Police investigating after woman reports her dog hanged from doorknob in a Raleigh Hotel

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A woman is sharing her story after she says she left her dog inside a Raleigh hotel room and returned to find it dead.

Sharis Castellano says she found the 5-pound Yorkie with a leash around its neck, hanging from the doorknob of her room at the Hyatt Place in North Raleigh.

Castellano, who lives in Illinois, says she and her daughters came to Raleigh last week for cheerleading camp and to visit colleges. They brought their 16-year-old Yorkie, named Allie.

Thursday night, Castellano said, they went out to do some shopping and have dinner, leaving Allie in the room.

“I took her leash and harness off, threw it on the sofa, fed her,” Castellano recalled.

They returned a few hours later.

“When we got upstairs our door was left ajar,” Castellano said. “I was calling for the dog — she wasn’t coming. She’s a little deaf, she’s older, and I thought it was kind of weird.”

What she described next led to a frantic 911 call. Castellano told the 911 operator, “The door was open and the dog was hanging from the door.”

“She was wrapped several times with a leash around her neck and she was just dangling,” Castellano later recounted.

Castellano said she took the dog down and tried to do CPR, but Allie was dead.

Castellano told the 911 operator she didn’t know who could’ve been in the room, and nothing looked suspicious before she left.

“When I left her, she was alive she was eating she was happy,” Castellano told the dispatcher. “We walked into this – the dog hanging there. This is a family pet,” she cried.

Raleigh police say they are investigating what happened. When asked if they are treating this case as a crime, a police spokesperson said, “The follow-up investigation remains underway. No final determinations have been made.”

The manager of the hotel said she is cooperating with Raleigh police and expressed her condolences.

Castellano says she and her daughters are heartbroken. They can’t understand why this happened and say Allie wasn’t a threat to anyone.

“She has zero teeth — she couldn’t have bit them. She’s five pounds and she’s the sweetest thing,” she said. “If they would’ve picked her up, she probably would’ve sniffed them and kissed them.”

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