Elkhart police continue to investigate dog’s death following fireworks injury

Police are still investigating an incident in which a dog was euthanized after being severly injured by fireworks.
Posted on July 8, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on July 8, 2013 at 2:13 p.m.

ELKHART — Police continue to investigate the death of a dog after a firework blew its face off. No one has been charged or identified as a suspect in the case.

Police say the incident happened at about 1:30 p.m. Friday, July 5, in the 1200 block of South Main Street. The Elkhart Police Department responded to the incident and took the dog, a female pit bull that was less than a year old, to the Humane Society of Elkhart County.

Anne Reel, director of the shelter, said the team examined the dog and determined the most humane action was to euthanize her because of the extensive injuries she received.

“It was a very obvious situation where a surgery would have been impossible. There was too much extensive damage to the head, the jaw and every part of its upper body because of the explosion,” she said.

Reel said police told her some children were throwing lit fireworks at the dog, and one of the fireworks exploded as the dog picked it up with her mouth.

But police have not identified any suspects or persons of interest. They have not confirmed whether the suspects are juveniles. They also have not identified the owner of the dog.

Reel said police generally bring animals to the Humane Society when they cannot determine the owner at the time of the incident.

Police have not yet forwarded the case to the prosecutor’s office, which will determine whether charges will be filed in the case.

Reel said the Humane Society’s role immediately after the incident was to provide care for the dog.

“The staff of the Humane Society, when we see things like this and have to deal with things like this, it weighs heavily on us because we know that this could have been prevented,” she said.

However, the staff will continue to help the police department in the case by providing information about the incident as well as expert information if necessary, Reel said.

“We do hope that there will be case filed against whoever is determined to have done this. In addition we’ll be able to provide our expert opinion and information on what we found with the dog.”

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