'Atrocious' attack ends pet pooch's life

23:19, Aug 07 2014

Animal control officer Kerry Beckett hopes the death of Jimmy Bonez will stand as a warning to dog owners who allow their animals to roam at night.

Jimmy, an 8-year-old pitbull whose bark was louder than his bite, was found dead after allegedly being dragged across concrete and pinned to the ground with a garden utensil.

Owner Carole Martis woke as usual on the morning of July 24 to make sure her son was awake.

"He was already awake - he was crying on his bed."

She said he had seen Jimmy lying in the front yard, and called out to him. When the dog didn't respond, her son knew he was dead.

At first, Martis thought the dog had been hit by a car and the body left in the front yard.


"It was my son who noticed he had been pinned down with a garden implement . . . We think that he had been enticed with food and then bashed around the head, because he had blood coming out of his nose."

The incident had left the whole family feeling violated and nervous, she said.

"That's what I'm scared of. They've killed my dog - are they going to come back and burgle us?"

Senior animal control officer Kerry Beckett said it was an "atrocious" crime.

She said the dog had clearly been dragged along concrete by his back legs, as his front paws were all ripped up. In her 20 years working in animal control, she had seen very few such cases.

"But then I think that it goes on more than we know, and the owners just don't know what happened to their dog." Martis said the family had already buried Jimmy when they phoned animal control, and it wasn't until then that they realised animal control would be interested.

Beckett said no dog should go through what Jimmy did, but it was a lesson to all dog owners.

"Keep your dogs on your property . . . know where your dogs are at all times so someone can't get hold of it and do something like this."

She said it was not animal control that owners needed to be afraid of. "People allow dogs to roam at night because we aren't on the streets, but these things happen then." 

Waikato Times