Dakota, an 8-year-old Jack Russell terrier came to a horrific end on Tuesday when he was found tortured and mutilated on Oakville Avenue in Danville, VA. The dog was covered in wounds and had large sections of skin ripped from its body. The details are graphic, the wounds so horrendous no pictures were released. The Danville Area Humane Society is calling it one of the worst cases of animal cruelty it has ever seen.
“It was one of the worst things I’ve seen in the 18 years I’ve been here,” said April Hogan, manager of the Humane Society Shelter. Hogan said there was nothing they could do to save him.
“We ended up having to put the dog down because of the injuries.”
“I want to say whoever did this I want justice to be done. It’s not the same anymore. And I always go in the living room and see him laying on the couch. He’s not there. And it’s so hard to imagine him not being there,” owner, Candice Brening said, fighting back tears.
The details are still coming together, but it is believed the injuries were inflicted between 5 and 6 p.m. Tuesday. Dean said the owner said the dog was missing for about half an hour. Paulette Dean, director of the Humane Society, said the police are following up on every lead, but there are a lot of questions in this case.
At this point details are sparse and determining what happened hasn’t been easy. One neighbor believes that the injuries inflicted were not done by a person at all.
“I did see it happen…”
Donald Averett said he came out of his home near Halifax Road and saw Dakota being attacked by another dog.
“Like a Rottweiler – some brown and black dog – shaking it around like a rag doll. It wasn’t a person.”
But the Humane Society and the owner both feel like some of the dogs’ wounds could not have been caused by another animal, and they do think a person was involved. There were both bite wounds and stabbing wounds.
“His skin was ripped off on his back and it was cut in a even spot. And it was a small thin piece of layer of skin. You could see his veins, his muscles, everything. I was thinking, there’s no way an animal could have done that,” Brening said.
Since the torture and death of the terrier was intentional and resulted in the death of the dog, Dean said the case could be prosecuted as a class six felony. If it is prosecuted as a felony, the suspects responsible could face no more than five years in prison and no less than one year, as well as a fine of no more than $2,500.
Anyone with information regarding the attack is urged to contact the Humane Society at (434) 799-0843.