Case Snapshot
Case ID: 14798
Classification: Burning - Fire or Fireworks
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2008

County: Dillon

Disposition: Open

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A Dillon woman came home from church Wednesday night to find her dog dead in the oven, according to Dillon Police Sgt. James Hayes.

Hayes says when Bonnie Bowens got home that night, she noticed her front door kicked in. She did not go inside the home; instead, she called police. Hayes says police got that call around 10 p.m. Wednesday.

When investigators arrived, they say they found her house broken into and vandalized.

While looking around her home, investigators say they noticed a chair propped against her oven door. Police were shocked at what they found inside.

They say someone put Bowens' dog in the oven, turned the oven on, and the dog was dead when they opened the door.

Bowens told News13 she had her female pug, "Penny", for about two-and-a-half months before she died Wednesday night.

"This is the first dog I have ever had," Bowens said, "And it hurt me to my heart somebody did that to me, and burnt my dog up in the stove...I still cries and thinks about it."

Police say this happened at 1205 Owen Street in Dillon.

"This is the first case I ever heard of like this that happened in Dillon," Hayes said.

Investigators say the intruder or intruders ransacked Bowens' home. A number of items from her drawers were scattered around the home, according to police.

They do no have any suspects at this time.

"That's what we're trying to figure out," Hayes says, "What it is, gang-related or maybe somebody just got a vengeance against her and we don't know right at this moment."

Police say the person or persons responsible for this crime will face first-degree burglary and cruelty to animal charges.

If you have any information on this case, please contact Dillon Police at (843) 774-0051 or, Crime Stoppers of the Pee Dee at (843) 667-TIPS (8477) or (866) 369-TIPS (8477).

If you have information on this case, please contact:
Dillon Police
(843) 774-0051

Case Updates

Dillon police continue looking for the suspects who broke into a woman's home and killed her dog.

The burglars ransacked Bonnie Bowens' Owens Street home a week ago while she was at church, put her dog Penny inside the oven and turned it on.

Since that incident took place Oct. 22, Bowens has received community and even national support.

But in the meantime, her home was broken into a second time.

Now she's left without her dog and a safe place to live.

Six months is how long Bowens owned the pug. Eight months is how long she has lived in her home that's been broken into twice within a week.

Cell phone photographs and memories are all Bowens said she has left of Penny.

"I've been dreaming about her. I catch myself calling Penny and I know she ain't here," she said.

Police said someone put the pug inside the oven, turned the unit on and then propped a chair against the oven door so she couldn't escape.

"They must have no heart," Bowens said of the burglars.

"A poor defenseless dog was murdered and that type of person is a coward, and we're trying to get that coward," Dillon Police Sgt. Jason Turner said.

"Everyone's just real concerned because of how severe the crime is," Turner said. "We have a lot of animal lovers, including me, in town. If they have that reckless abandon toward an animal, a human life would be nothing in their hands."

Both police and Bowens say Penny's death and how it happened has upset the entire community.

"She is like a little child to me. She's got a heart too, but she got four legs," she said of her beloved Penny. "She's my pet, she's my child - I could say my little girl, my little companion."

"They (pets) become a family member, and a lot of people can relate to this type of crime, and it would be as if they lost a family member, so everyone around town is concerned," Turner said. "It doesn't matter if you're in a big urban city or a town like Dillon, the size of Dillon."

Bowens said people in the community have contacted her and offered to give her another pug.

"I'm gonna get me another one. I'm gonna love it just like I loved Penny," she said, "but Penny's always going to be there in this heart."

Bowens said she will not accept a new dog until she first moves into another home. She said she's basically been forced to move since her home has been broken into twice, and the local housing authority is helping her find a safe place to live.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has gotten involved in the case by offering a reward of up to $2,500 for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.

"When a group like PETA gets involved, it's always exciting to get that type of help," Turner said. "We look at it as a positive thing. The only thing that can come from this is good."

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call the police department at (843) 774-0051 or Crime Stoppers of the Pee Dee at (843) 667-TIPS (8477) or (800) YOU-TIPS (968-8477). Callers need not reveal their identities.
Source: SCnow - Oct 29, 2008
Update posted on Oct 29, 2008 - 11:12PM 


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