Dog found dead with horrific note taped to his body
Like many creatures of a certain age,
Foxx the Pomeranian had his routine.
On Friday night while Verline Barthelemy was cooking dinner in her family's Pembroke Pines condo, she opened the patio door, the 13-year-old dog scampered down some stairs and went to take care of business on the lush lawn behind their building.
But Foxx didn't return home.
"He usually came back in two minutes, tops," Barthelemy said Tuesday from the unit near 7900 University Drive that she shares with her boyfriend Ronald W. Boisvert and their 4-year-old son Verron. "I called for him and I didn't hear anything. He'd always come back."
On Saturday morning, Barthelemy said a neighbor found Foxx's 7-pound, red-coated body on a stair leading to the patio and alerted Boisvert, who called Pembroke Pines police.
"He didn't deserve to be beaten to death," Barthelemy said about Foxx.
A cruel note was written on torn, blue-lined notebook paper. It said, "WE BEAT IT 2 Death lol! HAHAHA!" and was taped to the dog's body, Pembroke Pines police said Tuesday.
"I don't think I've ever seen a case like this in the city," Major Carlos Bermudez said during a press conference when he offered condolences to Foxx's family and called the manner in which they lost their pet "a tragic and sad event. Pembroke Pines Police takes cases like this very seriously."
Reading from a report by the Saint Francis Emergency Animal Hospital, Barthelemy said Foxx's jaw, spine and ribs were fractured. His stomach was displaced, too, she said.
"I'm hoping that after the first hit, he was already gone and didn't feel what came next," Barthelemy said.
Police said a necropsy had not been performed. Citing the veterinarian's report, Bermudez said the dog's injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma but that a detective had not yet confirmed details in person with the vet, who had been in surgery and unavailable.
Discussing the taunting note that was left on the dog's body, Bermudez said, "By all accounts it looks like the dog was beaten to death and because of that, the fact that they left a note and the [contents of the] note that was left, that's alarming and that's something we want to investigate."
He would not reveal many details of the case but said of a possible suspect, "It has to be someone that knows the pet belongs to these individuals. As far as why they did what they did, I can't speculate."
Carmita Chavanes was walking Zeus, her German shepherd, in the French Villas community Tuesday. She did not know the family but said since hearing the news of Foxx's violent demise, she only walks Zeus in more populated areas.
"It's such a nice neighborhood," Chavanes said. "I'm concerned that people could do something like that."
Barthelemy said since Foxx's death, she has changed how she lives in her own home, and doesn't let her little boy play in the backyard, taking him to a park instead.
"It's scary," she said. "I'm concerned about who may be around. I'm glad this is getting exposure so people won't be hurt, but I'm afraid I'll be targeted."
Bermudez said Foxx's case appears to be an isolated incident.
"We don't have any evidence to believe that there have been other animals killed or tortured in this fashion in our city," Bermudez said. "The residents can rest assured that right now, they can let their pets out and walk them without any fear of someone going out there and trying to harm their animals. We don't have any evidence to believe there is a serial animal beater in our city."
Meanwhile, Barthelemy and Boisvert's son is missing the pet who, with his human family, once wore a skeleton costume for Halloween.
"He says, 'Foxx is lost, and he's not coming back,'" Barthelemy said. "Ron is sad. Everybody loved Foxx. He was very friendly. He was just a very good dog."
Foxx's tale has prompted several offers of rewards for tips and the police department is sorting out how it may coordinate them, Bermudez said.
"There has been an outcry from the public," Bermudez said. "There are so many animal lovers and dog lovers out there, that there's gonna be people that take this very seriously and are gonna show great concern for it. As far as getting tips to lead us in a direction as to what happened in this case, we have not received that yet as far as I know."