Owners of abused dog in Clinton Township sentenced

Elvira the Shih Tzu is happy, fun-loving

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Three owners of an abused and neglected dog in Clinton Township were sentenced for animal abuse and torture.

Demico Knight Jr., Sonja Sturdivant and Christopher Penn were convicted for abusing the dog.

All three of them were sentenced to serve probation, while Knight Jr. and Sturdivant also got jail sentences ranging from 90 days to six months. 

The sentences are the stiffest ever received in Macomb County history for animal abuse and torture.

Elvira, a 7-year-old Shih Tzu, had badly matted fur and had a ruptured eyeball that needed to be removed when she came to the NBS Animal Rescue in Troy in October. She lost a paw as a result of her injuries.

“If you don't see pictures of her when she got in and you aren't horrified and angry and just disgusted, then I don't know if that's even possible,” said Rebecca Akins, president and co-founder of the rescue.

Akins said that when she heard the list of problems Elvira had and surgeries she would need, the rescue didn’t hesitate to take her.

Six months later, Elvira is happy and fun-loving.

Her former owners are also sentenced to partial restitution. The rescue said her veterinarian bills will be close to $15,000.

Akins hopes Elvira’s story sends a message to others.

“If you are someone out there with a pet, and you aren't caring for them properly or using resources, you will be sentenced to jail and you will be held responsible for your actions,” she said.

Elvira will be available for adoption once she completes rehab.

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