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Sunday, Jul 18, 2010County: Guilford
Charges: Felony CTA, Felony Non-CTA
Case Images: 1 files available
» Harvey Gales, Jr.
» !5 year old juvenile
» 15 year old junenile
» 10 year old junenile
Case Updates: 3 update(s) available
A stray 4-month-old puppy is struggling to survive after being found early Sunday morning with severe burns over much of his body.
Now the people caring for him are hoping he'll pull through - just as the well-known dog Susie did last summer after being set afire and abandoned.
A couple found the pit bull-Labrador mix about 2 a.m. Sunday near the intersection of Summit and East Bessemer avenues and brought him to Happy Tails Veterinary Emergency Clinic.
Severe burns, on the back half of his body, cover between 40 and 50 percent of his skin, said veterinarian Kelley Gebhardt.
His whiskers were singed, perhaps from wheeling around when he was on fire. The burns probably happened between a few days and a week ago.
The puppy appears to be "a fighter," Gebhardt said, and she's hopeful he'll survive.
"He's wagging his tail and eating his food and is just as sweet as can be," she said.
However, although the infection is mild, there is a risk it could become life threatening because he's lost his body's natural barrier against infection.
The puppy may need surgeries to remove dead skin, as well as skin grafts.
"I think he's got a long road ahead of him and his biggest obstacle is going to be fighting the infection," Gebhardt said.
The puppy was wearing a collar and appeared to have chewed through the attached leash. He had no tags or microchip.
Guilford County Animal Control is leading an animal cruelty investigation.
Happy Tails paid for the puppy's first two nights of care. The Guilford County Animal Shelter planned to take in the pup today to continue treatment, said shelter director Marsha Williams.
Thanks to the outpouring of support for Susie over the past year, the puppy's medical expenses will be covered by donations made to "Susie's Miracle Fund," Williams said.
In August, a passer-by found Susie near death in Greenfield Park. The pit-bull mix had been severely beaten and burned. The case fueled a successful effort to pass "Susie's Law" in the legislature. The law increased the penalties for animal abuse.
Williams got the call about the burned puppy on Sunday morning and that afternoon attended a previously scheduled fundraiser for Susie's Miracle Fund at Anton's Restaurant.
The news about the puppy had spread through Susie's Facebook page and word of mouth by the time of the event.
"I think it added a lot more compassion," to the fundraiser, Williams said. "I think it just put a reality in the fact this is not the end of it ... how important this law is and that this is still happening."
Williams said anyone with information about the puppy should call the police, Guilford County Animal Control or the shelter.
"We'd like to make sure whoever did this will never do this again," she said.
|The oldest of four youths arrested Friday in the burning of a puppy made his first appearance in court today.|
Police believe the children, ranging in age from 10 to 17, poured a flammable liquid on a cloth, attached it to the puppy and then set it on fire.
Judge Jan Samet ordered Monday that Harvey Gales Jr., 17, of 7 Pear Tree Court remain in jail under a $25,000 bond.
A woman who identified herself as Gales' mother attended the court appearance and asked the judge to lower his bond or release the teen into her custody so that he wouldn't miss school, which starts in a few weeks.
Gales was charged with felony cruelty to animals, felony burning of personal property and felony conspiracy. He has no prior adult criminal record.
Two 15-year-olds were also charged with burning the puppy and were placed in the Regional Juvenile Detention Center. A 10-year-old was charged and released into the custody of a parent.
The 4-month-old pit bull-Labrador mix, which was named Phoenix by Guilford County Animal Shelter staff members, was found severely burned July 19.
The dog had severe burns on 40 to 50 percent of his body, mostly on the back half. He remains in stable condition at the Guilford County Animal Shelter.
Shelter Director Marsha Williams said Phoenix is a "strong little boy" who is doing well. He is still receiving treatments to fight off infection, but veterinarians are starting to see healthy tissue develop.
Phoenix will remain at the shelter for a few more weeks before being placed in a foster home, Williams said.
|Source: news-record.com - Aug 2, 2010|
Update posted on Aug 15, 2011 - 9:49PM
|Four youths were arrested Friday in the burning of a puppy earlier this month in what a police captain described as "pure teen meanness."|
Police believe the children poured ignitor fluid on cloth, attached it to the puppy, then lit it on fire.
Harvey Gales Jr., 17, of 7 Pear Tree Court, two 15 year olds and one 10 year old have been charged in the puppy burning. Phoenix is a four-month-old pit bull-Labrador mix found with severely burned on July 19.
Gales was charged with felony cruelty to animals, felony burning of personal property and felony conspiracy. He was booked into the Guilford County jail on a $25,000 bond.
The 15 year olds were charged and placed in the Regional Juvenile Detention Center. The 10 year old was charged and released to the custody of a parent.
One 15 year old and the 10 year old are from Greensboro. At least one is related to Giles, Rogers said.
The second 15 year old is from Hamlet in Richmond County. Police are not releasing the names of the juveniles.
"I think this was pure teen meanness," said Capt. Janice Rogers.
"It's a heinous crime against a defenseless animal for grins and giggles."
She said detectives believe that on July 13 or 14, the children were walking by the home and spotted the dog tied in the back yard.
"The juveniles in passing by saw the dog and took the opportunity to do what they did to it," Rogers said.
"We believe they, in some fashion, poured some ignitor fluid on some cloth or other item, attached it to the dog and then lit it on fire."
Police got involved on July 19, when they were called to Happy Trails Veterinary Clinic on Battleground Avenue.
A couple brought the dog to the clinic with severe burns on 40 to 50 percent of his body, mostly on the back half.
Phoenix, as he was later named, remains in critical but stable condition at the Guilford County Animal Shelter.
The couple originally told police they found Phoenix at the intersection of Summit and Bessemer avenues.
Rogers said detectives realized after interviews that was not the case. They tracked the dog to 1205 Maury Lane and through tips to Crime Stoppers were led to the youths.
The home belongs to Juan Gonzalez, who has been out of town since before Phoenix was burned.
His wife, Olga Gonzalez, and children live at the home. She said the couple who found the dog â€" family members from out of town â€" spotted the dog's injuries and took him to the vet.
Olga Gonzalez said Friday she believed â€" at the advice of a neighbor â€" the dog had been in a fight with other dogs or suffered insect bites.
She said the couple told police they found the dog somewhere else to protect her family from becoming involved in a police investigation.
Rogers said it doesn't appear the youths burned the dog in a grudge against the family, nor was it done as a copycat crime to the Susie case, another puppy found burned in Greensboro last August.
"They were passing through, saw the opportunity, took the opportunity and committed this crime," Rogers said.
"They have even made comments to us that 'this was just a dog.'"
The Gonzalez family said the dog's name real name is "Venom."
"We are relieved. (The police) were blaming my son and I'm glad now they won't blame my family," Olga Gonzalez said in Spanish through an interpreter.
"It's inhumane to walk by and hurt a puppy who wasn't doing anything."
Olga Gonzalez said she feels sympathy for the 10 year old, who she believes was following the lead of the older children. She said she wants "justice served" in the cases involving the other youths.
"These people have no heart," she said.
A woman who identified herself as Giles' mother, but would not give her name, had no comment at the family's home Friday.
She would only say: "My children have been embarrassed enough."
None of the youths will be subject to Susie's Law, which was signed into law earlier this month by Gov. Bev Perdue at the backing of local residents.
The law increased the penalties for animal cruelty to ensure convicted offenders serve some jail time.
The new law goes into effect on Dec. 1 and cannot be applied retroactively.
Giles has no prior adult criminal record, which means he likely will be subject to probation if convicted.
|Source: news-record.com - Jul 30, 2010|
Update posted on Aug 15, 2011 - 9:42PM
|Police arrested four people Friday morning in connection to a burned puppy found earlier this month.|
Greensboro Police were called after the 4-month-old lab/pit bull mix was taken to a veterinary office on July 17. The dog, named Phoenix by vets, has burns over 45-50 percent of his body. The injuries were severely infected.
SLIDESHOW (Warning: Images may be too graphic for some users)
Doctors initially didn't think lighter fluid was used during the crime, but now they do believe some type of accelerant was used.
A group of people told police they found the dog on the corner of Bessemer and Summit Avenue with a dog collar and chewed through leash on July 19.
Police later said the location where the dog was reportedly found was false. Investigators believe the crime happened in a residential area on Llano Place near Maury Lane. That's four miles by car from the original location report.
Investigators believe the dog was injured at least five days before he was taken to the vet.
Arrests In Case
On Friday, three juveniles and one teenager arrived at the magistrate's office to face charges. The teen has been identified as 17-year-old Harvey Gales. The names of the juveniles haven't been released, but two are 15 years old and the other is 10 years old.
Investigators say three of the arrestees are from Greensboro and one is from Richmond County, North Carolina.
Gales is charged with Felony Cruelty to Animals, Felony Burning of Personal Property and Felony Conspiracy to Harm Personal Property.
The two 15-year-old juveniles are both charged on a Secure Custody Order.
The 10-year-old was charged and released to a parent.
A fifth person is also being interviewed as a potential suspect.
Police have identified the dog's owner as Juan Gonzalez and said he was out of town at the time of the incident.
How Susie Can Help
Animal shelter workers are saying Phoenix's injuries are more severe than another puppy found burned last year in Greensboro.
That puppy, named Susie, was just a few months old when she was found burned at Greenfield Park in August 2009. Lashawn Whitehead was sentenced to six to eight months in prison for burning personal property in Susie's case. He won't serve any jail time for the cruelty to animals charge.
Governor Perdue signed "Susie's Law" last month. The law will increase penalties for cases involving animal cruelty. Animal cruelty charges involving torture, mutilation, starvation or disfigurement of an animal will be a felony under the new law. The new penalties take effect December 1.
If you would like to donate to Susie's Fund, you can contact the Guilford County Animal Shelter at (336) 297-5020.
|Source: digtriad.com - Jul 30, 2011|
Update posted on Aug 15, 2011 - 9:35PM
- news-record.com - Jul 19, 2011
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