The Cordele man accused of fatally stabbing his neighbor’s dog during a burglary last month has been charged in another break-in.
Police only had to look across the street from the victim’s house to find 27-year-old John Frank Dunlap, who is charged with the Aug. 21 burglary of Michael Shirah’s house that he shared with his beloved toy poodle, Sheila. The 8 pound, 4 ounce curly-haired, brown dog was repeatedly stabbed with scissors inside the small house on East Seventh Avenue and discarded in a dirty clothes hamper in the bathroom.
Cordele Police Chief Dwayne Orrick said the public’s response helped crack the case. “We’re very appreciative of the people calling us with information,” Orrick said. “I’m really proud we were able to bring this case to closure.”
Armed with a search warrant for Dunlap’s house, investigators found a stainless steel stove and refrigerator taken in another burglary on Juniper Street on July 26, said Sgt. Jeremy Taylor, public information officer of the Cordele Police Department.
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Dunlap, who is 5 feet 11 inches tall and about 260 pounds, was out on parole at the time of the crime. He had served time in Ware State Prison for robbery by force in 2001 and the sale and distribution of cocaine in 2007, according to the Department of Corrections website. Both crimes were committed in Crisp County.
“He was not a real good guy,” Taylor said. “Hopefully, we’ll get to keep him in a while. We don’t know what would have happened if someone else had been in that house.”
Investigators recovered items that were taken from Shirah’s house including a television, game system, money and jewelry.
Dunlap has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty and burglary in the Shirah case and theft by receiving stolen property in the July burglary.
Shirah’s family continues to grieve the loss of the dog that was more like a member of the family.
Michael Shirah still has a hard time discussing the incident, said Wanda Shirah, his mother.
She said they did not know Dunlap, and his arrest brings little comfort.
“It won’t bring her back,” she said.
To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.