Police determine dog’s death a result of bird attack


The result of a necropsy (a pet autopsy) performed on Jen and Eric Kerkers’ six-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, Deuce, showed that the dog was a victim of bird prey, and died as a result of  blunt force trauma. The dog did not die as a result of a gunshot wound as the Kerkers had originally suspected.

News of Deuce’s death became local and even international news when some Canyon Lake community members staged a protest outside the Kerkers’ neighbor’s home after word began to falsely spread that the dog had been shot to death by the neighbor. Los Angeles television station KTLA-TV broadcast the original story and the news went viral and was picked up by media outlets across the country and even as far as Britain.

In a statement to The Friday Flyer, Lieutenant Earl Quinata from the Riverside Sheriff’s Department and the Canyon Lake Police Department said, “In working in conjunction with Animal Friends of the Valleys, a necropsy was conducted and the results show that the dog was a victim of bird prey that resulted in blunt force trauma. There was no projectile found in the dog as a result of the investigation.”

No one is more happier to have the results made public than Manuel Garvis, the Kerkers’ neighbor and the man many falsely accused of shooting the dog. Manuel learned of the necropsy results from the Riverside Sheriff’s Department. “The officer came by on his day off to tell me. I really appreciated that,” says Manuel.

Shortly after hearing the results, the Kerkers paid a visit to Manuel. “We talked for about an hour. They apologized and although I’m deeply hurt over some of the things said about me, I accepted their apology,” says Manuel.

“We spoke to Manuel and his wife and apologized for the entire incident. We had a nice conversation with our neighbors for the first time since we moved in,” Eric Kerker tells The Friday Flyer. “My wife I and I will be removing ourselves from the social media circus for awhile. Thank you for bringing the truth of what transpired to the surface. We hope all parties can now heal from this and that God will guide us away from our pride and allow us to be kind to one another and begin again as better people. We apologize to anyone that took our words and used them for harm against another. We would never intend to wrongly hurt anyone. Manuel’s family is a sweet and kind family of God and they deserve more from our community.”

“I would like to send my condolences to the Kurkers for the loss of their dog, “Manuel says. “I would also like to voice my gratitude to the Riverside Sheriff’s Department for their professionalism, objectivity and for never making me feel like I was a suspect. They were very professional. If they are indicative of the kind service the residents of Canyon Lake are receiving, the residents have a lot to be proud of.”

This has been a trying time for Manuel and his family, he says, stating his faith in God gets him through everything and he knew it would get him through this and that the truth would eventually come out.


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Donna Ritchie