Teen charged in beating of dog

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One teenager has been charged, and another may face charges for the beating of a pet dog in Riverton last month.

Ranger is a 13-pound cockapoo. He was severely beaten in a home burglary last month while his family was on vacation.

Lt. Paul Jaroscak, with the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office, said, "We have one 17-year-old young man in custody at juvenile detention. He's charged with aggravated burglary, theft, stolen firearm and animal cruelty."

Another 17-year-old is being questioned right now. "There was some forensic evidence at the scene, and so it was just a matter of waiting until we were able to talk to these young men, get a hold of their parents, you know, and make sure that everything was done properly," Jaroscak said.

Police originally thought the dog had been kicked, but now say the teens used a baseball bat. "I believe the baseball bat may have been involved. Whether they took in specifically to commit an assault on person or a dog, I don't know," Jaroscak said.

Ranger suffered a fractured skull. Vicky Kunz, Ranger's owner, says the arrest will bring closure to the situation. She said, "Our family is really happy to have closure on it. We're happy the responsible people are going to have to take responsibility."

Ranger's owners say he is doing much better now. He went from near death after the beating to running and playing again last month.

Jaroscak said he's glad this case is being resolved. He said, "This is one using very good police work. In fact, you hate to use it, but dogged police work."

A fund to help with Ranger's medical costs was set up with The Humane Society of Utah, along with a $7,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

The Humane Society says the reward will not be paid because authorities found the alleged attackers through their own investigative work.

E-mail: mrichards@ksl.com
E-mail: spark@ksl.com

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Mary Richards and Shara Park


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