Pet owner arrested for allegedly beating her own service dog to death

Local News

A pet owner is arrested after allegedly beating her dog to death. This comes after she told police and the news media that somebody else was responsible.

Erie Police made the arrest around 2 a.m. this morning after noticing some inconsistencies.

It was a horrific story from the start, especially for those that had to see an 11 month old puppy names Izzy struggling for her life after being beaten with a hammer.

“What my humane officer saw was cold blooded murder. It was horrific. It was absolutely the worst thing I have ever seen in the 4 1/2 years I have worked in the animal industry,” said Nicole Bawol, Executive Director, Erie Humane Society.

Izzy was later euthanized due to the severity of the injuries.

“He was an 11 month old little chocolate lab retriever mix and to see the pain and anguish in his eyes and in his face, thinking what is happening to me, is gut wrenching,” said Bawol.

Erie Police claim that Izzy’s death was caused by his owner, 37-year-old Justina Robinson, who earlier this week told the media someone broke into her home and beat her puppy.

After receiving numerous calls from community members and picking up on inconsistencies in Robinson’s story, police brought her back in to conduct a third interview, which led to a confession.

“She admitted that she had actually been the one who had beaten the dog with the hammer and that she had make up the story about the burglary, so she lied to us when she reported the crime,” said Deputy Chief Mike Nolan, Erie Police.

Although police had suspicion of the owner early on, they say the community outreach played a crucial role in this investigation.

“In the end, a lot of that information was very helpful in helping our officers decide which questions to ask and which details they needed to explore,” said Deputy Chief Nolan.

Robinson faces multiple charges including one felony count of aggravated cruelty to animals, along with misdemeanor counts of possessing an instrument of crime, cruelty to animals, and false reports to law enforcement.

As for the other animals that were in Robinson’s house, two dogs were given back to their previous owner. The cat was turned over to the Erie Humane Society.

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