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Tag: executed

Visiting pit bull fatally shot during drug raid

queen

Police in Fayetteville, N.C., say they are still investigating an officer’s fatal shooting of a pit bull during a drug raid in July, but the owner — who had left the dog in the care of friends — thinks she is owed some answers.

“The police are supposed to protect and serve, not kill and destroy,” Victoria Thompson told the Fayetteville Observer. “I want the officer responsible for maliciously murdering my baby held accountable.”

Thompson has been waiting since July 17 to find out why Queen, her 4-year-old pit bull, was shot to death as officers executed a search warrant at a friend’s house.

Thompson was a friend of one of the house’s two occupants, and had left Queen with him while she was moving from Fayetteville to Atlanta.

The home’s occupants, Justin Bernard Harris and Taurean Forte, were charged with drug-related violations after the search, according to Fayetteville police.

Queen was in a bedroom asleep when police burst into the room, according to Thompson.

Assistant Chief Brad Chandler said one of the suspects was hiding in the bedroom closet. When officers entered the room, the dog came toward them in an aggressive manner, Chandler said.

The officer who shot the dog has not been identified.

Fayetteville police shot seven animals in 2011 and 12 in 2012, according to a report compiled by the Office of Professional Standards and Inspections.

Asked why non-lethal means weren’t used to control the dog, Chandler said, “If we’re using a Taser, we can’t defend ourselves. You’re going into a drug house and in a split second, you have a huge pit bull coming at you. There’s no way you have got that time. Do you want to risk that?”

Thompson said police offered her compensation for Queen’s death.

“That’s like asking how much is your daughter’s or son’s life worth,” she said. “I want a proper burial for my baby and an apology from the officer responsible, because he unjustly murdered her. But more than anything I want justice for my Queen.”

Euthanizing first, asking questions later

Ohio executed an innocent dog.

Carolyn Baker, 63, of Cleveland Heights, died of a heart attack in Feburary — not from being mauled by the family Rottweiler, the News-Messenger reported today.

Baker was found dead at her back steps, wearing only a thin polyester nightgown and boots, with bite marks on her arms and shoulder. That, apparently, was enough for the police, and subsequently the press, to indict Zeus, the family’s 9-year-old, 140-pound Rottweiler.

“Cleveland Heights Woman Dies Afer Being Attacked by Rottweiler,” one headline read. “POLICE: Woman Mauled to Death by Dog,” shouted another. “Woman Found Mauled to Death by Pet Rottweiler,” concluded a third.

As ohmidog! reported in February,  police and, in turn, the news media, may have jumped the gun — perhaps a little too eager to place blame on a dog because of his breed, which is, of course, nothing new.

Zeus was seized by authorities and impounded, despite the family’s contention that the dog was actually trying to rescue the woman, and that any bite marks were a result of him trying to drag her back to the house.

It took almost six months, but now Cuyahoga County Coroner Frank Miller says there were few dog bites on Baker, that she died of a heart attack and hypothermia, and that her injuries indicated “the dog was trying to help her.”

Had the results come in sooner, Zeus might still be around.

The Cleveland Municipal Court ordered him destroyed in April.

Emma and Luna: Deaths still unsolved

emmaluna

The reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever shot and killed two dogs in Pennsylvania  has reached $50,000, the Chester County SPCA said yesterday — and the gang at Rescue Ink has joined in the investigation.

The reward fund was established last October after the two family pets were found near the railroad tracks along Brandywine Creek in Pennsbury Township. Both had been shot between the eyes at close range.

Emma, a one-and-a-half-year-old German shorthaired pointer, and Luna, a two-year-old mix of the same breed, had been placed tail to tail, said Rich Britton, spokesman for the Chester County SPCA. The two dogs were reported missing from a Pocopson Township farm Oct. 25.

Today, the search for the killer will get an additional boost from Rescue Ink, a group of tattooed animal rescuers who appear on National Geographic Channel’s Rescue Ink Unleashed, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Rescue Ink, which targets animals in danger, will participate in a news conference today at 2 p.m. and meet with the public from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Chester County SPCA, 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester. A town-hall meeting will be held at 7 p.m.  at the Chadds Ford Historical Society, 1736 Creek Rd.

Fired firefighter walks out of appeal hearing

An Ohio firefighter who was fired for executing his two dogs walked out of an appeal hearing yesterday in which he was seeking to get his job back.

As a result, the Civil Service Commission dismissed David Santuomo’s appeal of his firing, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Santuomo, 43, was waiting for the hearing to begin, but left after a television news crew set up a camera in the commission’s hearing room.

“He came here with the intention of going forward but changed his mind,” said Barbara McGrath, the commission’s executive director. The commission had agreed to postpone the original hearing in the fall and informed Santuomo that his appeal would be dismissed if he didn’t attend today’s hearing.

Santuomo was fired in July after being convicted of two counts of animal cruelty and one count of possession of a criminal tool. Prosecutors say Santuomo tied his two mixed-breed dogs to a pipe in his basement and shot them so he wouldn’t have to put them in a kennel while he went on a vacation cruise with his girlfriend. He dumped the bodies in a trash bin behind his fire station

He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and fined $4,500.

Farm justice: Was wrong dog executed?

nubisA New York dog may have been executed for a crime he didn’t commit.

Suspected in the death of six alpacas at a neighboring farm in Forestburgh, Nubis, a Belgian malinois, was shot by an employee at the farm — five days after the alpacas were found dead.

Now, a report issued by an animal control officer says there’s no evidence connecting Nubis to the alpaca attack.

The dog belonged to Ben Wechsler, neighbor of Stuart Salenger, who owns the farm. The two men have a history of not getting along, according to the Times Herald-Record.

Animal Control Officer Arnold Burger said the likely culprits in the slaying of Salenger’s animals were coyotes, not dogs, and that photographs provided by Salenger are insufficient evidence to confirm the dog was shot in the alpaca pen. The photos show the dog’s body in two locations, he said. Salenger said his farm workers removed the dog from the pen because the body was bothering his animals.

(Photo courtesy of Peter K. Bertine, Jr.)

Reward in Chester County grows to $11,000

emmalunaThe reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot and killed two dogs in Chester County, Pennsylvania, has grown to $11,000.

Rich Britton, a spokesman for the Chester County SPCA, said this morning that the Humane Society of the United States contributed $2,500 of the sum, most of the rest coming from public donations.

The reward started out at $500, grew to $5,000 by the next day, and was up to $11,000 by day’s end, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The dogs, Luna and Emma, both about 2, were killed, and left arranged tail-to-tail along the railroad tracks in Pennsbury Township, Pa. They were found on Sunday. The dogs were owned by a family that has not been publicly identified that lives about three miles from where they were found. They were last seen at the home on Saturday.

Both were shot between the eyes with a small caliber handgun.

Investigators are loking for the owner of a red Ford F-150 pickup truck with a cap that was seen parked beside Brintons Bridge Road with lights flashing sometime between 1 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, he said.

Anyone with information about the crime should call 610-692-6113, Ext. 213, he said.

To contribute to the reward fund, make checks payable to the CCSPCA and mail them to CCSPCA, 1212 Phoenixville Pike, West Chester, Pa. 19380.

Second tortured cat found in Baltimore

The Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter is seeking the public’s help in an investigation into the death of a tortured and executed cat whose remains were brought to BARCS this morning by Baltimore City Animal Control.

The cat’s body was found tied to a fence in the 3700 block of Lewiston Avenue in Baltimore. According to Debra Rahl of BARCS, it was wrapped with a blue cord and had a heavy chain around its neck that was attached to a utility pole.

The cat’s head was placed on a “96 shot Phantom Fireball Display.”

The hair on the cat’s head was completely singed off, and it had multiple contusions and bruises to its body. Its right front leg was broken above the elbow and it had a 6 centimeter wound in its left shoulder area. There was an odor of a gunpowder type substance on the body.

This is the second cat  found tortured and killed in the area  in the past two weeks , BARCS said. The first cat was also found with a blue cord around its neck.