A South Florida family has been left heartbroken and searching for answers after their four-legged loved one was found beaten to death, with a note from those responsible bragging about the kill.
Not only did those responsible viciously murder a Pembroke Pines family’s Pomeranian, they went as far as to leave behind a note on the body, jokingly stating what they did. “We beat it 2 death lol hahaha,” read the note with an angry looking smiley face drawn between the laughter.
The family is accustomed to let Fox out for a few minutes alone, before letting him back inside, but when he was let out on Friday, he never returned. “If someone could do that to a dog, just imagine what it could escalate to,” said owner Verline Bartheleny.
Fox went missing from his apartment near the corner of Pines Boulevard and University Drive, Friday afternoon. “I was cooking, and I didn’t want the food to burn, so I went out back to call him, and I didn’t see him,” Bartheleny said.
Saturday morning, a neighbor found Fox on the back porch in the same complex where he was last seen, curled into a ball with the note attached. “I looked at the photo, and I’m like, ‘Oh good! He found Fox.’ But then I saw the note, and it was just horrifying. I just started crying.”
The family brought the dog’s body to a veterinarian and he found that the dog had a broken spine, a broken jaw, cracked ribs and a ruptured stomach. “He had to have punctured lungs,” added veterinarian Dr. Ron Ridge, “because there was air all underneath the skin.”
7News viewers have responded to the tragic death via social media. One viewer tweeted, “Disgusting. Inexcusable. The people who beat this dog should be given the maximum sentence.”
Another viewer tweeted, “Omg, sick people.”
The vet did an X-Ray on the battered body, and Pembroke Pines officials said they agree with his assessment who looked at the dog. When asked whether there’s a possibility Fox was struck by a vehicle, Ridge said that it’s not likely. “You would expect to see skinned knees, skinned elbows, other minor injuries that we saw no signs of,” he said.
Pembroke Pines Police Maj. Carlos Bermudez said the department is taking this case very seriously. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a case like this in our city,” he said.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday, Bermudez confirmed this has become a very active investigation. “By all accounts, it looks like the dog was beaten to death, and because of that, the fact that they left a note, and the note that was left, it’s alarming, and that’s something that we want to investigate,” he said.
One question now haunts the South Florida family: Who would kill a helpless animal and leave the body on the owner’s back porch claiming to have killed it? “Fox was like one of my kids,” Bartheleny said. “I’ve had him for a long time. It hurts.”
If you have any information on this case, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.