PALMDALE – The pit bull named Crissie, who was found as a stray in the Antelope Valley and marked with burns running down her back from an apparent chemical attack, is making a steady recovery, according to the rescue that pulled her from the Lancaster animal shelter.
“Her wounds are finally starting to heal, but she’s going to need further treatment,” Bethany Newhill, the foster coordinator for Doggy Smiles Rescue told The AV Times on Thursday. “As of a week ago, the wounds were completely, totally open – so, they now look amazing.”
Newhill said that Crissie receives antibiotics twice a day, along with a honey wrap, which contains enzymes to help her wounds heal.
Crissie is expected to undergo treatment at the Pets R Us Veterinary Hospital in Palmdale for about three more weeks, and then she will see a dermatologist “to see if there is any kind of ointment or lotion that will help her scarring,” Newhill said.
A week or two after that, Crissie is expected to be ready for adoption, according to the rescue.
The unfortunate American Bulldog Terrier was found on or about Aug. 13 somewhere in Lancaster, Newhill said.
“From what we understand, she was found with two other pit bulls, also burned,” she said. “And they were so badly burned, they had to be euthanized. So, she’s the only one that made it out of that situation.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department does not believe that the apparent chemical attack on Crissie was an isolated incident in the region. According to a department news release issued Tuesday, 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.
In fact, Doggy Smiles Rescue and other animal care groups and professionals are working with both investigators and chemical experts to determine the origin of the substance that is causing the injuries, the LASD stated in a news release. [Read the full LASD news release here.]
“We did a skin biopsy on Crissie, because of the investigation going on, and the Sheriff’s department will be the first to know what the results are,” Newhill said, adding that investigators want to determine if the burns are from battery acid, bleach or even some homemade flea-and-tick treatment.
Newhill also said that her rescue would like to coordinate with other groups that are pulling burned dogs from shelters “to see if they’re going to do skin biopsies so that we have something to compare it to.”
The reason is to check if there are chemical similarities between the different dogs to know if the incidents are related – and to pinpoint a person or group of people responsible for these attacks. “With the skin biopsies, we can actually have some physical evidence,” she said.
Los Angeles County supervisors are also concerned with using physical evidence to track down those supposedly behind these attacks on dogs. The board approved a $25,000 reward on Tuesday for information leading to the person or people who have been burning dogs with caustic chemicals in the Antelope Valley.
The crimes against dogs first 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, 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.
Finding Crissie a home will require a “very thorough home check process,” according to Newhill.
“She’s going to have to go to somebody that will be able to take care of her vet care,” she said. “We just want to find her a happy, loving home that’s not going to hurt her – somebody that understands the ‘Bully’ breed.”
Asked to describe Crissie’s personality, Newhill said that she’s very sweet and very loving.
“She just wants attention, and she likes to nibble on ears. She met a couple of kids yesterday (Sept. 2), and she did great with them. She also met a small dog yesterday and did great with it. So, she’s not what people normally think of when they think of a ‘Bully’ breed. She’s very loving, and very happy inside.”
Doggy Smiles Rescue is seeking donations to help pay for Crissie’s medical care, which is estimated to cost more than $5,000. To donate to this effort, visit http://www.gofundme.com/ns2uze68.
Authorities are asking anyone with information regarding the alleged chemical attacks on area dogs 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.
Previous related stories: