Reward Offered in Pit Bull Slashings - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Reward Offered in Pit Bull Slashings

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Phoenix recovering after surgery in Charlottesville. (Source: United States Humane Society) Phoenix recovering after surgery in Charlottesville. (Source: United States Humane Society)

The Humane Society needs your help. It's offering a $5,000 reward to help catch the person behind the brutal slashings of two pit bull terriers.

"They're horrific crimes and I can't imagine why anyone would do them," said Dr. Sarah Salmon with the Veterinary Emergency Treatment Services and Specialty clinic.

Two young pit bull terriers slashed and left on the side of the road, two vicious acts of animal cruelty that left one dog dead and another fighting to survive.

"He was slashed across his neck approximately 15 centimeters and straight down his abdomen approximately 35 centimeters and they were gaping open wounds," Salmon said.

The incidents happened on the same day last week. A couple of good Samaritans found the first dog on the side of the road in Fort Valley, Virginia, with serious injuries.  That's when they brought the dog to the VETSS in Charlottesville.

"He could not stand, he could not walk and they were kind enough to try and help him and pick him up," Salmon said.

A few hours later a father and son found a 5-month-old puppy mutilated with identical cuts in Front Royal. The cases are believed to be related. The surviving pup, 1-year-old Phoenix, is now in Salmon's care. She and her team are helping him on his road to recovery.

"Cleaning his wounds and trying to prepare them for closure, which we knew would be several days away. Antibiotics, pain management, love and care, which he responds to beautifully," Salmon said.

Phoenix has at least one more surgery ahead of him. But for now he is enjoying the company of the staff at the clinic.

"He is a very joyful, young, happy dog, loves everyone," Salmon said.

Salmon says he is a young dog that will make a full recovery. She will soon start preparing Phoenix for a new home. Many have heard his story and finding him a new family won't be difficult.

"We've had hundreds of people offer to adopt him. I think he'll be with us at least another week," Salmon said.

In addition to the Humane Society's reward for any tips, the Ring Dog Rescue group is raising funds to help pay for Phoenix's medical care.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call 540-459-6100.





Humane Society Press Release

The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for ­­­­­­­­­­­­the severe mutilation of two American Pit Bull Terriers. These two attacks, one fatal, are suspected to be related.

The Case: On May 19, around 6 a.m., residents reported finding a badly wounded dog lying on the side of the road near their home in Fort Valley, Va. They transported the dog to Charlottesville, Va., for emergency treatment. The dog, now named Phoenix, was severely cut on the neck and abdomen, but he survived. The dog is a young male, brown and white in color.

On the same day around 10 a.m., a father and son were fishing on Morgan Ford Bridge in Front Royal, Va., when they followed a trail of blood and discovered a severely lacerated puppy lying by the creek. He was mutilated in a similar manner to the dog found in Fort Valley. The good Samaritans took the dog to the Warren County Humane Society who immediately transported him to Winchester for emergency treatment. The puppy's injuries were so severe that he was euthanized. The puppy was brown and white in color and approximately 5 months old.

Animal Cruelty: Getting the serious attention of law enforcement, prosecutors and the community in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented.  Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and all manner of other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.

"Inflicting these kinds of injuries on defenseless puppies is a truly callous and despicable crime," said Laura Donahue, The HSUS' Virginia state director. "We hope that the reward will bring forward anyone with information about who caused these animals to suffer so terribly."

"Any information would be helpful to the on-going investigation as we have very little to go on at this time," said Major Scott Proctor, chief deputy at the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office.

The Investigators: The Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office is investigating the dog found in Fort Valley. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call 540-459-6100.

The Warren County Sheriff's Office is investigating the dog found in Front Royal. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call 540-636-4128.

Resources: The HSUS Animal Cruelty Campaign raises public awareness and educates communities about the connection between animal cruelty and human violence while providing a variety of resources to law enforcement agencies, social work professionals, educators, legislators and families. The HSUS offers rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and works to strengthen laws against animal cruelty. To see information on statistics, trends, laws and animal cruelty categories, click here.

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