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Tragic Accident or Intentional Abuse? What Do You Think?

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A bizarre and heartbreaking dog abuse case out of Jefferson, West Virginia has resulted in the death of one dog and police with absolutely no clear answers. Did a dog suffer due to a tragic accident or did someone intentionally mutilate and abuse him?

Jessica Bennett stepped outside of her home last week and found a trail of blood on her porch. She followed the trail along the porch, down the steps, and to a hole beneath the home where she found her 2-year old dog barely clinging to life.

Bennett’s fiance, Terrell Harris, told police he was inside his home playing video games when his dog’s front paws somehow became severed, leaving the dog in severe pain, bleeding profusely, and most likely in shock. A WCHS TV interview with Terrell Harris leaves even more questions unanswered:

The dog, Malakai, had to be euthanized after veterinarians found that he’d lost too much blood to survive. Examination by several veterinarians had investigators questioning whether Malakai had lost both front paws in a tragic accident with a nearby passing train or if the dog had been intentionally and maliciously disfigured.

Investigators have questioned several persons of interest in the case, including making several visits to the Harris home to question the owners.

“There are a lot of people we’ve considered persons of interest. There are a lot of things that don’t seem to add up. Some inconsistencies,” Sgt. Brian Humphreys, with the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office told WCHS.

For instance, police don’t understand how a dog, in severe pain, bleeding profusely, and with no front paws, managed to walk from the train tracks back home and climb the steps onto the Harris’ front porch before leaving a trail of blood to the spot beneath the home. Or, how is it that no one heard Malakai’s cries as he was being hurt?

Additional injuries to the dog, including lacerations to his front paws and to his face don’t provide a clear answer as to what happened to this poor dog.

Although Harris passed a police administered lie detector test, he remains the prime suspect in the unsolved case. Police located evidence that indicates Malakai was most likely injured after being struck by a train, but have not ruled out speculation that he was somehow incapacitated and intentionally left on the tracks.

Accusations by concerned neighbors of Harris’ history of violence against people and animals, investigations into child neglect by the family, coupled with reports of residents nearby bragging about committing the act have only further complicated the case.

When police entered the home during their investigation, they found troubling evidence of child neglect and removed Bennett’s children from the home.

“This is still an open case,” Sgt. Brian Humphreys of the Kanawha County Sheriff’s Office told the WV Gazette. “There are still some pieces of information we’d like to have before we can possibly think of closing it.”

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case. Food Network star and West Virginia native Katie Lee has matched that amount, and another contributor added to the amount as well, bringing the total reward for information in the case to $15,000.

Anyone with information is asked to call 304-357-0169 or submit a tip to www.kanawhasheriff.us.

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  1. Avatar Of Trouble Trouble says:

    One inconsistency I am most curious about is…They state that there was a trail of blood leading from the porch to just underneath the porch. But they don’t specifically mention any blood being seen from the train tracks to the home. If there was no blood trail from the tracks to the home…..then wouldn’t that suggest that the dog wasn’t actually anywhere near the train tracks? If the dog had lost that much blood, then there would be a trail pretty much everywhere the dog went. I find it hard to believe that someone not living in this home could’ve done this, without being seen. And, I wouldn’t totally write the woman off as being completely innocent either. Those could be crocodile tears on her face, for the cameras and publicity. It sounds to me like this Jessica Bennett and her fiance, Terrell Harris, couldn’t take care of their children, their home, or by the looks of it, even themselves.

    People will do anything if they think it’ll make ’em a buck or two. Maybe that’s what they were hoping to get out of this. And it’s absolutely terrible that this dog had to suffer, and lose its life, because of the inhumanity of the people involved (whoever the true criminals are in this case).

  2. Avatar Of Cynthia



    I think smeoe hurt this intentally A treain woud most likely killed him instantly. I hopethey the person or ersons that
    did this.Please letus kmow.thanks.

  3. Avatar Of Pam Hensley

    Pam Hensley


    After reading the article and being in rescue, I learned to listen to my gut feelings. My gut feel it was done intentionally. I hope that some evidence surface to prove this and charges can be filed.

  4. Avatar Of Kat



    Why was this dog running loose ?
    Sounds like abuse.
    Poor poor dog!

  5. Avatar Of Bonnie Bonnie says:

    I think her sorry boyfriend abused that poor animal and I hope he fails the polygraph and goes to prison. He could kill a child just as easily. Evil lingers in their minds and he is a master at it. Throw the book at him!

  6. You don’t sustain that kind of trauma without leaving a trail from where it came from.

  7. Avatar Of Janet Campbell

    Janet Campbell


    I think from what I have seen that both the owner and her fiancé are responsible! She is wailing whilst being interviewed and yet no tears? Blood inside the house? Blood on the steps up to the house?

  8. Avatar Of Marilyn Whitney

    Marilyn whitney


    Clear abuse

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