Poconos Coal

Police search for teens in vicious animal cruelty case

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. - Police in the Poconos are looking for a group of young people responsible for a deadly case of animal cruelty.

A witness said he caught them in the act, but it was too late.

The witness won't reveal his identity for fear of retaliation, but his Friday afternoon drive took a dark turn.

"He was driving down Pocahontas Drive and he saw some young males on the side of the road and he noticed there was a dog tied to a tree," said Rich Homar, director of operations at the Animal Welfare Society of Monroe, also known as A.W.S.O.M.

The dog was a pit bull. The man slammed on his brakes, jumped out to see what the three teenagers were doing, and that's when he says he saw one of them throw an older dog towards the pit bull and the pit bull attacked. 

“He grabbed a stick and tried to beat the larger dog off,” said Homar.

The witness was able to rescue the dog and rushed it to A.W.S.O.M. shelter, but by the time they arrived, it was too late.

“The witness came here, pulled up the driveway very fast, he was frantic about everything," added Homar.

They named the Shih Tzu, Jack Russell terrier mix, Peace.

“At the time it was already too late for little Peace,” said Homar. “He was attacked very viciously. His one side was completely ripped open."

The staff at the Animal Welfare Society of Monroe had to euthanize Peace. Now the search is on for the three teens and the pit bull.

“We believe that the boys live in that area,” said Homar. “They just didn't walk in from town to walk up the mountains to do this. I have a good hunch that these boys do live in the area."

When police and the witness went back to the scene, the dog was gone.

“We'd love to put an end to this because we feel this isn't just the first time this may have happened,” said Homar. “It's just a gut feeling."

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Stroud Regional police or the A.W.S.O.M. shelter at 570-421-3647.

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