WEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) - Animal rights advocates said they're taking action after a dog was found burned to death on a West Haven beach.
On Friday, police stated that two suspects were identified in the case. One of the suspects was interviewed on Friday and is cooperating with the investigation.
Police said arrest warrants are anticipated.
Former mayor Ed O'Brien was joined by the advocates and responded to what happened by calling for stricter animal cruelty laws. A news conference happened at 11 a.m. on Friday.
He introduced an amendment to the animal cruelty law which would include a 2 year mandatory prison sentence, a $2,500 fine and community service.
Additional offenses would carry a mandatory five-year penalty and a $10,000 fine.
Currently, the first offense penalty is one-year imprisonment and a $1,000 fine while additional violations call for five years and a $5,000 fine.
“This is not who we are in West Haven. We will not tolerate such violent acts,” O’Brien said. “We need to make sure that we stop this now to protect helpless animals who have no protection. Vicious assaults like this can lead to other acts of aggression and violence beyond helpless animals, especially children.”
The crime happened on the Fourth of July at Sandy Point Beach Park.
When the smoke cleared from the fire, police said they found the body of a 1-year-old dog, believed to be a mini schnauzer.
Afterward, the news quickly spread. Many people took a stand in hopes of finding the person responsible.
Police and animal control put out a call for help. They asked for tips and surveillance video.
Tens of thousands of dollars are being offered as a reward from different organizations for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who did it.
O'Brien said the cause was one of three abuse cases that have happened over the past two weeks.
"These are helpless trusting animals who deserve protection,” O’Brien said. “We need to aggressively respond to these outbreaks by making people pay for their actions and ban them from owning or living with animals for up to 15 years after conviction. It reflects so much about a person’s character and their reputation will be damaged long after they serve their time and pay the fine.”
A local rescue and adoption non-profit, Green Fur Kidz, is planning a memorial for next Sunday, July 21, at 9 a.m. at Sandy Point Beach.