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Police look for suspect in animal cruelty case

DULUTH - What police found behind a Pleasant Hill Road business qualifies as an animal lover's nightmare:

The carcass of a 1-year-old German shepherd, its head and legs lopped off, dead of an apparent stab wound.

Whoever mutilated the animal, officials say, is a sadistic personality deserving of jail time.

Gwinnett police found the dog's remains the morning of Nov. 26, when an employee of a Party City store at 1630 Pleasant Hill Road said he'd found the dismembered animal behind the building.

A forensic veterinarian performed a necropsy this week, concluding that the dog died as the result of a stab wound, said Gwinnett police spokeswoman Cpl. Illana Spellman.

It was unclear if the animal was dismembered before or after it died, Spellman said.

"This was not an accident," said Lt. Mary Lou Respess, manager of the Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Center. "Whoever did this is a cruel and violent individual who must be found and put in jail."

Spellman pointed out that, according to Georgia Code, anyone convicted of aggravated animal cruelty faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.

"Currently, there are no suspects in the case," she said.

Police urge anyone with information about the dog's death to contact the Animal Welfare and Enforcement Center at 770-339-3200.