Claremore Daily Progress

September 7, 2012

DA Steidley has new lead, reopens dog dragging case

Staff Reports
Claremore Progress

CLAREMORE — A case where a family’s Labrador retriever was thought to be shot and dragged to death is being reopened at the request of the Rogers County District Attorney.

Rogers County District Attorney Janice Steidley said Friday that she received a report from the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 5 regarding the death of the dog Jetta, whose body was found Saturday on a county road in the Winganon area.

 “Our office received new information as late as last night. Based upon the new information that has been brought to my attention I have requested the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office re-open their case and investigate the new leads that have been presented to the District Attorney’s Office,” said Steidley.  “At this point I consider this case to still be an open investigation and because of that I cannot discuss any facts or evidence that has been presented to this office.”  

Once the investigation is complete, the DA’s office  will review the investigative report from the Sheriff’s office.

“Under the law the District Attorney’s Office cannot charge a person with a crime based upon mere suspicion, speculation or hunches. We have to make a decision based upon the evidence presented to us by the law enforcement agency.  This is how every case is handled” said Steidley.

The case has drawn widespread public attention.

 “We love animals and are working tirelessly to resolve this case. The fact that we are receiving and processing leads at night speaks volumes about the level of our commitment,” Steidley said. “We have heard the cries for justice loud and clear and are doing everything possible to answer them. At this point, the contacts with our office or the Sheriff’s office that will move the case forward are those which involve direct physical evidence or witnesses who actually saw any kind of interaction between Jetta and a person or persons between Wednesday, Aug. 29. and Saturday, Sept. 1,” Steidley concluded.

Calls with that kind of information should be directed to 918-341-3620. 

Rogers County Scott Walton told the Claremore Progress that a man had come forward, but was not a person of interest. The person said he found the dog, which was on his property, and shot it to put it out of its misery. When the smell of the dog became too bad, he tied wire around the legs and pulled it to the side of the road.

A $10,000 reward was offered for tips that lead to the capture of the person or persons responsible.

The reward was offered by the Humane Society of the United States, the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals, supporters of the Wild Heart Ranch, an animal rehabilitation center in Claremore and former Oklahoma Sooner coach Barry Switzer. 

Walton said the dog’s owner, Melony Patton, said she was “shocked” that anyone would savagely kill a dog with no history of violence towards humans or other animals.”

“I’m angry and sad at the same time. I don’t know why anyone would do this,” Patton said.