Farmers' Market Helps Identify Suspect In Spokane Animal Cruelty Crime

Michael jones On evening of June 22 in the downtown Spokane a young man inexplicably kicked in the window of a car, grabbed a small Shih Tzu dog by the leash, and hurled the dog into the unforgiving concrete sidewalk leaving her for dead. It took more than a week for the media to pick up the story, which has become over the last week a high profile story with disturbing surveillance video and now a mug shot with a suspect being sought for first degree animal cruelty.

The backstory to all of this is that the dog, Cocoa Butter, is owned by Tom and Louise Tuffin, who are well known for the delicious artisan breads that they sell at Spokane area Farmers' Markets, including in Millwood where I manage the market. When they showed up on June 24 to sell bread they brought battered and bruised Cocoa Butter with them because she was still too tender to be left alone. There were a parade of customers who inquired about the dog during the day but one of them was Stacey Carr, a fan of the market and the creator of the Friends of Millwood Market Facebook group. Stacey also happens to be a detective with the Spokane Police Department. I don't know all the details but I do know this interaction was very important in moving the investigation forward, locating the security camera footage and eventually a suspect in the crime.

I love this story because it shows in a tangible way the intangible benefits of something like a Farmers' Markets and the relationships that are nurtured there. It shows us that the more we come together in the public square, the more we shorten the distance between producer and consumer, the more we actually know our neighbors, the safer our community will be. There are many other benefits but let's just leave it at that for now.

If you know Michael Jones pictured above please contact Crime Stoppers at (509) 327-5111 or (800) 222-TIPS, or submit a tip online. To contribute money for the dogs care you may doso through SpokAnimal by calling (509) 534-8133. Checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 3151, Spokane WA, 99220 desginated for "Cocoa Butter."