the dogs up," Lou Bastiaans said.

The city of Long Beach Animal Care Services is investigating the incident and plans to have a vicious dog hearing for this case.