A Lakeview man who teaches grade school punched his dog to death because it refused to get into a bathtub after it “ate every piece of paper” in the house and soiled itself, police said.
Derek Fierro, 25, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, police said. He is a teacher at Eugene Field Elementary School in the 7000 block of North Ashland Avenue, according to police and Chicago Public Schools records.
Fierro, who lives in the 500 block of West Roscoe Street, called 911 about 3 a.m. and asked police to meet him at Roscoe and North Broadway, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Laura Kubiak said.
When officers arrived, he told them the dog was in trunk of his car and gave police the keys, Kubiak said. Officers checked it and found the male yellow dog. Fierro was crying when police arrived and said he was sorry about killing his dog, Kubiak said.
Fierro adopted the dog from the Chicago Canine Rescue Foundation last October, according to Lisa Klotnia, the foundation's founder. The dog -- a yellow lab chow mix -- was several months old when adopted and had been named Doc because he was part of a litter of seven puppies. The dog was renamed "Queso" according to the foundation's records.
"We reviewed his application, he came to meet Doc and we even did a home visit with him," Klotnia said. "He seemed like a nice and normal guy.
"We try to be part of the dog's life," she said through tears. "If we're ever needed, we let people know were here. That's why it's so devastating. We would have gladly taken this dog back if he was having any problems."
She described Doc as a "real mutt," part Labrador retriever, chow and maybe Alaskan huskie, Klotnia said. "Our hope is to give them a new home and we failed. He was a wonderful little pup."
She said the foundation is reaching out to police to retrieve the dog's remains and have them cremated.
CPS Inspector General James Sullivan said his office will investigate the incident, which could lead to disciplinary action against the teacher. Sullivan said his office always investigates cases where a district employee is arrested and charged with a “serious crime.”
Tribune reporter Joel Hood contributed to this story.
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