Dog Stabbed Multiple Times by Des Moines Man

posted on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 in News

ZeusUPDATE (July 26, 2017 at 12:27 p.m.):  To follow-up to the press release sent by the Polk County Sherriff’s Office this morning (below).

The victim dog, named Zeus, is now in stable condition at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa (ARL), where our staff veterinarians will continue his treatment, rehabilitation, and pain management.  Zeus received multiple stab wounds to his chest and side, puncturing his diaphragm, in addition to other life-threatening injuries.  He needed immediate surgery to save his life.

“This poor dog has suffered unfathomable trauma.  This never should have happened,” said Tom Colvin, Executive Director at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.  “This is the second horrific animal case we’ve dealt with this week.  Luckily, Zeus survived his injuries.  The dog whose neck was broken, was not so lucky.  I don’t know what more it is going to take to get our lawmakers to take these cases seriously and increase penalties for animal abusers.”

Zeus’ medical bills will be in the thousands, so donations can be made to his care at

People interested in helping change the animal welfare laws in Iowa to better punish animal abusers can learn more about the proposed legislation and receive action alerts at

Michael Thomas MitchellJuly 26, 2017, 10:30 a.m.
Polk County Sheriff's Office, Iowa just released the following:

"On July 25th, 2017, Polk County Deputies were dispatched to the 4000 block of NE 45th Dr. in reference to an Animal Abuse report. According to information provided by the Animal Rescue League, Des Moines Animal Control, and Polk County Animal Control, there was an incident the evening of July 24th, 2017, where two dogs were together in a fenced-in area at a residence in the 4000 block of NE 45th Dr. At some point, the dogs began fighting and, after the dogs had been separated, Michael Thomas Mitchell, 31, of Des Moines, reportedly stabbed the Pit-bull mix at least twice with a pocket knife, causing serious injury to the dog. The other dog, breed unknown, received minor injuries in the altercation. The Pit-bull mix was taken to the Iowa Veterinary Referral Center for treatment. The condition of the dog is unknown at this time.

After an investigation by Polk County Deputies and Polk County Animal Control, Michael Mitchell was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail on one count of Animal Abuse, an Aggravated Misdemeanor. Mitchell posted bond and was released."

Stay tuned for an update on the dog's condition and how you can help.