Caisen Green, 18, of Cherokee County, posted a photo of a pit bull with an arrow protruding from its gut on Facebook with the caption "For all you Pit lovers out there. Here's what happens when one shows up around my house," The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, reported.
On Feb. 15, the photo went viral and sparked outrage nationally and internationally, officials said.
Along with an online petition calling for Green to be arrested on animal cruelty charges, the teenager has received hundreds of threats on the Internet and then threats mailed to his home after his address was circulated online.
Matthew Maestas, Tahlequah resident and creator of the online petition, said he decided to create the petition after he saw the death threats on a Facebook page.
"Like a whole lot of other people, I'm upset about it and I don't want to see it be brushed aside because it was a stray dog killed," Maestas said.
Erik White, a volunteer with Pit Bull Rescue Oklahoma, said the aggressive reaction from the public over the incident is wrong and may only perpetuate the stereotype of pit bull owners.
"The people that are threatening this kid are acting completely on their own, and it's ridiculous," White said. "You shouldn't put an animal's well-being over a person's. That being said, this kid did something horrible."
Jack Thorp, first assistant district attorney in Cherokee County, the district attorney's office has asked the sheriff's office to review the case and determine whether charges should be filed against Green.
If authorities decide Green to charged with animal cruelty, a felony, Green could face up to five years in prison, Cherokee County Undersheriff Jason Chennault said.