DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas police now have a suspect in the animal abuse case involving Justice; the puppy set on fire two weeks ago.
Dallas Sheriff’s Department officials say they’ve received an arrest warrant and are now actively looking for 18-year-old Darius Ewing.
Police say Ewing doused the four-month-old puppy with lighter fluid and then threw a lit cigarette on the animal.
“There has been just a rash of really vicious, violent animal cruelty acts recently,” said Johnnie England, with the Metroplex Animal Coalition. “Ironically, April has been designated as Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month.”
England explained that often abuse against animals is a sign of a bigger problem.
“There is a link between animal cruelty and human violence. It’s a vicious cycle,” she said. “A lot of times these youths, especially who take out their rage on a defenseless animal, have been abused themselves and can’t strike back at the person who has been abusing them.”
Is there a ‘silver lining’ to the publicity surrounding the attack against Justice and the recent reports of local children shooting a Chihuahua with a BB gun and another owner striking his dog with a closed fist numerous times while in a choke hold? England thinks yes.
“Are these going on really all the time and yet people have been reluctant to come forward?” she asked. “I do like to think that the positive is that people… are more willing to come forward when they do witness animal cruelty.”
The reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case of Justice the puppy was increased to $25,000 on Wednesday. Anyone with information about the case is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (214) 373-8477 or dial 911.
A vigil for Justice is planned for Friday at 7:30 p.m., at Dallas City Hall.
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