Dog beaten to death, man in custody
By Observer Staff
Updated 2 hours ago
A 26-year-old Sarnia man has been arrested for allegedly beating a dog to death with baseball bat in front of witnesses, city police say.
Police responded at 3 p.m. Thursday after several 911 calls were received about a man kicking and beating a dog with a bat in the 400 block of Kathleen Avenue.
When officers arrived they found a small Jack Russell terrier-type dog that was already dead.
"The dog was on a chain when he was beating it," said Const. Heather Emmons, of the Sarnia Police Service.
Sources within the man's family say the incident was triggered after the dog bit his year-and-a-half-old daughter.
The girl was treated and released at hospital.
With the help of witnesses, police arrested the suspect near the scene.
The man, who is a neighbour and not the dog's owner, is being held in custody.
Emmons said children were among the residents who witnessed the attack.
Anyone who was at the scene who requires assistance from Victim Services is encouraged to call 519-344-8861, ext. 5238.
Animal cruelty is not uncommon, but a dog killed in broad daylight in a residential neighbourhood with people watching is rare, Emmons said.
A woman who is friends with both families said it was a "horrible accident." The neighbouring families are friends, she said.
"I know both families and they're great people. I have nothing bad to say about either of them."
People gathered around the scene after the incident. One of the dog's owners, a 12-year-old boy, cradled it in his arms after it died, said the woman, who declined to give her name.
"He picked it up and said, 'I love you Teddy.'"
Kathleen Street was still abuzz hours later, with residents sitting outside talking about the incident.
The man was still in custody Thursday evening but charges had not been laid, police said.
With files from Shawn Jeffords
Alleged dog killer charged
Man’s spouse comes to his defence
By SHAWN JEFFORDS, The Observer
Posted 2 hours ago
The Sarnia man arrested after a dog was beaten to death with a baseball bat Thursday is not a monster, his partner says.
Nicole Georgiou-Ward said her boyfriend is a loving father who reacted quickly after his year-and-a-half-old daughter was bitten on the face by their neighbour's dog.
"He didn't kill the dog on purpose," she said, choking back tears. "(The dog) attacked my kid."
The 26-year-old man was outside the couple's Kathleen Avenue home playing with their children and the neighbour's children, said Georgiou-Ward, who was inside at the time.
The neighbour's five-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Teddy, was tied up nearby.
Georgiou-Ward said her partner ran inside with their toddler, Avy, in his arms, blood running from around her eye. He told her he'd "flipped out" and "put Teddy out of his misery," she said.
Sarnia Police responded to a flurry of 911 calls from residents who reported seeing a man first kick and then beat a dog with a baseball bat. The dog was on a chain, police said.
Georgiou-Ward said her family is neighbours and good friends with the owners of the dog. The two families were planning a trip together to the Toronto Zoo next week, she said.
"The dog is a part of our family. He never had any intention of doing it, ever."
Georgiou-Ward said her children are familiar with dogs and they have a Jack Russell terrier of their own. However, Teddy had nipped at them before, she said.
"He bit both of my children before but he never drew blood. It was just a growl to get them away from them, which most dogs do."
The toddler was treated at hospital and released shortly thereafter. No stitches were required, she said.
Georgiou-Ward said her partner just completed his first year at Lambton College and has dreams of becoming a lawyer.
"He's in school right now, he's trying to do something," she said. "He's trying to get us out of here."
Nicole King, an OSPCA agent at the Sarnia & District Humane Society,
said pets don't have a voice and can't talk back.
Thursday's incident was highly unusual, she said.
"I'm at a loss for words about what happened yesterday, especially since it was in the middle of the afternoon, in front of other people and in front of children, on a busy street. I'm saddened and disheartened."
Layton Hartwick, 26, has been charged with injuring an animal, and was remanded in custody Friday for a bail hearing on Monday, June 20.
Alleged dog killer released on bail
By Observer Staff
Posted 4 hours ago
A 26-year-old Sarnia man charged with the offence of injuring a dog on Kathleen Avenue last week was released on bail Monday, and must return to court on July 19.
The charge stems from an incident in which a 18-month-old child was bitten by a dog that was subsequently killed.
A ban prohibits publication of evidence presented at the bail hearing.
The conditions of Layton Hartwick's release require him to not have care of a dog, to live at a designated address away from the scene of the alleged offence, and not communicate with witnesses, including the dog's owner.
If you don't want a person capable of beating a tiny dog to death, infront of hundreds of witnesses, including children, in your community. Please sign this petition.
If you believe in stronger animal cruelty laws, and suitable punishment, please sign this petition.
If you understand that most abusers of women and children, including serial killers, start with the abuse of an animal. Please sign this petition.
If you believe that someone with this much rage, does not belong roaming our streets. Please sign this petition.
If you have any decency inside you, you will sign this petition. Layton Hartwick does not belong in the general public. He does not belong around children, and certainly not around animals. Please take two seconds out of your day to let your voice be heard.
The children that witnesses this brutal attack will never be able to "unsee" it. They will never be able to "unhear" Teddy's desperate screams and cries. Teddy's little boy will never be able to replace his best friend. He will never forget holding his tiny broken body, and looking into the eyes of his killer. A once trusted friend. A neighbour.
For those that can't speak for themselves, for the children and witnesses who will never forget. Please sign this petition.
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