Vandals struck the Mission Hospice Society office on the weekend, flooding the backyard and killing more than 100 koi fish.
Angel Elias, executive director of the society said her husband arrived at the office, located in a house on Hillcrest Avenue across from Mission Memorial Hospital, on Sunday to find the backyard pond flooded, security fence damaged and beer bottles and dead fish scattered all along the yard.
“Sometime on Friday, some people came here, put our garden hose in the pond, flooded it, killed all of the koi. Sat here drinking, put their beer bottles all over the yard and then, because they left the hose on even after they left, flooded the whole backyard,” said Elias.
“All the fish basically floated out of the pond and died on the gravel.”
Then raccoons came and ate the dead fish.
While the hospice has security lights and video camera on the premises, little could be seen to help identify any suspects.
“This is how smart these people were. They saw that we had surveillance cameras so they flashed a light right on the camera so I can’t see for the three hour period they were there,” said Elias.
A camera on the front of the building did catch a vehicle pulling up into the hospice driveway at about 10 p.m. Friday night, but the license plate could not be seen.
Mission RCMP were contacted and Elias said they will try and do some extra patrols.
“There’s not much more they can do,” said Elias who is concerned that the vandals may return.
“This is absurd. I have to start shutting the water off when we leave.”
Fortunately for the society, the community is already rallying around them. The Mission-based Mr. Pets store has offered to lend them a hand.
“Mr. Pets has totally saved the day. Monica (store manager Monica Pierce) phoned me up and I just came back from there and she gave me 50 goldfish to start with and in the springtime she’s going to hook me up with some koi,” said a thankful Elias.
Pierce was only too happy to help the hospice.
“My partner passed away in hospice two years ago this September, so I didn’t hesitate. They did awesome by me so I in turn will gladly help out,” said Pierce.
Two Good Samaritans, named Rita and Gail, also came by the office and donated four koi.
“They saw the post on Facebook,” said Elias.