Greensboro Police: Suspect Arrested For Setting Fire To Puppy Susie

11:36 PM, Nov 16, 2009   |    comments
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Video: Dog Abuse Suspect's Mom Speaks Out

  • Lashawn Whitehead in police custody Monday afternoon.
  • FILE
  • FILE
  • Susie on Monday, the day of the arrest.
  • Lashawn Demaro Whitehead
  • FILE
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  • Greensboro, NC -- Greensboro Police arrested Lashawn Demaro Whitehead, 20, Monday afternoon after he turned himself in.

    He's charged with felony animal cruelty and felony burning of personal property.

    The dog, named Susie, was found by a man in Greenfield Park in Greensboro in August.

    She had burns on 60 percent of her body and was burned over the majority of her head. Her ears were almost completely burned off. Susie also had burns on her back and belly.

    Cpt. Janice Rogers said investigators believe the burns were a couple of weeks old when Susie was found.

    Whitehead's mother brought him to police about 2:45 p.m. Monday.

    Police received a Crime Stoppers tip last week. Afterwards, investigators spoke with Whitehead. They issued a warrant for his arrest Monday morning.

    "Until the Crime Stoppers tip came in, we basically had no leads in this case," Rogers said.

    "It's chilling to me to know, first of all that someone could do it, but then to actually put a face with somebody that did it," said Roberta Wall, Susie's foster mom.

    "Anyone who would do a heinous crime like this to any animal is a great concern to our community and the area that he lives in," Rogers said.

    On April 13, Whitehead failed to appear in court for felony breaking and entering, second-degree trespassing, conspiring to sell schedule VI controlled substances,  and a misdemeanor threatening phone call charge. A warrant was issued for his arrest for failing to appear.

    He is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 17 on the charges.

    Susie continues to recover in foster care.

    "I can't believe she's already at this point. She doesn't even know she was sick," Wall said.

    Despite interest from dozens of people, Susie is still up for adoption. Some potential new homes were denied for various reasons, according to Marsha Williams, director of the Guilford County Animal Shelter.

    "She was such a survivor. Now, she's just a normal dog," Wall said.

    Whitehead's mother, Sally Laws, spoke to WFMY News 2 about her son's arrest Monday night. She says he admitted to setting Susie on fire, but says he only did it to protect his baby.

    Whitehead is being held on $5,000 Bond in the Guilford County Jail.


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