Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17018
Classification: Beating, Stabbing
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Wednesday, Dec 1, 2010

County: Sacramento

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Open

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

Investigators will pursue felony animal cruelty charges in the vicious beating death of a dog at a home that was burned in a fire this week in North Sacramento.

"We're going all out on this," said the city's chief animal control officer, Dan Torres. "This dog was brutalized. I have never seen anything like this."

Arson is suspected in the fire, which heavily damaged a home on Leitch Avenue, said Sacramento Fire Department investigator Patrick Taylor. No one has been arrested in the case.

Animal control officers went to the address Wednesday evening to respond to a report that someone had killed the family dog before burning down the house, Torres said.

A resident of the home led officers outside to a drainage ditch, where they found a mutilated pit bull mix.

The city's veterinarian, Laura Warner, conducted a necropsy on the animal and concluded that it had been beaten, possibly with a tire iron.

The beating crushed the dog's skull and the animal suffered more than 20 stab wounds, Torres said.

"Apparently this person has anger issues. He was mad, and he took it out on the family dog," he said.

Investigators have a suspect in the case, but have yet to publicly identify the person.

The city will present its evidence, including photos of the animal and interviews with residents of the home, to the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office for possible prosecution, said animal care manager Penny Cistaro.

"You bet we're going to file felony cruelty charges on this person," said Torres. "This dog died a very painful death. It's the right thing to do for the animal."


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