The Baltimore Police Department is appealing to the public for help in solving a gruesome and bizarre case of animal cruelty.
According to a Baltimore Police Department press release, officers responded to a call at a home in south Baltimore the evening of Nov. 9 after several children reported witnessing a man kill four puppies in apparently brutal fashion.
“He began to kick and stomp these puppies repeatedly. He then picked up the puppies and threw them down the flight of stairs,” Baltimore police Det. Jeremy Silbert said during a press conference Friday.
According to police, the puppies were left inside a dumpster after the attack, where they were discovered by a group of children. Three puppies were pronounced dead at the scene, and a fourth died later as a result of his injuries.
Police have identified Donald Yearwood, 21, as the man wanted in connection with the attack. Police say they had been looking at the man in an animal abuse investigation stretching back to Oct. 22, when animal control officers responded to the same address over reports a bit bull had attacked a child.
According to police, animal control confiscated the adult pit bull and six puppies they estimated to be a week old. Police say animal control officers were unaware there were an additional four puppies in the house they did not confiscate.
Baltimore police now believe the suspect attempted to care for the remaining puppies in the intervening two weeks. Police say on the night of Nov. 9, the man’s sleep was evidently interrupted by the puppies, prompting his violent attack.
Yearwood was living in the home with his girlfriend and her three young children – all of whom allegedly witnessed the gruesome assault.
“That scars them for life. That’s going to scar them for life. They’re young, they don’t know violence like that,” Silbert said.
On Friday Baltimore police also released surveillance video showing a man placing the puppies inside a dumpster, where they were later discovered by another group of children.
“Those children, they did what we want them to do, they immediately left the location, they went to a safe area, they told their parents what happened and their parents called the police,” Silbert said.
A spokesperson for the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) said they don’t understand what could have motivated the attack.
“There is absolutely never a reason to abuse or harm an animal you can no longer keep. They can be brought to BARCS, no questions asked,” Bailey Dacon with BARCS told WBAL-TV News.