Courts

After Speaking up for Man Who Killed Justice the Puppy, Rev. Wright Finds His Own Dog Dead

Dallas black activist the Reverend Ronald Wright went home last Friday expecting to be greeted happily by his 2-year-old German shepherd Sadie. When he opened the door, the house was silent. He immediately knew something was wrong.

When he went to the backyard, he saw his dog lying on the ground. She wasn't moving. When he picked her up, blood had congealed around her mouth. She was dead.

A friend with animal control said Sadie was most likely poisoned. Wright believes Sadie was collateral damage, her death retribution for his statements he made last week on Darius Ewing's $100,000 bail, which Wright called excessive. Ewing, a young black man, was arrested after the April 4 hanging and burning of Justice, a stray lab-terrier puppy. Justice died nine days later while receiving burn treatment. Wright said some people were given lower bails after murdering people, angering many animal lovers.

"They called my office and left messages. 'Nigger this and nigger that,'" Wright said. It didn't stop Wright, though. "We're going to keep doing what we do."

Wright suspects someone threw meat tainted with antifreeze or another poison over the back fence last week when everyone in the neighborhood as at school or at work. There aren't any witnesses, and police aren't investigating.

"Everybody from the apartment complex down the street has come to see the grave," Wright says. Sadie's buried in his backyard. Flowers are planted on top.

The hearing to reduce Ewing's bail is tomorrow. We asked Wright if he was planning on getting another dog. "I don't know," he said, his voice soft. "That dog was a sharp little dog. A sharp little dog."

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Greg Howard