INDIANAPOLIS — Four people are now being charged in the gruesome hanging and stabbing death of a dog that had only recently been adopted from an Indianapolis shelter before it was cruelly killed.
Previously, 19-year-old Zech Thomsen and 20-year-old Sierra Makin were arrested for their alleged roles in the horrific animal abuse. On Thursday, after official charges against Thomsen and Markin were filed by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, two warrants were issued for the arrest of 21-year-old Clifford Massey and 66-year-old Denita Hughes for their involvement in the dog’s death.
According to court documents, at least two people called the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department on Aug. 6 telling dispatchers that four people in the 700 block of Bosart Avenue were torturing a dog that had been strung up to hang by its neck on the front porch.
One witness told police a man believed to be Thomsen was holding a knife while the dog was hanging from a leash and bleeding, the other three suspects standing on the porch watching as the animal was abused. Another witness said the dog was stabbed while it was hanging on the porch, a trash bag put over its head until the animal quit moving.
Court documents reveal that a Ring door camera recorded some of the incident. In the footage, the dog is seen running toward a skater with Thomsen following shouting at the dog not to run. Thomsen is seen carrying something in his right hand and Massey is also observed walking in the area.
Court documents reveal Massey can be seen at one point swinging at the dog and voices can be heard shouting “F*** him up” and one of the males saying “try me b****”after the dog is heard barking.
One of the men is heard in the video asking for a knife, saying he is going to “beat the brains out” of the dog for growling at his brother. “I’m going to put that dog down,” Thomsen reportedly can be heard saying as he approaches the dog.
Twenty minutes later, Markin can be heard saying, “why did you do that we spend so much money on that dude.” Ten minutes later, both Massey and Thomsen can be seen carrying the dog to the trash canister and placing it inside.
Police ended up finding the dead dog inside the trash can. A bloody steak knife was found in the same trash bag as the dog.
The Indianapolis Animal Care Services confirmed that the dog, Deron, had been adopted from their care only nine days before it was killed. Deron was only 2 years old and described as an “energetic, affectionate guy” who gave the “best kisses.”
Court documents reveal it was Thomsen who adopted the dog on July 28. A worker with IACS told police Thomsen was accompanied by three other people. Police reviewed security footage from IACS and identified the four who came to adopt Deron as Thomsen, Makin, Massey and an unknown female.
When police went to Bosart Avenue on Aug. 6, all four suspects were at the home. Makin reportedly slammed the door on the officer and punched the officer while he attempted to apprehend her. Makin also is accused of biting an officer on the hand and digging her fingernails into an officer. Thomsen also is accused of striking an officer on the back of the head while trying to avoid arrest.
While Makin and Thomsen were arrested on Aug. 6, both Massey and Hughes were released after being handcuffed. A warrant has since been issued for their arrest.
Court documents reveal that during the visit to IACS in which Thomsen adopted Deron, Massey adopted a dog named King. IMPD said King is missing. Anyone who may know King’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS.
Thomsen has been charged with torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal, a Level 6 Felony; battery against a public safety official, a Level 6 felony; obstruction of justice, a Level 6 felony and resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor.
Sierra Makin has been charged with battery resulting in bodily Injury to a public safety official, a Level 5 felony; obstruction of justice, a Level 6 Felony and resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor.
Clifford Massey is charged with torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal, a Level 6 Felony and obstruction of justice, a Level 6 felony.
Denita Hughs is charged with obstruction of justice, a Level 6 felony.
While there is no law requiring background checks, a Change.org petition to implement mandatory background checks on potential animal adopters has already gathered hundreds of signatures.