Case of abused dog is still a mystery

Daisy’s abuser still has not been found a year after the beagle was found wrapped in duct tape and b

Daisy’s abuser still has not been found a year after the beagle was found wrapped in duct tape and barely alive.

The 4-year-old dog’s story was reported all over the Capital Region, and outraged animal lovers donated more than $5,000 toward reward funds. But no one came forward with information.

“Everybody’s just mystified,” said Pat Valusek, treasurer of the New York State Humane Association, which offered up about $2,500 of the reward money. “It’s not like we’re talking 10 bucks here.”

The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office investigated but came up dry.

“I know the deputies worked on it for quite a while,” said Ed Dandaraw of Providence, who found the dog Nov. 8, 2009, while walking in the woods off Drager Road, preparing for a hunt.

Valusek said deputies believe the perpetrator acted alone and never told anyone, or that “whoever knows is terrified of the person, period,” Valusek said.

Daisy is fine, living with her original owner’s sister now. But living another year was far from a sure thing for Daisy the day Dandaraw saw the black trash bag on the ground, headed toward it and then saw it was moving. Dog legs stuck out of an opening in the bag.

Her muzzle, eyes, ears and front legs had been wrapped in duct tape. Her flesh had started to decompose inside the bag.

Dandaraw’s friend ran back for a four-wheeler to get her out of the woods, and Dandaraw cradled the bound dog. At one point during the ride, she went limp in his arms, and he was afraid she was dead, he said then. But he touched her nose, which was not taped, and roused her.

He held her for an hour until deputies arrived.

“If Ed Dandaraw hadn’t been there that day, she would have been dead,” said Joe Trimarchi, whose son owned Daisy. “It’s sad that somebody would do that to the dog.”

His wife was raking leaves outside when Daisy took off after some rabbits. She had done that before but came back. This time, she was missing for two weeks.

After the case was publicized, reward money poured in. When the case cooled, Valusek wrote to all the donors to ask them if they wanted their money back if a reward was not paid out. Every single one told her to keep the money for other rewards in abused animal cases.

Since then, the association has offered up money in a Watervliet case where a family dog was shot and killed while tethered in its yard last month.

But leads in that case are as nonexistent as they were in Daisy’s case, said Tracey Mercer, owner of the Brittany spaniel, Timmy.

“The police told me the only way they think they will find out is if someone tells on someone else,” Mercer said. “Right now they said they have asked everyone, and do not believe they can solve it.”

Unfortunately for the Mercers, who have two young children, and other families whose pets are killed or abused by strangers, unsolved animal abuse cases are not uncommon.

The Humane Association also offered up a reward in vain three years ago when a police officer’s family dog was shot between the eyes at close range just yards from his home in Coxsackie, Valusek said. The German shepherd wasn’t a working police dog, but the officer brought him to schools as a sort of ambassador for police canines.

Valusek recalls one successful case, when someone broke into an animal shelter in Orange County and brutally killed four cats in 2004. Reward money was given in that case, but the identity of the informant was kept secret.

Three men were charged a year and a half later.

Two of them, ages 19 and 21, were sentenced to 21⁄3 to seven years in state prison. The third man, age 20, got 1-3 years in prison after pleading guilty and testifying against the other two.

Categories: Schenectady County

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