Bond Set for Pair Charged with Starving Two Dogs to Death
Charges include allegations of feeding rat poison to German Shepherd
([NOTE: This is a joint press release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office and the Naperville Police Department])
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin and Naperville Chief of Police Robert Marshall announced today that bond has been set for two Hoffman Estates residents accused of starving two dogs to death. Sarah Gorski, 19 (d.o.b. 5/20/2000) of 1768 Queensbury Circle and Andre Norris, 27 (d.o.b. 11/3/1992) of the same address, appeared in Bond Court this morning where Judge Brian Telander set bond at $100,000 with 10% to apply for Norris and $50,000 with 10% to apply for Gorski. Each has been charged with 4 counts of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals (Class 4 Felony), one count of Forgery (Class 3 Felony) and two counts of Misdemeanor Unlawful Disposal of an Animal.
On March 2, 2020, Naperville Officers and Naperville Animal Control personnel responded to a trail area regarding a disposed of dead German Shepherd. The German Shepherd, later identified as Meliodas, or “Otis”, was found wrapped in a bed sheet in a storage container in a wooded area near a drainage ditch. He weighed approximately twenty pounds, while this type of dog should weigh approximately seventy pounds. An investigation into the matter led authorities to Gorski and Norris as the alleged owners of Otis. The investigation also found that the defendants had allegedly owned at least two other dogs, Scooby and Bubba. Through the detectives’ investigation, it was learned that none of the dogs had many visits to the veterinarian. On March 12, 2020, a search warrant was executed on the defendants’ home. When investigators arrived, they allegedly found Scooby, a German Shepherd/Hound mix, in a rusted dog crate, filled with animal feces, blood, and urine. He allegedly weighed approximately twenty pounds, was severely starved, could not walk, had massive sores including one where you could almost see his bone and had feces stuck in his fur. Bubba, a Corgi, was not located at this time. Through their investigation, authorities learned that Bubba had allegedly died in the first week of March. Investigators subsequently found Bubba in a field wrapped in a sheet where Gorski and Norris allegedly dumped him. Both Otis and Bubba were sent to the University of Illinois Veterinary School for a necropsy where it was determined that Otis died from canine parvovirus, starvation and rat poisoning. Bubba, who weighed only four pounds when he was found, died of severe starvation. Additionally, it is alleged Norris and Gorski forged paystubs from Norris’ former employer, Petland. Gorski and Norris turned themselves in to authorities yesterday.
"To say the charges against Sarah Gorski and Andre Norris are disturbing would be a gross understatement," Berlin said. "Otis and Bubba both died a horrible, painful death, allegedly because these two defendants starved them to death. What’s even more disturbing is the allegation that the defendants fed Otis rat poison. Thankfully, the manner in which Gorski and Norris allegedly treated their pets was discovered and Scooby appears to be on the mend. If these charges are proven in court, the defendants will pay a serious price. I would like to thank the Naperville Police Department for their outstanding work on this sad case. I would also like to thank Naperville Animal Control, the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, VCA Boulder Terrace and Care Animal Clinic of Plainfield for their assistance. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Alyssa Rabulinski for her efforts on this heartbreaking case."
"The comprehensive and thorough investigation by our animal control officers and our detectives into the cruelty of the dogs was taken extremely seriously by our police department," Marshall said. "I am very pleased we are holding those allegedly responsible in this case accountable for their actions. I am appalled by the alleged abuse perpetrated on these defenseless animals and wish to commend our investigators and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office for their collaborative efforts."
Both Gorski’s and Norris’ next court appearance is scheduled for June 1, 2020, for arraignment in front of Judge Jeffrey MacKay.
Members of the public are reminded that this complaint contains only charges and is not proof of the defendants’ guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
About Naperville: Located 28 miles west of Chicago, Naperville, Ill., is home to approximately 145,000 people. This vibrant, thriving city consistently ranks as a top community in the nation in which to live, raise children and retire. The city is home to acclaimed public and parochial schools, the best public library system in the country, an array of healthcare options and an exceptionally low crime rate. Naperville has ready access to a variety of public transportation, housing and employment options. The city’s diversified employer base features high technology firms, retailers and factories, as well as small and home-based businesses. Residents also enjoy world-class parks, diverse worship options, the opportunity to serve on several City boards and commissions, a thriving downtown shopping and dining area, a renowned outdoor history museum known as Naper Settlement and an active civic community. For more information, please visit our website at www.naperville.il.us.