Police filed a case of delinquent conduct/animal cruelty or torture Thursday with juvenile authorities, saying they have evidence that a 10-year-old boy in far northwest Fort Worth beat a neighbor’s dog to death with a stick.
Juvenile authorities will now review the case and could investigate further, place the boy in a first-offender program or refer the case to the Tarrant County district attorney’s office for prosecution in juvenile court.
“We’re in communication with them,” said Sam Jordan, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, on Thursday.
As of Thursday, the boy was not in juvenile custody, officials said. In Texas, 10 is the minimum age at which a child can be prosecuted.
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The dog, a 15-pound mix of Cavalier King Charles spaniel and poodle, was found dead Monday afternoon on the porch of a house across the street from its owner’s on Sleeping Doe Drive.
Jennifer Knittel, Cookie’s owner, told WFAA Thursday that the boy’s parents gave a police officer a written apology, which was passed on to her.
“For whatever reason, our son felt threatened, and felt better to defend himself,” the letter read, Knittel said.
Knittel said Cookie and her other dog, Sam, were in her fenced back yard that day while she was at work. Knittel told WFAA that she believes the boy unlatched the gate and later beat the dog with the stick.
A woman alerted Knittel’s boyfriend on Monday after she had spotted a boy leaving the porch with a stick and saw a dog slumped over. When she confronted the boy, he told her that he did not hit the dog, but she became suspicious and followed him. Officers located the boy, who lives three to four blocks from where Cookie was found dead, police have said.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763