Police: Indy man baked dog to death in oven

(Provided Photo/IMPD)
(Provided Photo/IMPD)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Police arrested an Indianapolis man after a couple said he baked their dog to death in their oven.

According to an affidavit for probable cause, Joel K. Clark, 36, had been staying with Christina Kelley and Richard Smith while he was on house arrest. Kelley said she and Clark had been friends for 14 years.

On May 17, Kelley found her red miniature pinscher, Zane, dead at the bottom of a trash can. The next day, she opened her oven door and saw dog hair and a toenail on top of a round metal pizza pan inside the oven.

An Animal Care and Control officer said the dog’s whiskers and paws were burnt. Zane also had small cuts or burns on his legs and feet. The dog’s face was raw and red and there was blood on his snout and mouth, according to the officer.

The dog’s remains were taken to Purdue for necropsy. A veterinarian there said the dog was most likely cooked or burned to death.

“Given the lack of preexisting disease, as well as lack of any other significant in pathology within the animal, that thermal pulmonary injury leading to pulmonary edema would be the most likely cause of death,” Veterinarian Mark Patersmann said in a report.

According to the probable cause, Clark admitted to Kelley and Smith that he killed the dog.

The woman told police Clark was a “gentle giant” and she had never had any problems with him before he killed her dog. However, Kelley did tell police that Clark said he “could take care of the pit bull too, just like I did with your other dog” in reference to Kelley’s second dog.

Clark was charged with torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal, killing a domestic animal and escape, all class D felonies.

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