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4 charged after dog stabbed, hanged outside home on Indy's east side; 2nd dog found safe

IACS confirmed for 13News the dog, named Deron, was adopted on July 28.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Animal Care Services is assisting IMPD in investigating a dog that was hung and stabbed Aug. 6 at a home on the city's east side.

(WARNING: The information below is graphic and may be difficult for some to read.)

Police responded to a report of a dog being tortured at a home in the 700 block of North Bosart Avenue, near Emerson Avenue and Michigan Street, shortly after 3 p.m.

According to court documents, the person who initially called 911 told dispatchers they saw their neighbors put the dog in a trash can.

Court documents say an officer arrived and looked in a trash can outside of a home, near an alley. The officer saw a large, gray trash bag, so he opened it and saw another trash bag, which had blood on it. After opening a few more trash bags within one another, the officers found a dead dog with a leash around its neck.

Credit: IMPD
Sierra Makin and Zech Thomsen.

According to court documents, the officer saw Sierra Makin and Denita Hughes trying to clean up blood on the front porch of the home and told them to get off the porch to stop further destruction of evidence. Another man, Clifford Massey, was also seen on the porch, according to court documents.

Court documents say Makin tried to slam the door shut to avoid arrest, but the officer went inside, where he saw a man in the home, later identified as Zech Thomsen, who was yelling profanities at the officer. Then, Makin allegedly hit the officer in the face and continued to try to resist arrest.

Another officer arrived and tried to help control Makin. Then, court documents say Makin bit one of the officer's arms and tried to run away.

According to court documents, Thomsen hit one of the officers in the back of the head, but the officer was able to put Thomsen in handcuffs.

Court documents say Makin was then placed in handcuffs but continued to try to harm one of the officers by digging her nails into his right hand.

Police then spoke with witnesses on the phone, who claim they saw a man holding a knife while the dog was hanging from the front porch by a leash. The witness told police the man stabbed the dog and then placed a trash bag over the dog's head. The witness said three people were outside watching as the man stabbed, suffocated and tortured the dog.

Another witness told police they saw a man stabbing a dog that was hanging by its neck on the front porch. According to court documents, the witness said another man told the witness to mind their own business.

Massey allegedly told officers he knew nothing about what had happened to the dog. 

In court documents, Ring doorbell video is referenced that shows Massey and Thomsen yelling at Deron. Thomsen can then be heard asking for a knife to put the dog down, according to court documents. Massey is allegedly seen with Thomsen then carrying the dog to the trash can and placing it inside.

RELATED: Man gets one of Texas' longest prison sentences for animal cruelty

Credit: Indianapolis Animal Care Services

On Thursday evening, IMPD said Massey and Hughes had been located and arrested.

IACS was called to assist IMPD with the case. The organization confirmed to 13News the dog, named Deron, was adopted from IACS on July 28.

IACS Deputy Director Katie Trennepohl released the following statement on the incident:

“We are heartbroken over this situation and we are supporting IMPD with their investigation. Our staff and volunteers are truly invested in the care and well-being of all of our animals. It is always our goal that when animals are adopted they go to loving forever homes. Prior to any animal leaving our building staff checks each adopter or foster to see if they have a history of animal-related violations, the party (or parties) involved in this situation did not have a history with ACS.”

Makin faces the following charges: 

  • Battery with bodily injury to a public safety officer — Level 5 felony
  • Obstruction of justice — Level 6 felony
  • Resisting law enforcement

Massey faces the following charges: 

  • Torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal — Level 6 felony 
  • Obstruction of justice — Level 6 felony

Thomsen faces the following charges: 

  • Torturing or mutilating a vertebrate animal — Level 6 felony
  • Battery with bodily injury to a public safety officer — Level 6 felony
  • Obstruction of justice — Level 6 felony
  • Resisting law enforcement

Denitra Hughes is facing the following charges:

  • Obstruction of justice — Level 6 felony

Makin's initial court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 11 at 10:15 a.m., while Thomsen's initial hearing is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 12 at 8:30 a.m.

Police were also concerned about the whereabouts of another dog, named King, that was taken from the Indianapolis Animal Care Services shelter by Massey at the same time Deron was adopted. Late Thursday, IACS said King had been located and was safe at the shelter.

Credit: IMPD

King was sent out from Indianapolis Animal Care Services as part of its Cuddle Before You Commit program. Cuddle Before You Commit allows a potential adopter to take the animal home for 14 days before the adoption is finalized.

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