A prominent animal rights attorney is representing the owner of Toby, the dog killed by a neighbor in Texas last month. The Wilson County sheriff has assigned two investigators on the case.
The big question is will the Wilson County District Attorney's office take this killing of Toby seriously enough to present a "true-bill" case to a reasonable and fair Grand Jury?
Toby was rescued in Afghanistan and became a symbol of comfort and happiness for thousands of U.S. soldiers and animal lovers who worked to bring the once starving dog to a loving home in Texas.
Robyn Katz, who worked as an animal welfare nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C., has stepped up to help the family of Rachel Ries, who lost their dog by the gunfire of neighbor Michael Coulter on April 12, 2014.
Investigators with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department, including Steve Moore and Richard Nichols, have been assigned to the case by Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt, Jr.
According to Ries, Investigator Nichols told her that the veterinarian autoposy report “was just a vet’s opinion and not fact. Every hunter knows an animal will run forever unless you shoot it in the head.”
Nichols also told Ries the very brief police report she received from the Sheriff’s office “ was standard and the actual write used in my interview is restricted because its under investigation.”
Attorney Katz, who moved to San Antonio in 2010 to work as an Assistant District Attorney for Bexar County, is currently a practicing family and animal rights attorney. Katz is sought out because of her expertise, numerous published articles, work in legisilation regarding breeders and pets and has spoken at various conferences and events on animal law.
Katz believes the Wilson County grand jury will meet on May 9 and is hoping the investigaton will be “wrapped up and sent to the DA’s office by then.”
According to Katz and Ries, Ries two sons Jacob and Issac, were witnessess and have been interviewed by the investigators.
Investigator Moore “visited Rachel’s house, pet her dogs, and spoke with some neighbors,” said Katz. “I believe Investigator Moore also spoke with the pool guy, fence guy, etc. who all are providing statements that Toby was not aggressive at all.”
When Ries’s son Jacob was interviewed by Moore, the boy told the investigator where he “saw the dogs before, during and after the shooting in our yard,”said Ries. “He walked the investigator through it on a Google Map picture of our house.”
Ries said although the interview was taped, her attorney will not release it so as not to “compromise the investigation.”
A small smear campaign to discredit the owners of Toby has faded as more news outlets and social media support has grown. Local San Antonio news stations KSAT-12 and KENS-5 have reported on the dog killing. An article by Examiner last month has been read by thousands of people across the globe.
In one month, almost 20,000 people have signed the “Justice for Toby” Petition website at the petitionsite.com asking for the county and authorities to provide justice and protect the owners of the dog.
The “Justice for Toby” Facebook page has grown to 9,414 members and over 400 tweets have gone out on Twitter.
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