A 10-year-old boy accused of beating a small dog to death with a stick in a residential neighborhood last month has been charged with animal cruelty, officials said Friday.
The boy, who is not being identified because he is a juvenile, was charged with the felony of delinquent conduct cruelty to a non-livestock animal in the May 11 beating death of Cookie, a small Cavalier King Charles-poodle mix, in far north Fort Worth.
The boy is expected to surrender to authorities this week, said Sam Jordan with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office in an email Monday. “We don’t expect him to be detained. That will ultimately be the judge’s decision,” Jordan said.
The boy’s family could not be reached Monday.
“I’m just pushing for the boy to get some help,” said Jennifer Knittel of Fort Worth, Cookie’s owner. “I don’t wish any harm to him or his family, but I do want the courts to get him some help.”
Jordan said Monday that an investigation will continue into the case and the that first hearing for the boy should be in 30 to 45 days.
Cookie was found dead on a porch across the street from where he lived in far north Fort Worth. Officials told Knittel that Cookie died from a crushed skull and a severed spinal cord.
In a May interview with the Star-Telegram, Knittel said that she was told that 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 have said that they had no record of any problem with the dogs.
Knittel said she rescued Cookie from a shelter five years ago.
Two days after the attack, Knittel said she received a letter from the family through a Fort Worth detective in which they apologized for the attack.
“Dear Ms. Knittel, please accept our sincere condolences to you and your family on the death of your dog. For whatever reason our son felt threatened by it and thought it best to defend himself, when he thought it would bite his leg.”
The boy’s family wrote that the boy had been riding a scooter when he encountered Cookie, and he didn’t mean to kill the dog.
“Our son has been very upset about this incident. We feel very badly that it turned out this way. We pray that God would comfort your family in this time,” according to the family’s letter to Knittel.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763