A suspect has been captured in connection with the death of a dog that was sexually assaulted and later found hanging from a tree in rural Thurston County.
Thurston County Animal Services reports that a male suspect was arrested Saturday in Grays Harbor County.
He was transferred to Thurston County Jail where he is being held without bail.
The suspect is expected to appear in court Monday and will be named once he is charged.
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According to animal services, the suspect is a felon with a criminal history that includes domestic violence, burglary and drug charges.
The dog, a 3-year-old brown and white pit bull mix named Diamond, had been living with the suspect for about four days. The dog belonged to a relative and was a therapy dog for the owner’s 8-year-old son.
The suspect was watching Diamond while the owner tried to find permanent housing that allowed dogs, according to animal services.
On March 21, a mountain biker found the dog hanging from a tree on Department of Natural Resources property near Summit Lake. The dog was alive when it was hanged.
A veterinary necropsy determined that the dog had been “aggressively sexually assaulted before being hung” and died of asphyxiation, according to animal services.
Animal services investigators had been calling the dog “Justice.” A reward of $25,000 was offered for any information leading to a suspect.
The case aired recently on “Washington’s Most Wanted,” and animal services credits viewer tips for leading to the suspect’s arrest.
Pasado’s Safe Haven, a nonprofit animal sanctuary in Sultan, had contributed a large portion of original reward and is considering a memorial vigil to honor Diamond.