Woman seeking justice in dog's death says 'person of interest' photo released was actually her partner
Susan Dasilva says public reaction to the photo caused pain and stress for her family
The owner of a dog that died after being found with extensive injuries says she's frustrated Windsor police released a photo of a "person of interest" who she says was her partner helping to look for the dog.
Susan Dasilva says the "person of interest" photo police released Wednesday as part of the animal cruelty investigation was actually her partner looking for Angel, her husky that had gone missing.
"I was so upset in the beginning because the public's reaction, immediately they assume this is a person who harmed the dog rather than knowing that the police just are looking on the cameras, trying to find people in the area at the time," she said.
"Unfortunately, people jump to conclusions and it caused a lot more pain and stress on our family. He was out there looking for our pup... we could have ruled him out ourselves instead of going through all this pain and agony."
Dasilva said she wishes police had just brought the photo to her first and asked whether she knew the person. But since speaking with officers, she said, she recognizes that isn't always how investigations work.
"Now that's cleared up, I feel so much better," she said. "That just took a weight off."
Windsor police wouldn't confirm whether the photo of the person they released was the owner's partner. But in a statement Friday, they said they have identified the person and it was "someone assisting in finding the missing dog."
Const. Bianca Jackson, from the corporate communications department, said police received the photo from a community member and "needed to know who that was."
"Any information that comes in to [our investigators], they look seriously at it," Jackson said.
"This is a case that has hit our community pretty hard emotionally and we're seeing that. So that's why our investigators are working very hard to get as much information as they can."
Jackson said when police name a person of interest, that's not necessarily someone who is a suspect in the case, rather someone they want to identify who could be a witness or help provide information.
Dasilva told CBC News that police had not previously interacted with her partner and have only dealt with her, so they wouldn't have known who he was in relation to the case.
Dog found with burns
Moving forward, Jackson said police will consult the appropriate parties with the information they receive.
Police are investigating the death of Dasilva's dog, who they said was reported missing on July 29.
Dasilva said her dog was eventually found with third-degree burns and bloodied paws. The dog died from its injuries on Monday.
"I'm having horrible nightmares over this. It's just been horrible, horrible time for our family," she said.
The dog was rushed to the vet. Dasilva said several procedures were performed to save its life, but nothing worked.
'I had to let her go'
"She seized up in front of me. At that point I knew I had to let her go. She was in too much pain, so I told them to let her go," she said through tears.
Windsor police are looking for information, as well as surveillance video or photos in the area of the 500 block of Janette Avenue between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., or the 400 block of Caron Avenue between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. on July 29.
Dasilva said she's just looking for justice for her dog.
"The hope was to bring her home. Now all we have left to hang on to is the hope that we find who did this to her," she said.
"That's all we have left and we're just hoping that something else is found."