The investigation began last week when volunteers with Friends of Indianapolis Dogs Outside responded to a home to check on the welfare of a dog left outside.
“There’s no excuse for letting this happen,” said Darcie Kurtz with FIDO. “There’s no reason to leave that dog out there to suffer and die.”
Kurtz was first to discover the frozen dog dead inside the dumpster on Wednesday.
“It was really underweight. It looked like it had frozen. It was in bad shape. It had suffered and died,” Kurtz said.
Gordon Turentine, 62, said it was a female dog named Remy.
He said he owned Remy for 10 years before he found her frozen in the doghouse that morning, and then he placed her in the dumpster.
According to court records, a neighbor and the home's landlord say they warned Remy’s owner to bring the dog inside on Tuesday, knowing subzero temperatures could prove deadly.
“It’s heartbreaking because this was a callous case of indifference,” Kurtz said. “He had to have known his dog was going to suffer and die. He was a sick underweight dog in subzero temps. Of course the dog was going to suffer and die.”
Police arrested Turentine on Wednesday morning on charges of animal cruelty. He was also issued citations for improper care and treatment and unlawful disposal of an animal.
Police say the incident is another reminder of the vulnerability that pets face in the care of their owners.
Pets rely on their owners to ensure they are properly cared for, safe, and loved.
Police said when temperatures are extreme, whether cold or hot, bring pets inside. If you are uncomfortable, so are they. Those who treat animals inhumanely will be held accountable.
“The community is finally becoming aware there are expectations if you’re going to have an animal,” Kurtz said. “If you’re responsible for a life that’s going to suffer and die if you neglect it, you need to figure it out.”