Fort Worth

Torture charge expected against Fort Worth boy in beating death of dog

Cookie’s owner says her dog was beaten to death with a stick on Monday afternoon in her Fort Worth neighborhood. Police said the suspect is an 10-year-old boy.
Cookie’s owner says her dog was beaten to death with a stick on Monday afternoon in her Fort Worth neighborhood. Police said the suspect is an 10-year-old boy. Courtesy

10-year-old Fort Worth boy accused of beating a small dog to death with a stick , is expected to face a charge of torture Thursday, police and the dog’s owner said Wednesday.

Detectives plan to file a charge of delinquent conduct/animal cruelty-torture against the boy, said police Sgt. Steven Enright. The charge against the boy, who is not being identified because he is a juvenile, is a state jail felony.

“Once the case is filed it will be up to the District Attorney’s Office to determine the disposition of the child,” Enright said Wednesday in an email.

Initially, police listed the boy’s age as 11, but authorities later changed it to 10.

The dog, Cookie, was found dead on a porch across the street from where he lived in far north Fort Worth.

Jennifer Knittel, Cookie’s owner, said Wednesday that her dog was beaten to death with a stick.

“We are just heartbroken and speechless,” Knittel said.

The family of the 10-year-old boy could not be reached Wednesday, but Knittel said that she was told the boy had been attacked by Cookie.

Knittel said Cookie and her other dog, Sam, had never gotten loose in the neighborhood and Fort Worth animal control officials said Wednesday that they had no record of any problem with the dogs.

Knittel said she rescued Cookie from a shelter five years ago.

The incident on Monday afternoon unfolded this way:

Knittel said her boyfriend was leaving her home on Sleeping Doe Drive about 4:30 p.m. when he was met by Sam outside, near the front door.

“He thought it was odd because he had been playing with Sam and Cookie in the back yard,” Knittel said. “He got Sam back inside.”

When he went back outside, a woman in a car pulled up followed by two police cars.

“She asked him if he was missing a black dog,” Knittel said. “That’s when he was directed to the porch across the street and found Cookie dead.”

The woman, who lived on the street, reported she saw a boy kicking at two dogs under a pickup on the street.

“She thought the dogs belonged to the boy so she didn’t think anything about it,” Knittel said. “She drove home, but she didn’t think it was right so she drove back.”

Knittel said the woman saw the boy walking away from the porch across the street carrying a big stick. She also saw that Cookie was motionless on the porch.

“She asked him if he had hit the dog and he said, ‘No,’” Knittel said. “The woman told him to go up to the dog and to see about him. The boy did and walked back and told the woman that it appeared that the dog was asleep.”

The woman asked the boy for his name and where he lived, but he only told her that his parents told him not to give his name to strangers and walked off.

“As he walked off, he threw the big stick into my back yard,” Knittel said. “The woman called 911 and while she was still in her car followed the boy.”

At one point, the woman lost sight of the boy after he had walked a couple of blocks. The woman stopped near a resident who was in a yard and asked if there had been a boy in the neighborhood.

“That person told the woman that the boy was hiding behind a trash can,” Knittel said.

Police arrived a few minutes later and found the boy in his home. The boy lives three to four blocks from Knittel.

She said she was told by animal control officials on Tuesday that Cookie had suffered a crushed skull and a severed spinal cord.

Also on Tuesday, Knittel said a neighbor came by and apologized for not calling 911.

“He said that he heard a puppy screaming on Monday afternoon and looked out and saw that a boy had a black dog pinned to the ground near that pickup,” Knittel said. “He also had seen the boy sitting on the porch with Sam.”

Knittel’s Facebook page on Wednesday was filled with words of support and condolences.

“How is it that some people are so loving and considerate, and others can be so cruel?” Knittel said on her Facebook page. “I just do not understand!”

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr