Animal Welfare

Tarrant County Man Put His Puppies to Sleep by Beating Them to Death, Lighting Them on Fire

Early this morning, Fox 4 posted a report on a Tarrant County couple, Melissa Woodard and Christopher Apala, charged with beating their three puppies to death, then stuffing them in a barrel and setting them on fire.

The initial information came from police, with Woodard's sister, who said she called 911 after she confessed, providing additional details later in the day. "I walked over here to the bin to see if what she said was true, and when I looked in they were like stacked in there," she told Fox 4.

This seems like it'll be a slam dunk case for prosecutors. The evidence -- namely, a barrel full of burned puppies -- will be pretty hard for Woodard and Alpala to dispute. In any case, the couple apparently feel they have nothing to lose, since they've made the decision to plead their case to the media.

The couple described an impoverished existence in seperate interviews with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Domingo Ramirez Jr., living in rural Tarrant County with no jobs and no money.

"I loved them, but we had no food for them," Woodard told the paper. "We barely had food for ourselves. They were starving to death."

And so, when Apala woke up on Saturday morning and saw that the puppies were suffering, he decided that, since they had no car to take them to the animal shelter, the "humane" thing to do was to put them out of their misery.

"I hit each one time in the head with a stick. I put them all together in a sheet," Apala explained to Ramirez. "And I then put them in the barrel and burned them."

You might ask yourself why, exactly, he thought it advisable to tell all this to a newspaper reporter. Common sense would dictate that you shut your mouth in a situation like this and lay low until your trial. Then again, common sense would also dictate not setting dogs on fire. Apparently not their strong suit.