UPDATE: Probe into dog's death continues

2013-03-08T14:00:00Z 2013-08-17T13:41:11Z UPDATE: Probe into dog's death continuesBy Courier Staff and Source Media Group Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

JESUP, Iowa --- The investigation into a dog found dead in a pet carrier last month is continuing, according to authorities.

The dog, a male Dane-Lab mix named "Caleb" posthumously, died a slow death of dehydration and starvation, according to court records, but officials have released few details in connection with the investigation.

"The case still remains active, and there are different avenues we are following up with," Isley said.

Three people have been arrested in the case.

Waterloo city employees discovered the dog's body in the 2700 block of Independence Avenue on Feb. 16.

Acting on a tips collected by Waterloo Code Enforcement, Jesup police arrested Ty Alyn Hickman, 23, on a single count of misdemeanor animal torture Feb. 28. On Wednesday, officers arrested two others --- A.J. Michael Sellers, 22, and Kelsey Renae Block, 18 --- on the same charge.

Sellers also was arrested for harassment of a public official for giving misleading information during the investigation, Isley said.

All three have been released from jail pending trial.

Court records allege the dog belonged to Hickman, and he had been keeping the dog at Sellers's place. Witnesses told police that Hickman hadn't been letting the dog out or feeding it, and Hickman allegedly said he hadn't fed or watered the dog since Jan. 15, court records state.

It wasn't clear when the dog died and if anyone else had fed or watered him since then.

Officers determined the pet carrier was similar to one that Hickman bought from PetSmart in Waterloo on Jan. 11.


Earlier: Two more arrests in dog death

10:30 a.m. - JESUP, Iowa --- Two more people have been arrested in connection with the death of a dog whose remains were found last month.

A Facebook page dedicated to the investigation into the death of the Dane-Lab mix dubbed “Caleb” identified the suspects as A.J. Michael Sellers, 22, and Kelsey Renae Block, 18, both of Jesup. They were arrested by Jesup police Wednesday on complaints of animal torture.

Records show the two were released from the Buchanan County Jail on Wednesday after posting bond.

The arrests come a week after Jesup police arrested Ty Alyn Hickman, 23, on a charge of animal torture. Hickman is also free on bond.

Workers found a pet carrier along the 2700 block of Independence Avenue on Feb. 16. Inside they found the dog, apparently starved and smeared with feces.

Animal welfare workers said it appeared the dog had been left in the crate for a while and had attempted to get out.

Publicity about the death drew donations for a reward fund that exceed $7,000. An online petition on Change.Org is seeking the maximum penalties upon conviction. As of Wednesday night, it had 5,480 signatures.

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(23) Comments

  1. Meeche
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    Meeche - May 21, 2013 9:30 am
    sorry - this dog has been under long abuse - if you saw it OK in January - how about the rest of the time till it was dead?
  2. Cyndee
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    Cyndee - April 06, 2013 10:57 pm
  3. Cyndee
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    Cyndee - April 06, 2013 10:56 pm
    I hope all 3 of them get the maximum sentence because even if two of the people were not directly involved they lived in the house and should have had the decency to do the right thing and make life for that poor dog better not ignore it! As far as i am concerned that is the only justice for that poor dog!
  4. sfields
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    sfields - March 22, 2013 1:05 am
    Personally, I think the judge should hand these fine folks over to the public for judgement and sentencing. Having said that, I don't get the connection between you HAVING seen the dog at the end of January appearing fine, and being dead when his body was found. How long do you think it takes to starve and dog to death, would that time be decreased if the animal was denied water as well?? I'm just curious.....
  5. sfields
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    sfields - March 22, 2013 12:53 am
  6. sfields
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    sfields - March 22, 2013 12:52 am
    Seriously? You SEEN this puppy the last week of Jan. and he looked fine??? SO WHAT? That means someone's lying? How do you figure? Does he look fine now? I don't get it...please....elaborate so I can understand your comment.
  7. sfields
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    sfields - March 22, 2013 12:46 am
    Well said
  8. EAC
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    EAC - March 20, 2013 4:53 pm
    Lets see those pictures then. I would like to see them but then again you could be lying about when they were taken.
  9. melenz44
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    melenz44 - March 13, 2013 10:50 pm
    Don't adopt any animal, if you don't want to take care of him/her. They have basic needs just like a human: food, shelter, and water. No excuses from anyone. If you have a friend and they say they will take care of it, if they are not mature enough or trustworthy, then it is your responsibility as the owner to ensure no matter what your pet is being taking care of, period.

    If you are mentally ill and have no compassion for animals or people, then don't adopt a pet, and you probably shouldn't have any children, either. Because you will end up in jail. The law is becoming stricter on animal abuse and bravo for that! Some states it is a felony for proven neglect. These people make me sick when it looks like they didn't starve themselves, but this poor dog didn't have a chance. You could have given him away, some family would have taken him. I have 5 dogs and 2 cats, but you know what? If I knew this poor dog was being abused like this, I would have opened my home to him and he would have been loved, fed well, given ample water, and kept warm. THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN THIS MAKE ME SICK!
  10. simonsays
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    simonsays - March 12, 2013 9:12 pm
    guest 123456, I find it hard to believe that the police would just ignore solid information, including a photo. Perhaps they found it to be less than credible.

    Whether or not you saw Caleb on Jan 23rd "healthy" and acting normal, the fact remains he was tortured...to death. He suffered immensely before his body gave out.

    If you are so connected to the individuals as to have seen him and take his photo on January 23rd...why did you not see him dying in his own feces and urine in the following weeks. I can't help but think that many people saw him and nobody lifted a finger to help him. Shame on anyone that witnessed this and did nothing. It shows a blatant disregard for life as well as morals and values.
  11. JT
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    JT - March 12, 2013 7:45 pm
    Oh, I get it now. This kind and caring owner taught his happy and cared for puppy a new trick.
    Play Dead From Starvation! Stop.........
  12. guest123456
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    guest123456 - March 12, 2013 2:38 pm
    Oh by the way...did I forget to mention I have pictures that were taken of the dog on Jan 23th and that the police were given the information and wanted nothing to do with the pictures or a statement?
  13. guest123456
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    guest123456 - March 12, 2013 2:28 pm
    To JT, Thanks for the grammer lesson! It still doesn't change the fact that the puppy was in good health and not locked in a kennel on Jan 23rd.

    And to Harden County (Interesting "Real" name)...I didn't see the puppy being tortured! What part of " in good health and as active as any puppy" indicates torture. Everyone on here is quick to judge without having any details so why don't you all leave it to the judge to decide.

  14. JT
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    JT - March 12, 2013 12:55 pm
    For the critics of this article perhaps they would be willing to share some of their time volunteering at a local shelter and see first hand that Caleb is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cruelty of animals.
    To guest123456 who Seen the dog, maybe a better grasp of the English language would enlighten you and add more credence to your obvious lie.
  15. Dog Lover
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    Dog Lover - March 11, 2013 8:37 am
    Hey WTFDude; I disagree with you! This story needs to be told over and over because people like you want to sweep it under the rug and forget about it. Animal abuse needs to get more attention because it's not taken serious enough if the punishment is usually a misdemeanor! If you are irritated by this story, then don't follow it!
  16. Justice4abused
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    Justice4abused - March 09, 2013 8:39 pm
    This story is NOT, nor ever, nor should go away as some posting here would like (guilt?) as long as low life evil goes unpunished, or gets the typical slap on the wrist type outcome after starving or covering for the guilty, a helpless creature that suffered a VERY VERY slow, (weeks!) painful (starve yourself someday for a week or two and see how painful) death after living a short lonely caged life lacking any real human caring.
    I HOPE the Courier CONTINUES follow-up reports until every las shameful human associated with this act is brought to real justice and real shame by our community continues for the rest of their lives.
    This was beyond cruel and PLEASE keep it in the spotlight WCF Courier as perhaps enough will sooner rather then later become outraged enough to demand Iowa finally treats this and cases of torture and animal abuse as the felony it should at minimum be..
  17. rose1940
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    rose1940 - March 09, 2013 8:18 pm
    The world is a dangerous place...not because of those who do evil...but because of those who look on and do nothing! -Albert Einstein
  18. Get Real
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    Get Real - March 09, 2013 5:51 pm
    Irritating? No picture, no info no story. Keep it out there, everyday I would like to see it. Others can go to a page on Facebook named Iowa Puppy Staved Justice for Caleb, to get continued information and how people really feel.
    It really isn't about others feelings, it's about a starved, tortured puppy, put the dog first he is the victim here, this isn't about you. And to the clown that thinks there's false information going around, get your fanny up to the police station and the County Attorney's office and spill your guts or you may be the next one needing brought in for questioning.
    All these people went about their business, enjoying their meals, enjoying their hockey game, handing out the "love" and affection to their buddys and sweethearts! Where was any of this for this puppy who suffered so?
    This C A needs to take this to the limit, no plea deals, no giving up, jail time is to good for them.
    And if they have other animals will the County please go in and seize them, they cannot be trusted with anything who can't speak for themselves.
    The Nation is watching this case, handle this dogs death with care and justice!
  19. hardin county
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    hardin county - March 09, 2013 5:36 pm
    Seriously people? You don't think you should have to see the picture of this poor tortured animal? He shouldn't have had to die like this either and without public pressure the low lifes who did this would never have been caught. They would go on to torture more animals and eventually people, as the link between animal abuse and violent crimes against people is well documented. And to guest123456..why don't you give your real name? If you actually saw this dog being tortured too and did nothing then i think the police need to make another arrest...you!
  20. guest123456
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    guest123456 - March 09, 2013 12:12 am
    It's truely a shame what happened to this poor little puppy but I think someones making up false infomation and trying to get a piece of the reward money because I seen the puppy the last week of January and he appeared to be in good health and was as active as any puppy would be.
  21. helloall
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    helloall - March 08, 2013 6:01 pm
    It would be shock value if this was journalism. This is just the same typical courier

  22. lbwti
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    lbwti - March 08, 2013 4:25 pm
    I agree !
  23. WTFDude
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    WTFDude - March 08, 2013 2:34 pm
    you know im interested in this story what the outcome will be of these people but
    its umm getting somewhat irritating/sad to see that picture of that poor dog im sure people who know of the story have seen it over and over but perhaps give it a rest media outlet people?
    i understand "shock value" in story's are key these days... but just think about it.
    i know some will feel the same and some will not
    only my 2 cents.
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