The Board of Supervisors approved a $25,000 reward Tuesday for information leading to whoever has 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 amount to $25,000, which includes contributions from private sources, the supervisor 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 canine.
The Sheriff’s Department said at least seven dogs — Fergus and six pit bulls or pit mixes — had been found or brought to shelters with chemical burns on their backs since July 20, 2014. At least two had to be euthanized, according to animal control officials.
Sheriff’s investigators said there may be additional cases and encouraged the public to immediately report any animals with similar burns.
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,” according to a sheriff’s department statement.
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.
A Gofundme page established by the Golden Retriever Rescue Group to raise money for Fergus’ care has raised more than $24,000.
An update on the page noted that authorities in both Kern and Los Angeles counties are investigating the dog injuries, since at least two of the canines brought to the Lancaster shelter apparently came from Rosamond in Kern County.
— City News Service