FORT WORTH, Texas — An 11-year-old boy accused of beating a dog to death with a stick in a north Fort Worth neighborhood was found guilty Thursday of animal cruelty.

FORT WORTH, Texas — An 11-year-old boy accused of beating a dog to death with a stick in a north Fort Worth neighborhood was found guilty Thursday of animal cruelty.


Associate Judge James Teel found the boy guilty of delinquent conduct/animal cruelty with an enhancement for the use of a deadly weapon. The charge is equivalent to a felony in adult courts.


The boy, who is not being identified because he is a juvenile, killed Cookie, a small Cavalier King Charles spaniel-poodle mix, on May 11 and left him dead on a porch across from where the dog lived.


Teel’s ruling came in a Fort Worth juvenile court.


Sentencing will follow the completion of a court-ordered psychological examination, a neuropsychological examination and a risk assessment of the boy’s potential for violence toward humans and animals.


Results from the examinations are expected to take four to six weeks, Sam Jordan, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, said in an email.


The boy was released until sentencing, but Teel ordered that he must have no unsupervised contact with animals, that his parents must ensure he is supervised by an adult at all times and that he and his family should have no contact with Cookie’s owner, Jennifer Knittel of Fort Worth.


"I’m just pushing for the boy to get some help," Knittel said in a June interview with the Star-Telegram. "I don’t wish any harm to him or his family, but I do want the courts to get him some help."


Officials told Knittel that Cookie died from a crushed skull and a severed spinal cord.


Knittel said she was told that the boy had been attacked by Cookie.


But Knittel said Cookie and her other dog, Sam, had never gotten loose in the neighborhood, and Fort Worth animal control officials have said they had no record of any problem with the dogs.


Knittel said she rescued Cookie from a shelter five years ago.


Two days after the attack, Knittel said, she received a letter of apology from the family through a Fort Worth detective.


"Dear Ms. Knittel, please accept our sincere condolences to you and your family on the death of your dog. For whatever reason our son felt threatened by it and thought it best to defend himself, when he thought it would bite his leg."


The family wrote that the boy had been riding a scooter when he encountered Cookie and that he didn’t mean to kill the dog.


"Our son has been very upset about this incident. We feel very badly that it turned out this way. We pray that God would comfort your family in this time," the letter said.


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