HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) — Animal lovers, rescuers and pet owners placed flowers beneath a portrait of Ollie the pit bull at the First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood Sunday.
Over a hundred mourners, many weeping, attended a memorial service for the dog, whose story of torture and death went viral.
“I think the sheer brutality of it drove us to find who did this and the fear they wouldn’t stop,” said Jane Ziemba, an animal rescuer.
Ollie was found stabbed more than 50 times and stuffed in a suitcase on Lee Street in Hollywood on October 10th.
Heroic efforts to save him failed.
“My direct order to detectives was to treat this like a homicide,” Hollywood Asst. Chief Thomas Demmery told the crowd to a standing ovation.
“He died in loving hands and his abuse brought more awareness than any other animal,” said Jan Milbyer of Grateful Paws, the group that spearheaded efforts to raise money for Ollie and find his killer.
Animal activists said the dog’s death brings a renewed sense of purpose.
“There are many animals just like Ollie and we will push for stronger laws, punishment and fines,” said Tina Valant with Grateful Paws.