The man who killed the dog says it was to save his own dog's life; the owner says her dog was not attacking his
NEWARK — A dog was stabbed to death in Newark on Tuesday night. The man who did it has admitted to it, saying he felt like his dog’s life was on the line.
The Newark Police Department is investigating and is in talks with the Wayne County District Attorney to see whether criminal charges are warranted.
Teala Young and her husband live in an apartment near the entrance to a walking trail off Route 31 in Newark. They let their two dogs out to go to the bathroom around 6 p.m. on Tuesday and within a few minutes, noticed a man walking toward the trail with his dog.
Their 4-year-old pit bull Zeke noticed too, and started to walk toward the pair. “As he was sniffing the dog and walking toward him, the man started walking backwards with his dog towards his car,” said Young.
Young says she then noticed the man bend down to eye level with both dogs — “then he stood up and the guy just said, ‘I'm sorry man,’ he goes, ‘I had to stab your dog. … And he just stood up and blood just started gushing out of my dog on the side, and there was a huge stab wound and Zeke just started walking toward my car.”
She added: “Our dog was dead within minutes."
While Young admits Zeke wasn’t on a leash, she says he wasn’t attacking the man’s dog and he had never had any issues with aggression towards other dogs before.
The man who killed Zeke is Edward Hilfiker of Newark. He admitted he stabbed the dog because, he said, Zeke was killing his dog. He told News 10NBC he tried to get Zeke off his dog, but when he was unsuccessful, he pulled the knife. He added that his own dog is currently being treated for his injuries at the vet.
In the meantime, a necropsy is being performed on Zeke, and investigators are looking to see if there are any surveillance cameras in the area that can offer an independent look at what happened.
Regardless of whether Zeke was attacking Hilfiker’s dog or not, the legal question remains: did he have the right to kill someone else’s dog? That’s what prosecutors and police are still trying to determine.