Two dogs found by police at Ariel Castro’s home and another one in his car could have served as pets for his three captives and were apparently in better condition than the women he imprisoned.
A Chihuahua was found in the car with Ariel Castro the night he was arrested for allegedly holding three women captive for a decade, while two terrier poodle mixes were found in his Cleveland home.
Ohio-based reporter Ed Gallek spoke with Piers Morgan about the animals, and said there was “some talk” among officers that may have been pets for Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.
“I am told that the dogs were in reasonably good health,” he said on CNN, adding that the only concerns about their upkeep was that they had matted hair from not enough grooming.
Ed Gallek said the role of the dogs was unclear but that an “R.I.P” message found scrawled on the wall of the basement is believed to have referred to a pet.
He added: “There’s some talk in law enforcement circles in recent days about the dogs being pets for the women… That is something that we’re still looking into, but that is another possibility.”
Piers Morgan added that perhaps the animals had been used as “noise shields” for what was going on inside the house.
The animals have now been taken to animal rescue kennels in Cleveland but police are waiting to see if any of the victims want to keep them before they are put up for adoption.
If they do not, the three dogs will be placed in foster homes, Ed Gallek said.
They were seized following Ariel Castro’s arrest on kidnapping and rape charges. He is accused of chaining Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus up in his home and assaulting them for years.
The good health of the dogs came despite the horrendous treatment the three women allegedly endured at the hands of Ariel Castro after they were snatched from the streets.
Michelle Knight, now 32, was subjected to numerous beatings and treated like “a punching bag”, a family friend of one of the victims has told CNN.