They came from all over the city Wednesday for a court hearing that lasted just seconds.
An army of supporters — numbers more typically seen for a high-profile murder case.
In this case, they came to support “Ethan” — the emaciated, at-death’s-door dog rescued from a Northwest Side apartment on Aug. 26.
Andre Davis, Ethan’s former owner and the man charged with felony animal cruelty, appeared at the Cook County branch courthouse at Grand and Central. Judge Donald Panarese Jr. announced that Davis had been indicted and then set the next court date for Oct. 9.
Davis had nothing to say as he walked out of court.
Mia Mastrandrea, who came wearing a t-shirt with a sparkly picture of a dog emblazoned across it, said she is devastated by what happened to Ethan.
“It just breaks my heart how people could hurt innocent helpless animals,” said Mastrandrea, who owns two parrots, but, currently, no dogs. “The laws need to change. They need to become stricter.”
When police plucked Ethan from the apartment, they said he’d been abandoned three weeks earlier. The dog was taken to Niles Animal Hospital and Bird Medical Center for emergency treatment. The dog’s ribs were showing and his muscles had begun to waste away, doctors there said.
Ethan owes much of the community support to Chicago Police Lt. John Garrido, who rescued the dog and who runs a nonprofit, Garrido Stray Rescue Foundation.
Garrido said Wednesday that he and another family are “co-fostering” Ethan.
“He’s not 100 percent out of the woods yet by any means, but he’s improving,” Garrido said.
Mastrandrea came to court laden with gifts for Ethan, including a gigantic doggy cushion.
She’s already bought him some Cubs-themed doggy toys and a $400 gift card for Petco Animal Supplies.