Family's poodle fatally stabbed in Cordele burglary

The Shirah family can replace the items taken in a weekend burglary, but the loss of their beloved poodle has devastated them.

“It was my son’s. It was his baby. She was our grandbaby,” said Wanda Shirah, as she fought back tears. “He loved her. She was his companion.”

The family gathered Tuesday evening for a private memorial for the curly, brown-haired dog that went everywhere with Michael Shirah, said his sister, LaGail Lewis.

At 8 pounds 4 ounces, little Sheila was all that stood between a burglar and items stolen during a weekend break-in at the family home on East Seventh Avenue in Cordele.

Whoever made off with a television and air conditioner sometime before 11 a.m. Saturday used a pair of scissors to repeatedly stab the nearly 10-year-old toy poodle.

“I’m guessing it wasn’t that much of a threat. It was just meanness,” said Sgt. Jeremy Taylor, the public information officer of the Cordele Police Department.

Wanda Shirah rushed Sheila to the Cordele Animal Hospital.

“They did all they could,” Lewis said, but the cherished pet died Saturday afternoon.

“It’s awful. It’s very awful,” said Sherry Smith, who works for the veterinarian. “Why would somebody do something like that?”

Lewis’ daughter created a Facebook page “In loving memory of Sheila Shirah.”

Michael Shirah and Sheila lived behind the family home in a building that was broken into sometime late Friday or early Saturday, Taylor said.

The slaughter of his dog has him so upset he still couldn’t really talk about it days later, his mother said.

The animal was stabbed at least four times and left inside a clothes basket in the bathroom, she said.

“She wouldn’t hurt anything. They could have just let her out or locked her in the bathroom,” Wanda Shirah said.

“Whoever would do something like that, they would have to be so cruel.”

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.