Teacup Yorkie mauled to death outside Miami restaurant - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Teacup Yorkie mauled to death outside Miami restaurant

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Destiny, the Teacup Yorkie mauled to death by a pit bull mix. Destiny, the Teacup Yorkie mauled to death by a pit bull mix.
Stephanie Nickolich, Destiny's owner Stephanie Nickolich, Destiny's owner

MIAMI (WSVN) -- A South Florida woman is demanding answers after her dog was mauled to death outside a Downtown Miami restaurant by a much larger canine, a tragic attack that, she said, could have been prevented.

"I'm having a hard time dealing with the fact that she's not here anymore," said Stephanie Nickolich, the owner of 10-year-old Destiny, as she fought back tears. She said she and her Teacup Yorkie went everywhere together. "It was our destiny to be together," she said.

The grieving owner said the incident occurred Thursday evening while she was sitting outside Elwoods Gastro Pub, located at 188 N.E. 3rd Ave., with Destiny lounging on her lap.

According to Nickolich, a man and his pit bull mix walked by them and then, all of a sudden, the larger canine snatched Destiny by the head. "He just came onto my lap, just grabbed her right off my lap," she said. "It was a big scene."

Nickolich watched in horror as the larger canine violently thrashed her beloved pet. "I was covered in blood. There was blood everywhere," she said, "and I just held her in my arms, told her I loved her."

Nickolich realized Destiny was dead. "She was my family. She was like my child," she said. "I keep questioning, 'Why, why did this happen? Could I have changed one thing?'"

Nickolich said the pit bull mix was on a long leash, not giving the owner much control. While Miami-Dade laws require dogs to be leashed, the legislation does not specify leash length.

After the pit bull mauled her Yorkie, Nickolich called police. She said Animal Services did not respond despite having been contacted by police.

The owner of the pit bull mix left the scene, and, according to Nickolich, Animal Services never showed up to file a report. "It's not handled properly," said Nickolich. "That man got to go home with his dog that night while I had to cremate my dog."

According to Animal Services, they do not seize canines following dog-on-dog attacks until after they conduct a thorough investigation.

Nickolich, a Downtown Miami resident, said she is determined to bring about some form of policy change for the safety of other dogs. She said she reached out to her City of Miami commissioner to discuss the leash laws. "It's too late to save Destiny, but it's not too late to save another dog or a little baby," she said. "I want justice for Destiny."

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