Updated with information about new case.
A 31-year-old St. Louis man will spend up to four years behind bars for torturing, mutilating and killing five dogs and leaving their bodies in a vacant building on the city's north side.
Darick Dashon Stallworth pleaded guilty in August to three counts of animal abuse and and two of animal neglect. He'll serve four years for the animal abuse charges, and 15 days for the neglect charges, all concurrently.
"This is an emotional, landmark day," Stray Rescue founder Randy Grim said in a statement on Facebook. "We will continue to stand united and not tolerate animal abuse."
Also today, the circuit attorney's office announced they had filed charges in a year-old case that led to the death of one dog. (WARNING - link contains graphic content.)
Cennitra Fowler, 22, was arrested Wednesday. She faces misdemeanor animal abuse charges for allegedly starving her two dogs, then calling the city to get rid of them for her.
Fowler's case was the first investigated by that dedicated officer, Louis Naes.
Prosecutors knew Fowler's name, said Anna Kratky, who handles animal abuse cases for the circuit attorney's office. But they were missing crucial pieces of the puzzle.
"We didn't have the pedigree information for the defendant, we didn't know where to find the defendant. Additionally, the case was missing one of the elements of ownership," Kratky said. "With Officer Naes's help - he was able to go into the community, and he found a witness in that neighborhood who was able to give us information that then did lead for us to be able to issue this case."
Kratky says her office is working on about a dozen animal abuse cases. She says Naes will be able to locate crucial information for many of them.
Follow Rachel Lippmann on St. Louis Public Radio: @rlippmann