On Tuesday morning, a tennis ball's throw from the site of the vigil, a 1-year-old female mixed-breed dog was found dead, suspended from a piece of playground equipment with a leash around her neck. Her paws were bloodied in what appeared to have been a frantic attempt to lower herself onto the ground just inches beneath her.
No arrests have been made, but according to George Bengal, director of law enforcement for the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, "We have established ownership of the animal."
The PSPCA and the Humane Society of the United States are combining to offer a $4,500 reward for information leading to a conviction.
Solving cases like this, many vigil speakers emphasized, is pivotal, given the well-documented link between cruelty to animals and domestic violence.
"If we don't stop them now, they're going to grow up to be the next Jeffrey Dahmers," City Councilman Jack Kelly said, referring to the serial killer. "We have to stamp them out."
Councilman William K. Greenlee also was there. As the crowd swelled - including a few hoops players who trekked from the nearby courts to mug for cameras - visitors added fresh emblems to the tree memorial: a leash, a Frisbee, a leopard Beanie Baby, a 101 Dalmatians coloring book.
One note read, "Rest in Peace, Flora" - the name bestowed on the dog posthumously by the PSPCA.
"They're all individuals," said Susan Cosby, the organization's chief executive officer. "So we give them all names."
Contact staff writer Matt Flegenheimer at 215-854-5614 or firstname.lastname@example.org.