Neighbor charged with killing family's dog during burglary

12:43 AM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Neighbor charged with killing family's dog during burglary

  • Chris Haney,22 yo. of Newport, accused of burglarizing a home and killing family dog.

Newport Police have arrested a man they say killed a dog during a burglary.

The Laforce family were devastated when they discovered their home had been broken into on November 28

They told 10News the thief stole $6,500 worth of possessions, including guns, medication and money. 

But the biggest loss was their 11 pound dog, Simon, who was found dead on the floor.

"He was laying in a pool of blood, beside the refrigerator," recalls Tonia Laforce. "I reached down and he was already stiff. I ran out and called 911."

Police believe the intruder kicked the dog.

Laforce had gotten Simon for her 8-year-old daughter.

"She had begged for a puppy," says Laforce and they relented last January.

"The most upsetting part has been the loss of our pet," says Laforce. "Things are replaceable. Simon is not replaceable."

And it turns out when she saw the suspect's mugshot, she recognized a familiar face.

"I realized it was someone who lived next to me," says Laforce."I'm very thankful that they got him. I just hope the punishment will follow."

She says he has since moved out of the neighborhood.

The Newport Police Department has announced the arrest of 22-year-old Chris Haney of Newport. 

He's been charged with aggravated burglary, aggravated animal cruelty and theft over $1,000.  They believe he is the man who broke into the Laforce family's home and killed the dog.

Some of the items that were stolen from the Laforce's home were recovered.

Haney is also charged with another theft in the Clifton Heights Community of Newport, that happened on December 2.

Simon may be gone, but he isn't forgotten. His photo hangs in the living room alongside the school portraits of Laforce's four children.

But they recently found a way to make the house feel a little less empty.

"We do have a new puppy. We've had him for one week," says Laforce.

Her daughter and the new pooch 'Louie' are inseparable.

"There's things about him that remind me of Simon," says Laforce. "But everybody says that's just how you know that everything is going to be okay."

And while a new best friend can never replace the old one, it can make losing him a little easier. 

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