Weatherford Democrat

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July 12, 2012

Up to $35,000 reward offered arrest of those who tortured dog

— Law enforcement, individuals, local businesses and a nonprofit organization that focuses on treating animals have all come together to offer separate rewards for the torture of a small dog who has made national news.

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler continues to ask the public for any information leading to the arrest of suspects involved in the torture of Hope, a pug-mix breed, 3- to 4-year-old female dog, found with her mouth taped shut, and tongue swollen and protruding.

Crime Stoppers will pay up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects involved. A guaranteed additional reward from individuals and business owners has totaled $9,000, said the sheriff’s office in a news release. And, the Texas Humane Alliance released a statement Wednesday evening that they has an anonymous donor put up a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for torturing Hope.

“We are grateful to the compassionate donor who has offered this generous reward,” said Jonnie England, a board member with the Dallas-based Texas Humane Alliance.  “It’s our hope that with a reward of this amount, someone will do the right thing and provide the information necessary to convict the person or persons who committed this horrific crime against an innocent little dog.”

Hope was found Monday south of Weatherford after a concerned resident notified the sheriff’s office that a dog was wandering in circles and appeared to be overheated and bleeding from five, severe cuts. The wounds were intentionally made, according to the sheriff’s office.

Hope is currently recovering and in the care of veterinarian Dr. Kevin Buchanan, DVM, and his staff at the Bowie Drive Animal Hospital.

Hope is receiving specialized care and treatment and has made a tremendous improvement, according to the sheriff’s office. Staff members reported Hope is wagging her tail and eating well.

“She is truly inspirational and she amazes us each day,” said Rhonda Sears, vet tech at the animal hospital.

Hundreds of callers from all over the United States have contacted the sheriff’s office and animal hospital pledging donations.

Fowler said Tuesday the deliberate acts against Hope were horrendous and malicious.

“This story has touched the lives and hearts of so many people across the globe,” Fowler said. “We encourage the public to call the Parker County Crime Stoppers Hotline with any information about Hope. No matter how minor or insignificant the information may seem – we are seeking her owners, the suspects or Hope’s background and history.”

Hope’s medical costs are also being taken care of with pledged donations. Many callers have inquired about adopting Hope. Fowler and veterinarian staff have ensured Hope’s foster care and future home will be one of great care, where she is loved and pampered.

“We encourage the public to make certain their home is equipped to handle a pet,” Sheriff’s Animal Control Supervisor Karen Kessler said. “Factors to consider include other animals — if the pets will get along; terrain — is the pet going to be indoor or outdoor? Adequate food, water and proper shelter are vital to a pet’s health. Children also need to be considered before adopting a pet. Some animals may not be child-friendly.”

Sears echoed Kessler’s statement and added a message to those who wanted to adopt Hope: “There are too many ‘Hopes’ out there. I wish [animal lovers] would open their hearts to other Hopes.”

To contact the Parker County Crime Stoppers hotline, call 817-599-5555.

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