Four people are being charged in the gruesome hanging and stabbing death of a dog

INDIANAPOLIS — Four people are now being charged in the gruesome hanging and stabbing death of a dog that had only recently been adopted from an Indianapolis shelter before it was cruelly killed.

Court records provide new details into a horrific case of animal abuse on Indy’s east side where police say a dog was stabbed, suffocated, and killed.

The 2-year-old dog, known as Deron, had been adopted from Indianapolis Animal Care Services on July 28. The dog’s body was found stabbed inside of a garbage can with the leash around its neck. A bloody steak knife was found in the same trash bag as the dog.

Zech Thomsen

Police arrested 19-year-old Zech Thomsen and 20-year-old Sierra Makin for their alleged roles in the horrific animal abuse.

Sierra Makin

On Thursday, after official charges against Thomsen and Markin were filed by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, two warrants were issued for the arrest of 21-year-old Clifford Massey and 66-year-old Denita Hughes for their involvement in the dog’s death.

Clifford Massey

According to court documents, at least two people called the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department on Saturday, August 6 telling dispatchers that four people in the 700 block of Bosart Avenue were torturing a dog that had been strung up to hang by its neck on the front porch.

Denita Hughes

One witness told police Thomsen was holding a knife while the dog was hanging from a leash and bleeding, the other three suspects were standing on the porch watching as the animal was abused. Another witness said the dog was stabbed while it was hanging on the porch, a trash bag put over its head until the animal quit moving.

Court documents reveal that a Ring door camera recorded some of the incidents. In the footage, the dog is seen running toward a skater with Thomsen following shouting at the dog not to run. Thomsen is seen carrying something in his right hand and Massey is also observed walking in the area.

Massey can be seen at one point swinging at the dog and voices can be heard shouting “F*** him up” and one of the males saying “try me b****” after the dog is heard barking.

One of the men is heard in the video asking for a knife, saying he is going to “beat the brains out” of the dog for growling at his brother. “I’m going to put that dog down,” Thomsen reportedly can be heard saying as he approaches the dog.

Twenty minutes later, Markin can be heard saying, “why did you do that we spend so much money on that dude.” Ten minutes later, both Massey and Thomsen can be seen carrying the dog to the trash canister and placing it inside.

When police went to Bosart Avenue, all four suspects were at the home. Makin reportedly slammed the door on the officer and punched the officer while he attempted to apprehend her. Makin also is accused of biting an officer on the hand drawing blood and digging her fingernails into an officer. Thomsen also is accused of striking an officer on the back of the head while trying to avoid arrest.

While Makin and Thomsen were arrested on August 6th both Massey and Hughes were released after being handcuffed. A warrant has since been issued for their arrest.

Court documents reveal that during the visit to IACS in which Thomsen adopted Deron, Massey adopted a dog named King. IMPD said King is missing. Anyone who may know King’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317- 262-TIPS.

This is a photo of King.

Thomsen is facing felony charges of torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal, battery against a public safety official, obstruction of justice, and a misdemeanor charge of resisting law enforcement.

Makin is facing felony charges of battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety official, obstruction of justice, and a misdemeanor charge of resisting law enforcement.

Clifford Massey is facing felony charges of torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal, and obstruction of justice.

Denita Hughs is facing a felony charge of obstruction of justice.

IACS responded to the incident with a written statement:

“We are heartbroken over this situation and we are supporting IMPD with their investigation. Our staff and volunteers are truly invested in the care and well-being of all of our animals. It is always our goal that when animals are adopted they go to loving forever homes. Prior to any animal leaving our building staff checks each adopter or foster to see if they have a history of animal-related violations, the party (or parties) involved in this situation did not have a history with ACS.”