Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich on Wednesday increased the reward he wants the county to offer for information leading to the person or people responsible for burning dogs in the Antelope Valley.
Antonovich initially said he would ask his colleagues next week to approve a $10,000 reward, but said this week he will instead ask for $25,000.
“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 the dogs came to light earlier this 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 on Aug. 11 and was subsequently turned over to the Animal Medical Center of Southern California in West Los Angeles where the canine is continuing to recover.
Doctors said they believe somebody poured battery acid or some other type of corrosive material on the dog. Animal control officers said at least four other dogs had been found with similar injuries in recent weeks. Two of the dogs had to be euthanized.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has offered a reward of $2,500 for information in the cases. An unidentified viewer of NBC4 has posted a $2,000 reward.
Also, a GoFundMe page has been established by the Golden Retriever Rescue Group to raise money for Fergus’ care and, to date, has accumulated more than $24,000. 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.
One of the dogs, “Bella,” was found in Palmdale about a week ago, while the other two dogs who died were discovered in Lancaster and in Rosamond.
Sheriff’s officials do not know if the cases are the result of one person or are “copy cat” incidences.
Persons with knowledge of the these cases of animal torture are urged to call the Lancaster Sheriff’s station at (661) 948-8466.