"Aggressive" dog given back to owner dead, in trash bag

Kingston had been missing for at least several days. Animal control said he suffocated himself after being tied to a tree. He was reported as acting aggressive to neighbors.

Posted: Jul 25, 2019 6:30 PM
Updated: Aug 4, 2019 10:03 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - A Tippecanoe County dog owner is asking questions after her deceased dog was handed to her in a trash bag. An animal control officer brought the body to her Wednesday night. Breanna Poe said there will be much less laughter in her home because Kingston won't be coming back.

"Being that I only had him for a month, I grew love for that dog for who he was, his personality, so it definitely hit hard for me," she said.

Seth Kirkendall from Tippecanoe County Animal Control said the call came in around 7:30 p.m. A woman and child claimed to be trapped in an SUV by an aggressive dog on Clydesdale Drive. A K9 deputy who arrived on scene first reported the dog was being aggressive. Kirkendall said the deputy did the best he could to defuse the situation. 

Poe said Kingston had only been missing for a few days, but Kirkendal said he they had been tracking the dog for a week or two. The Lost and Found Pets of Greater Lafayette Facebook page posted an "update" on Monday that Kingston had been spotted in the Hawthorne Properties neighborhood.

Kirkendal said a neighbor was able to help and get Kingston into their garage, where they were able to leash him. He said the neighbor reported that the dog tried to bite her. The K9 deputy on scene was also bitten, but it didn't break skin. He said the deputy was visibly upset about what was happening. Kingston was then tied to a tree where Kirkendal said he suffocated himself.

Kirkendal said he arrived on scene about 20 minutes after the call. When he arrived, he said Kingston was still warm, but was not breathing. He then performed CPR on the dog, but it was too late.

"At about 8:30, I received a call from animal control that they had found my dog and they have him, said Poe. They also told her that her dog was dead. Poe doesn't understand how things got to the level that they did.

"Even the residents at Hawthorne Lakes, he would go up to them they could pet him feed him treats," she said. "I had seen him in that neighborhood and he wouldn't come up to me, but he was never aggressive."

She said Kingston was great with kids. He especially loved her four-year-old daughter and he was protective of her family. 

"Maybe they tried to grab him and he didn't like that and maybe that's where the aggression came about," she said. "I'm not trying to say my dog is perfectly behaved because all dogs have that capability, but he was most likely just scared."

Kirkendal brought Kingston to Poe's home in a trash bag. He said he wanted to keep the dog out of sight of others, including Poe's daughter.

"It didn't feel good, I didn't want my daughter to see it but she wouldn't stay inside," she said. 

Kirkendal said he explained what happened, but Poe said it was a brief explanation that still left her in the dark. Poe and neighbors said they saw blood on Kingston's body. Some questioned if the dog had been shot. Kirkendal said they did not shoot the dog and that the blood was from Kingston's mouth as a result of biting. 

Kirkendal said had he been able to arrive sooner, the outcome most likely would have been different. He said there were a lot of people and neighbors around when he arrived. The first step in protocol for him is to make everyone leave. If he had seen visible signs of aggression, he said he would use a catch pole to secure the dog. He would then take it to the shelter or the home if it was known. He said any dogs that show aggression, even if it's just a growl, get put on the vicious list. He would have put Kingston on that list based on this situaton. He said he has success with this process.

Poe wants to make sure this doesn't happen again to anyone else.

"If your dog is on the loose and you fear for their lives because of what happened to my dog, then do everything you can to get them back," she said.

Poe said it's too soon for them to get another dog, right now she and her daughter want to focus on putting Kingston to rest. She said thank you to all the neighbors and community members who helped in the search for her dog.

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