LOS ANGELES – The Board of Supervisors approved a $25,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to the person or people who have been burning dogs with caustic chemicals in the Antelope Valley.
Supervisor Michael Antonovich initially said he would ask his colleagues to approve a $10,000 reward, but he announced last week he was increasing the reward amount to $25,000. That includes contributions from private sources, he said.
“By increasing this reward, we hope to encourage the public to come forward with any information that will help us identify, apprehend and prosecute those responsible for these depraved acts of cruelty,” Antonovich said.
The crimes against dogs came to light last month when a golden retriever was brought to a Lancaster animal shelter suffering from severe burns on its neck and back.
The dog, which has since been named “Fergus,” was brought to the shelter Aug. 11 and subsequently turned over to the Animal Medical Center of Southern California in West Los Angeles, where he is continuing to recover.
Doctors said they believe somebody poured battery acid or some other type of corrosive material on the dog.
Animal control officials said at least three other dogs had been found with similar injuries in recent weeks, and two of them had to be euthanized.
Help with Crissie’s medical care
The dog that survived is a pit bull that has been named “Crissie,” according to Doggy Smiles Rescue, the local rescue group that pulled the dog from the Lancaster animal shelter.
“Even in her obvious pain, she is so sweet and such a love bug! Crissie deserves a chance to receive the best medical care,” the group said on a fundraising page.
Doggy Smiles Rescue is seeking donations to help pay for Crissie’s medical care, which is estimated to cost around $5,000. To donate to this effort, visit http://www.gofundme.com/ns2uze68.
A Gofundme page established by the Golden Retriever Rescue Group to raise money for Fergus’ care has raised more than $25,000. An update on the page noted that officials in both Kern and Los Angeles counties are investigating the dog injuries, since at least two of the dogs brought to the Lancaster shelter apparently came from Kern County.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Lancaster Station Detective Bureau at 661-948-8466.
UPDATE: AT LEAST 7 REPORTED INCIDENTS
According to a news release issued Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, there have been at least seven reported incidents over the last year of dogs being found, or brought to local shelters, with what appears to be caustic chemical burns on their backs. The dogs include one golden retriever and six pit bulls; and the injured dogs were located in various areas, including Lancaster, Palmdale and Rosamond, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
“Investigators have not yet been able to determine if the injuries sustained by the dogs are as a result of an intentional criminal act or some other cause. They are working diligently with animal care professionals and chemical experts to determine the origin of the substance that is causing the injuries,” the LASD news release states. Read the full LASD news release here. View a related news release from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office here.
Anyone with information is asked to call LASD Lancaster Sheriff’s Station Detective Daniel Gore at (661) 940-3851 or (661) 948-8466, or the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control at (661) 974-8096.
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