Animal rights activists hope dog burning case goes before grand jury

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) Animal rights activists were outraged after late last week a judge dismissed charges against two Memphis men accused of dousing a three-month-old puppy with gasoline and setting it on fire.

General Sessions Judge Loyce Lambert-Ryan said Friday that there was not enough proof of identification.

Eighteen-year-old Tristan Hathaway and 20-year-old Vince Boykin were ordered released from jail, although the case still can be submitted to a grand jury.

The judge made the ruling at a hearing in which one of the state's key witnesses was missing and another, who had dated one of the defendants, denied telling police the defendants were involved.

"I was extremely upset. I understand the judge made the ruling that needed to be made because you cannot have a case go forward without it being able to be prosecuted," Cindy Stewart of the anti-cruelty task force said.

Memphis of Stewart's said Monday they are still hoping to affect the outcome of this case and others like it.

"We do this by following the courts, following the cases, and speaking up for victims that don't have a voice," Stewart said.

The incident occurred July 29 when police and animal control officers found the puppy, a German shepherd and Rottweiler mix, suffering from severe burns.

"I would've liked to have seen these two men receive jail time, and I also would've liked to have seen these two men receive counseling," Stewart said.

Members of the Anti-Cruelty Task force said they would meet at the Memphis Shelby County Humane Society Monday night.

Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.