Tips sought in brutal death of Ypsilanti family's dog

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

The Humane Society of Huron Valley is seeking tips to find a suspect wanted in connection with an animal cruelty case that left an Ypsilanti dog dead this month.

Tyson, a 12-year-old terrier, was found dead March 22 on the side of Ecorse Road, near Michigan Avenue, the humane society said in a statement this week.

The owners said he was last seen at 7 a.m. March 18 in the backyard at their home about three miles away, near Chevrolet Street and Zephyr Avenue.

Tyson, who went missing in March and was found dead.

When they returned from a hospital around 3 p.m.,Tyson was gone and his collar was unbuckled but still attached to a tie-out in the yard, the humane society said.

After the family searched and posted about the case online, a Facebook user reported having seen a dead dog matching Tyson's description on a nearby overpass. The owners went to the scene and, after seeing the pet's condition, alerted Humane Society of Huron Valley animal cruelty investigators.

A postmortem veterinary examination found three large, deep lacerations, a skull fracture and a small, round puncture hole on top of the head, the group said.

“These weren’t stabs,” says Melinda Szabelski, HSHV’s Animal Cruelty and Rescue supervisor. “One of the gashes is bigger than my two hands put together, and another reveals his skull.”

As of Wednesday, no concrete leads had materialized, said Wendy Welch, a spokeswoman for the group.

Anyone with information is asked to contact HSHV’s Cruelty Investigation hotline at (734) 661-3560.

Meanwhile, supporters launched a GoFundMe effort to support a full autopsy report and the dog's cremation.

"He was a very loving, sweet, non-violent family dog that we loved dearly," the post read. "We want to get to the bottom of this so the sick person that did this can’t do it again to another dog, yet a human being."