LOS ANGELES – A reward being offered for information leading to whoever has been burning dogs with caustic chemicals in the Antelope Valley jumped to $50,000 Tuesday, thanks to a $25,000 private donation announced by Los Angeles County officials.
Supervisor Michael Antonovich had initially proposed a $10,000 reward, but contributions from private sources led to that total being increased to $25,000 before it was approved by the Board of Supervisors last week.
La Pietra Foundation then offered to put up $25,000 more, and its donation was accepted by the board Tuesday.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has offered a $2,500 reward for information in the case. An unidentified NBC4 viewer also posted a $2,000 reward.
The crimes against dogs — which Antonovich called “depraved acts of cruelty” — 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 canine.
Three pit bulls were also found with similar injuries in recent weeks, and two of them had to be euthanized, animal control officials said.
The pit bull that survived has been named Crissie, and she is being treated at the Pets R Us Veterinary Hospital in Palmdale, according to the rescue that pulled her from the Lancaster animal shelter. [Read more about Crissie here.]
The Sheriff’s Department said at least seven dogs – Fergus, Crissie and five pit bulls or pit mixes — had been found or brought to shelters with chemical burns on their backs since July 20, 2014.
Sheriff’s investigators said there may be additional cases and encouraged the public to immediately report any animals with similar burns.
Anyone with information should call 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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