INDIANAPOLIS — A man faces animal cruelty charges after putting a Miniature Pinscher in an oven, killing it, reported WXIN.
According to court documents, Christine Kelley, who lives in Indianapolis with her boyfriend, children and two dogs, said a house guest, Joel Clark, killed her dog back in May. Clark, a longtime friend of Kelley, was living with the couple at the time after being released from prison.
Kelley last saw her dog, Zane, on May 16. The following day, she noticed the dog was gone. That same day, Kelley’s boyfriend, Richard Smith, was in the house with Clark. As the couple’s other dog walked by, Clark said, “I can take care of that dog, too” and then admitted killing the other dog.
Kelley went to throw something away in a garbage can where she found Zane dead in the bottom. The couple demanded Clark leave their home.
Kelley and Smith buried their dog the next day. A short time later, Kelley found some cookware with red dog hair and “what appeared to be a toenail from a small dog.” She suspected Clark had put Zane in the oven.
Police exhumed the dog’s body for examination. Court documents said Zane’s whiskers had been burned and he had marks on his legs that looked like cuts or burns. His paws and paw pads appeared to be burned as well. Fur also was missing around his nose, and the investigator noted blood around his snout and mouth.
Necropsy results showed the cause of death to be “thermal pulmonary injury leading to pulmonary edema”—a backup of fluid in the lungs caused by smoke inhalation.
Charges against Clark include torturing or mutilating an animal and killing a domestic animal. He also faces a felony escape charge for violating his home detention.