Police investigate dogs’ deaths

Published 9:12 pm Monday, January 5, 2009

Suffolk Animal Control and the Suffolk Police Department are investigating two incidents of animal cruelty that occurred during the past few days.

In the first, on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, police got a call from a citizen who saw a man in a pickup truck pull onto a hunting path near Gates Road. The witness saw the man take a dog out of a dog box on the back of his truck and walk into the woods with it.

Suffolk spokeswoman Debbie George said Monday that the witness reported hearing a single gunshot and a dog’s yelp before the man returned to his truck and left the area.

Email newsletter signup

The witness then went into the woods and found a dog lying dead on the ground.

Animal control officers are investigating and have some leads, George said.

The second incident was reported Saturday by a resident of a home on N. 5th Street.

George said the cousin of the homeowner went to check on a Labrador-pit bull mix that was being kept outside of the home and found it on the ground with “a laceration to its neck.”

The homeowners called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Suffolk Police Department, George said, and both organizations responded to the scene.

Norfolk-based PETA “had been providing services” at the home, George said, and the homeowner surrendered the dog to the group’s representatives, who later found that the dog’s injuries were too severe for treatment and had it euthanized.

George said the dog’s ultimate death would raise the cruelty charge to the level of a felony. Animal control and police are both working the investigation into the second incident.