Case Snapshot
Case ID: 12639
Classification: Choking / Strangulation / Suffocation
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Animal was offleash or loose
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Monday, Oct 29, 2007

County: New Castle

Disposition: Open

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

Teresa Cale's 2-year-old, black-and-tan miniature pinscher named Deuce was her best buddy.

A friendly dog, he liked to sleep under the covers and knew that when Cale jingled her car keys that he was going for a ride.

Deuce, who apparently slipped out of the Castle Hills home of Cale's mother last week, was found strangled Wednesday morning in a downtown Wilmington alley, the state's third victim of canine violence in two weeks, animal officials said.

Investigators are now looking for a man who was caught on surveillance video walking with a leashed dog toward the Residences at Rodney Square on North Market Street. About 10 minutes later, he was seen walking away without the dog, John E. Caldwell, SPCA executive director, said.

"I would have rather he had gotten hit by a car than have somebody do this to him with their hands," Cale said. "He wouldn't have bothered anybody."

Animal cruelty investigators Nicholas Pepe and Dave Sloan retrieved a male dog from the alley at 902 N. Market St. after getting a call from Wilmington police about 10 a.m. Wednesday.

They took the dog to the SPCA shelter in Stanton for a necropsy and were able to trace it to Cale through implanted microchips, Caldwell said.

Cale, who lives in the Whitehall development near New Castle, told investigators her pet went missing Oct. 29 while she was visiting her mother on Deborah Avenue in Castle Hills.

She said she didn't know if Deuce, who also was wearing a collar with his name on it, had wandered away or had been taken.

"He was in the house and we never noticed that he slipped out," she said. "We went all through the development looking for him and thought he was going to backtrack home. He was like a kid. He paid attention to where he was going."

The necropsy revealed Deuce suffered extensive injuries and bruising to the neck and chest areas and had bruising to the whites of his eyes, "which indicated he might have been strangled," Caldwell said.

A belt was found underneath the dog's body when he was discovered.

Cale was distraught when she had to identify her dog at the shelter Wednesday.

"I feel so bad that somebody was cruel enough to actually do harm to him on purpose," she said. "He's going to be missed by so many of us. That was my buddy. That was my son."

On Oct. 22, a 4-year-old golden retriever was found dead in the yard of a home on Dogwood Slope Road near Centreville. It was determined the dog died of asphyxiation after a man was seen on the resident's videotape struggling with it. County police, who are conducting the investigation, have no suspects in that case.

Wednesday, a 46-year-old Lincoln man was jailed on cruelty charges for allegedly beating his 10-year-old boxer with a pickaxe and then burying the dog while he was still alive.

The man suspected in Deuce's death was dressed in blue jeans, a black jacket, a white T-shirt and a black cap. He has a thin build and is about 5 feet 11 inches tall.

Caldwell asked anyone who knows the suspect's identity or has seen a man in the past week with a black-and-tan dog to call the shelter at 998-2281.

If you have information on this case, please contact:
SPCA
998-2281

References

« DE State Animal Cruelty Map
« More cases in New Castle County, DE

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