Just Another Guy with Opinions

Teen Arrested in Missing Dog Case

Posted by shadmia on January 6, 2008


Being a teenager is probably the most frustrating time of your life. Too young to do grown-up things and too old to play with the little kids. It is a time when you are trying to figure out just who you are and what you want to do. Your body is changing and you are becoming interested in the opposite sex. It is also the time when you begin to test limits and question authority. It is the time when you are most likely to get in trouble with your peers, your parents and the law. Most of us get through this phase of life without any serious transgressions. Some of us don’t. The following is a story of a 15-year-old who is in a lot of trouble over a missing dog.

Bill Whiting, 57, is an employee of the University of Pennsylvania’s archaeology museum. His dog, Edna, a beagle mix, had been his constant companion for more than 10 years. He described Edna as a gentle dog that loved children and had been a therapy animal at nursing homes and hospitals. Edna vanished on Halloween. Bill thinks she may have slipped out while the door was open for trick-or-treaters.

After searching for her frantically for several hours, Bill printed up some “Missing Dog” posters and put them up all over his neighborhood. He included his cell phone number and a $500 reward. For more than a week he heard nothing.

Then 10 days after Edna disappeared he received a phone call, on his cell phone, at midnight from a youth demanding $600. A younger boy then got on the phone and apparently began abusing an animal.

Whiting said he didn’t recognize the yelps, since he had never heard Edna hurt before, but detected the sound of her collar, which had numerous tags and “jangled like a charm bracelet.”

Bill begged them not to hurt the dog while using his house phone to call the police. He went to a police station in the middle of the night to make a report. When he returned home a few hours later, his house phone rang almost immediately.

“We killed your dog,” the voice said. “It’s dead.”

Bill began to believe that they really had his dog because his house phone was not posted on the “Missing Dog” posters. He had only put his cell phone number. However, on the dog’s collar he had his house phone number listed.

“I became hysterical,” he said. “I started to tremble.”

That was the last time Bill heard from them. Publicity led to an outpouring of support for Whiting and rage against the perpetrators. Rewards were offered by animal advocacy groups. The police worked for weeks on tracing the call because the number had come up “unavailable” on Bill’s cell phone. Finally on Dec. 30th the police made an arrest. They have charged a 15-year-old with harassment, terroristic threats, theft by extortion and other counts for allegedly making the call. The dog has not yet been found.

“I’ve had tears today a couple of times. I don’t see any happy news in this,” a heartbroken Whiting said Friday. “I don’t have a dog coming back, apparently.” He also said he believes at least two children were involved.


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One Response to “Teen Arrested in Missing Dog Case”

  1. Lucy said

    One of the cruelest things I’ve heard, ever – and I am a counselor that works with troubled teens.
    The dog is practice for other things. These kids could use a dose of consequence, compassion and help, help, help.
    Watch your kids, pay attention. Use compassion. Don’t talk to them in a way in which you yourself would not like to be talked too… in other words: discipline with respect. Take a deep breathe. Listen to them. Hold them, say you love them. Even when they act like they don’t need it anymore.
    If the above does not work, try it again.
    This is why.

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