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Ollie the pit bull: Dog's torture sparks push for tougher laws against animal abuse

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Animal lovers, rescuers and pet owners placed flowers beneath a portrait of Ollie the pit bull Sunday at the First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, CBS Miami reports. More than a 100 mourners, many weeping, attended a memorial service for the dog, whose story of torture and death went viral

"I think the sheer brutality of it drove us to find who did this and the fear they wouldn't stop," said Jane Ziemba, an animal rescuer.

Ollie was found stabbed more than 50 times and stuffed in a suitcase on Oct. 10.

Heroic efforts to save him failed.

"My direct order to detectives was to treat this like a homicide," Hollywood Asst. Chief Thomas Demmery told the crowd to a standing ovation.

Brendan Evans, 31 Broward Sheriff's Office/Hollywood Police Dept./CBS Miami

Brendan Evans, 31, was arrested for animal cruelty and remains in jail. He told detectives he was a voodoo priest.

"He died in loving hands and his abuse brought more awareness than any other animal," said Jan Milbyer of Grateful Paws, the group that spearheaded efforts to raise money for Ollie and find his killer.

Animal activists said the dog's death brings a renewed sense of purpose.

"There are many animals just like Ollie and we will push for stronger laws, punishment and fines," said Tina Valant with Grateful Paws.