Man arrested in car theft that ended with disabled dog's death

Posted at 12:25 PM, Oct 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-10 12:25:47-04

Authorities have arrested a man in connection with the theft of a car in Oakland Park that led to the death of a disabled dog.

Jephthe Jean-Francois, 19, was arrested Wednesday in Wilton Manors on multiple grand theft and burglary charges, as well as an animal cruelty charge, according to Broward Sheriff's Office jail records.

Authorities said Zorra, a 13-year-old female Husky-Shepherd mix, was inside the 2005 Volvo that was stolen on Oct. 3 outside a Dollar Tree near Andrews Avenue and Oakland Park Boulevard. The car theft was captured on surveillance footage.

The car was found Monday night in Lauderdale Lakes with Zorra's body inside, officials said. Investigators were awaiting results of a necropsy to determine how the dog died.

Zorra's owner, Wanda Ferrari, said Zorra's two back legs had been paralyzed and she needed a doggie wheelchair to get around. Local animal rescue group 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida had offered a $3,000 reward for Zorra's return and had hired pet detective Jamie Katz, a licensed private investigator who specializes in reuniting lost, missing and stolen pets with their families, to work the case.

Jean-Francois was being held on more than $9,000 bond Thursday, jail records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.

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