Advocates fought hard for police to take action in the case of a dead family pet, but as of last night, some in the Crawford, Texas community claim they are not done yet seeking "Justice for Bishop".
The 11 year old Siberian Husky's case is causing quite a stir in the small town of Crawford, Texas (just outside of Waco, Texas), and the owners, animal lovers, and advocates plan to keep it that way until they get "Justice for Bishop". The owner believes Bishop was taken from the locked backyard, but however the dog got out, there is no question how this tragedy ends. Randy Dale Wheeler, 37, admits he shot the Husky to death with a pellet gun, while visiting a family who lives behind the Strahan property.
From the beginning, there have been questions about exactly what happened that day to cause Bishop to be shot (see initial KWTX and Examiner articles). But, Wheeler states Bishop was in the family members' chicken pen bothering the chickens. Wheeler's nephew shot Bishop with a pellet gun, and Wheeler then fired the fatal shot because the Husky was suffering.
Initially, there were not going to be any arrests, but because of the insistence and attention by advocates, community members, and the Strahan family, an investigation was started. Those seeking "Justice for Bishop" started social media pages, engaged in call campaigns to their local government, and were vocal at a city council meeting trying to pressure authorities to further pursue the otherwise stagnant case.
Wheeler was subsequently issued an arrest warrant, and December 5th, 2013 he reportedly turned himself into police for the charge of cruelty to non-livestock animals. Critics are asking why Wheeler was allowed to bond out after turning himself in, since it is reported that Wheeler is currently serving ten years felony probation for a 2008 arson case.
Bishop supporters, now self-identified "Team Bishop", claim they are not yet done seeking justice in this case.
They started a Facebook page called "Justice for Bishop" which has gained over 1,000 followers in the few days since its creation. "Team Bishop" is calling for the additional arrests of the nephew who allegedly fired the initial shot, along with nephew's mother. Supporters argue she allegedly knew about the incident, failed to alert the authorities of animal cruelty, and was the one who disposed of Bishop's body, but there has been no concrete evidence produced yet to support those claims.
On Friday evening (December 6th), "Team Bishop" posted a call to action:
Looking for 15 supporters who would want to help us encourage the Sheriff of Andrews County [432-523-5545] to seek out revoking Mr. Wheeler's bond and remanding him back to the county detaining facility. It is our belief and concern that a convicted felon serving probation for arson [should] not be allowed to have bonded out when subsequently charged with felony animal cruelty. Always be polite in your communications ALWAYS, NO MATTER WHAT!
This case appears to still be an open investigation; however, as of December 7th, there is no word on whether or not police intend on pursuing any further arrests.
To continue following Bishop's story, check out the "Justice for Bishop" Facebook page.
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The author, April Plemons, is an animal rescuer and welfare advocate. She is part of Long Way Home Animal Sanctuary & Pit Bull Rescue. Check out their Facebook page below!