Alleged Dognapper Beat Stolen Puppy To Death, Police Say

A horrific alleged act of animal cruelty in a residential neighborhood.

A Georgia woman allegedly stole a neighbor’s puppy and bashed the defenseless animal against a tree until it was dead.

Sunshine, a Chihuahua-Dachshund mix, was only six months old.

The suspect, identified in multiple media accounts as Ryeeah Hatcher, 27, grabbed the puppy from a Douglasville, Georgia, neighbor’s backyard and stashed it a backpack, police say.

Douglasville is located in the Atlanta metro area.

According to a spokesman for the Douglas County Sheriff, “She stuffed the puppy in a backpack-type bag. Neighbors saw her and for lack of a better term, gave chase.” The neighbors also called 911. “Just prior to the arrival of deputies, the neighbors had her kind of cordoned off so she couldn’t go anywhere. She then took the backpack, with the puppy in it, and beat it against a tree.”

The suspect also allegedly beat the small dog with her fist.

The puppy tragically did not survive the onslaught on Monday evening and died inside the backpack, according to authorities.

After a struggle, responding deputies arrested the suspect, who is being charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, willful obstruction of a law enforcement officer, and theft by taking, all of which are apparently felonies. Bond was set at $12,000, and she is apparently still in custody.

The family that owned and loved Sunshine has no idea why the woman allegedly wanted to either steal or hurt the dog. Police also have yet to identify a motive for this brutal act.

The law enforcement spokesman, Chief Deputy Stan Copeland, added that “We do have questions about her mental state at the time of the incident” and indicated that his office will be bringing the matter to the attention of the district attorney.

[image credit: Douglas County Sheriff]

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