OREM, Utah (ABC4) – A Utah County family is dealing with the loss of their family pets, all at the hands of teenagers who reportedly dumped dish soap in their pond, killing hundreds of koi fish.
Olivia Burton says her dad was devastated early Saturday morning when he came out to his pond and saw the aftermath of what appears to be some sort of prank.
Burton says some time Friday night, around three teenage males somehow got into her parents’ gated community in Orem and allegedly poured what she says looks like a bottle of dish soap into their pond, killing their koi fish.
All of this was caught on their home surveillance camera.
In speaking with ABC4 News, Burton says her dad went out Saturday afternoon around 1:00 p.m. to go feed the fish, only to find many of his fish dead and other suffocating.
She says they did all they could to save them by taking them out of the pond and relocating them.
She says there were about a dozen adult koi fish and hundreds of babies — unfortunately none of them survived.
Burton explains “it was absolutely devastating to watch them suffocate to death, and there’s nothing you can do to help them.”
Burton says it appears the teens may have hit another home in the area too, as another family reported damage to their pond.
Her family doesn’t believe it was a targeted act, but perhaps some sort of prank, one with costly consequences as their estimating upwards of $50,000 in damages.
She says they’ve contacted police, but at this point, they are just distraught and want answers. “What seems to be a harmless prank turned out to be absolute cruelty to animals and thousands of dollars worth of damage” Burton tells ABC4 News.
Burton says Sunday is her dad’s 69th birthday, and that it’s disappointing he had to spend most
of his weekend trying to clean up the mess.
Burton says her dad is a hardworking man and she’s heartbroken to see this happen on what was supposed to be a fun birthday weekend for him.
“We even cancelled the family party because it’s been so heartbreaking” Burton says.
ABC4 News spoke with Orem Police, who says they are investigating the incident and have identified who they believe are the suspects and have spoken with the families.
As these are minors, it’s unclear if they will face any sort of charges.