Police: Man allegedly snaps puppy’s neck

Local News

DES MOINES – A man is on the run after allegedly killing a puppy by snapping its neck.

It happened at the Oakview Terrance Apartments on July 6th. Police say 25-year-old Christopher Vogel walked into someone’s apartment demanding to use their Wi-Fi. When they refused, he allegedly grabbed their puppy and killed it.

The pet owner is grieving and just wants justice for her dog. And police are now asking for the public’s help, saying this is one of the worst cases of animal abuse they have ever seen.

“It’s pretty gruesome, I don’t know how you get much more gruesome than breaking a small dog’s neck,” said Sgt. Ryan Doty with the Des Moines Police Department.

Police say Christopher Vogel walked uninvited into a couple’s apartment and got into an argument over using their Wi-Fi. When they refused to give him the password, police believe Vogel grabbed their puppy and snapped its neck in the hallway.

“It’s uncalled for, and it’s unnecessary and it doesn’t matter what property or what argument you have with somebody, you never have the right to take it out on a defenseless creature,” Sgt. Doty said. “This dog had nothing to do with this argument. It’s senseless.”

The pet owner, Sharon Barnett, did not want to go on camera Wednesday. But she says her nearly three-month-old puppy Juno was a service dog that helped her with her depression. Now, she is devastated he is gone.

“Those things just should never happen,” said Stephanie Filer with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.

The puppy was being transported to the ARL when he died from his injuries.

“Our animal control officers were dispatched out there and there was just nothing we could do, and it’s hard to see animals that you can save, it’s even harder to see animals that you weren’t able to,” Filer said.

The ARL of Iowa’s biggest issue is that Vogel’s potential animal abuse charges will not be strong enough.

“These cases in particular have been a lot more violent and it’s disturbing that the only max punishment that they’re allowed to have is a misdemeanor,” Filer said.

Police say Vogel ran into the woods behind the apartment complex after the incident – and has not been seen since. Now, they want everyone to keep an eye out.

“Get a vehicle description, a plate number, call the police department let us know, so we have some place to go and try and look for him,” Sgt. Doty said.

Police have been looking for Vogel for several days and now they are asking for the public’s help. If you know anything about his whereabouts, you are asked to call Polk County Crime Stoppers at (515) 233-1400, or directly to the Des Moines Police Department at (515) 248-6052.  Police say Conlin Properties is offering a $2,500 reward for anyone with information that leads to Vogel’s arrest.

This is not the only thing police want Vogel for. He is also wanted for criminal mischief and interfering with official acts.

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