Police: Zeroing in on suspects in dog's death

Chico, a 3-year-old Siberian Husky, belonged to a family living a on Haldeman Avenue, a few miles from where the dog was found.
October 26, 2010 9:36:20 PM PDT
The grisly killing of a household pet in Northeast Philadelphia has prompted a reward offer and a search for answers.

Philadelphia police say they have 2 persons of interest in the case. They've interviewed one of them and are still looking for the other.

Sherri Verden could not believe what she was seeing when she looked out her back door in the 200 block of Byberry Road.

"I looked out my back door," Verden told Action News," and there was a severed dog laying here on my deck. They had severed it from underneath the front paws, so it was, like, the top of the body... and it was completely gutted. A very gruesome sight."

Verden suspects the dog's killing is the work of a former neighbor who has been harassing her for years; throwing motor oil at her home and committing other acts of vandalism that she has reported to police.

"If he's able to sever a dog and put it on my property, I don't know how far he's going to go," Verden added.

The dog was still wearing its dog tag. Monday night, a woman and her daughter went to SPCA headquarters to positively identify the remains of their pet. The dog turned out to be Chico, a 3-year-old Siberian Husky who belonged to a family living a few miles away on Haldeman Avenue.

"This is almost like a 'Godfather' situation," said George Bengal of the Pennsylvania SPCA. "This would be my first experience with something like this where someone actually went to this extreme to do this to send a message to this individual."

The owner says their dog says Chico ran away around 9:00 Sunday night. They had been trying desperately to locate him when they got the call from SPCA.

"I was shocked," Chico's owner, Gabriella Orvadia, said through tears. "It's a sick, sick and sad individual who would do something like this. It's pathetic."

Authorities say they're looking at two possible suspects in connection with the case. However, the dog's owner says there is no punishment that would be severe enough.

"Put him in jail," Orvadia said. "Let him suffer the way you made my animal suffer."

The Pennsylvania SPCA originally offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible. That reward has now grown to $2,000. Anyone with information is being asked to call the SPCA hotline at 215-426-6300.


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