Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19598
Classification: Kicking/Stomping
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Saturday, May 5, 2012

County: Delaware

Disposition: Open

Suspect(s) Unknown - We need your help!

Township police Monday continued to canvass neighbors in the area around the 1300 block of Brookcroft Lane where a 10-pound dog was believed to be viciously kicked to death by an intruder late Saturday in his owner's driveway.

Acting Police Chief John Slowik said his officers are trying to glean information about the man responsible for the death of Romeo, a 3-year-old canine owned by Michele and Thomas Rogers.

"Maybe they saw or heard something," said Slowik.

Mrs. Rogers said she caught a glimpse of her pet's presumed attacker. She and her husband were getting ready for bed around 11 p.m. Saturday when she heard Romeo barking in the driveway. She opened the garage door to find the little dog badly injured and saw a man fleeing down her driveway.

"The person was so bold he came right up my driveway. All the lights were on. We were all home," said Rogers, whose two stepsons and nephew were in the house with her and her husband.

She described the suspect as a young-looking, tall white male wearing a white T-shirt and carrying something bright blue in his hand.

The Rogers rushed Romeo to the Old Marple Animal Hospital in Springfield where a veterinarian determined the dog was severely brain damaged, most likely as a result of being kicked, said Mrs. Rogers.

"He had to be put down," she said sadly on Sunday night.

While the Rogers were at the animal hospital, one of their sons filed a report of the brutal deed with a township police officer, who checked the immediate area for evidence of the intruder, said Slowik.

Mrs. Rogers wondered if the man was attempting to break into the family's cars and was thwarted by Romeo's barking.

"He was a great dog full of love. He never hurt anyone," said Rogers who had owned Romeo since he was 6 weeks old.

Slowik said there have been no recent reports of robberies in Bethel, a usually quiet community where most police calls are for medical assistance. The police chief said he can empathize with the Rogers' sense of loss at the death of their dog.

"I can relate to them," said Slowik, who formerly owned Labrador retrievers that are now deceased.

Since the news of the violent attack on Romeo broke Monday in the Daily Times, Mrs. Rogers said she has received dozens of phone calls and messages on Facebook from sympathetic readers.

"They are sickened and saddened and horrified that this person is still walking around," she said.

Romeo was one of four dogs owned by the Rogers, who have an electric fence around the property where they have lived for two years. Both widowed, they each brought two dogs to their marriage.

Just before the attack on Romeo, Mrs. Rogers had let three of their dogs in the house. She said instead of coming into the house, Romeo darted around to the side yard, possibly because he heard the intruder. Minutes later, she heard Romeo barking, opened the garage door and found her fatally injured pet in the driveway.

"We've both been through so much heartbreak. I thought I'd make a new life here with him and his kids and our dogs. This is so tragic," said Mrs. Rogers who, like her husband, is 53 years old.

The Rogers are not the only ones mourning Romeo, who was a shihpoo - a cross between a shih tzu and a poodle. Armani, a shih tzu Mrs. Rogers purchased within two weeks of acquiring Romeo, was Romeo's constant companion.

"They played together. They slept together. He's heartbroken," she said.

The Rogers are posting a reward for anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of Romeo's killer. Anyone with information should contact the Bethel Police Department at 610-558-0929.

If you have information on this case, please contact:
Bethel Police Department
610-558-0929

References

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