Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Man’s Best Friend in the News: Two Heroes, Two Victims

An Oregon man executes his dog for pooping in the house, a California woman finds a headless, disemboweled dog in her car, and two very special dogs are hailed as heroes in this canine crime-news roundup.

Terry Nixon

Terry Nixon

Terry Nixon, 60, of southern Oregon reportedly took his Jack Russell Terrier-Chihuahua mix out into the back yard and shot it at close range because it pooped in his house. He then threw the dead dog in the trash can. Police responded to a 911 call about the shooting, but Nixon denied any knowledge of the event, and would not let officers inside his home to search. Ultimately, however, he did not get away with it, thanks to two witnesses. One first saw the shooting and called 911, the other also saw the shooting, and recovered the dog’s carcass from Nixon’s trash to give to responders. Police were then able to search Nixon’s home where they found the 9mm handgun believed to have been used to kill the pet. Nixon now faces charges of aggravated animal abuse, unlawful use of a weapon, reckless endangering and second-degree disorderly conduct. He was arrested on June 5, 2013; bail was set at $17,000.

In Thailand a dog named Pui, 2, a male Thai Bangkaew, is a hero after rescuing a newborn in a plastic trash bag at a dump site in tambon Sala Loi, in the Tha Rua district. “Little Pui,” as he is now lovingly called, brought the bag to his owner, a Ms. Poomrat, and barked insistently for her attention. Poomrat’s daughter, 12, opened the bag and found the newborn in the bag — alive. The baby, who was four months premature and weighed only four pounds, is alive and well at a local hospital. The Tha Rua district Red Cross awarded Pui with a leather collar, a certificate and a medal for for being “well raised” and “courageous.” Police are still searching for the infant’s mother. Poomrat, who has only one child, notified authorities that, since the child was literally deposited on her doorstep, she would like to adopt it.

Dog hero Kabang

Dog hero Kabang

In the Philippines, Shepherd mix Kabang from the town of Zamboanga returned home a hero and ambassador of goodwill after receiving eight months of veterinary surgery in the U.S. on her destroyed snout. Kabang was injured on December 14, 2011, when she jumped in front of a speeding motorcycle to save two young girls, cousins Dina Bunggal, 11, and Princess Diansing, 3, who were crossing the street carelessly, as children do. Witness Jovito Urpiano told authorities that Kabang, who belonged to the Bunggal family, had literally run out of the home and launched herself at the oncoming vehicle, saving the girls from certain harm. As a result, no one sustained any serious injuries except the dog; her snout was crushed under a wheel and there was reportedly nothing left of it when they pulled Kabang off the wheel. An outpouring of charity ($27,000) paid for Kabang to have her face operated on in the U.S. Vets could not give her a new snout, but they did close the wound on her face, remove a cancerous tumor and treat her for heartworm. Kabang reportedly now eats with her paws.

On the morning of June 6 in Yolo County, California, the headless body of a disemboweled Chihuahua was found inside Ashley Immel’s car that had been parked in her driveway overnight. “It was, like, properly placed there for it to be seen, like, ‘here you go look at this,’” said Immel. She said that, creepily enough, two weeks prior to the grisly discovery she had found the head of a terrier in a boat stored on her property — same property, different dog. Though Immel believes the “presents” may be from some in the neighborhood who may have a grudge against her, reports that neighbors recalled a series of murders in the 1980s that followed a string of animal mutilations. The cases in question are not referred to specifically, though it is possible that neighbors were recalling Gerald and Charlene Gallego, a serial killer couple, who were active in the Sacramento area in the 1980s. Police believe the latest two mutilations are connected, at least to each other. According to Yolo County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Vicky Fletcher, authorities are concerned. “That’s the reason why animal control officers are also mandated child abuse reporters because generally when somebody will do this to an animal they sometimes will do it to humans as well,” said Fletcher. So far investigators have no leads.

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