L.A. Officials Offer $25,000 Reward for Serial Dog Burner

Since July, at least seven stray dogs with long chemical burns on their backs have been found in northeast Los Angeles County and neighboring Kern County. Two of the dogs were so severely injured that they had to be euthanized.

Calling the crimes “depraved acts of cruelty,” this week L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and other officials announced a $25,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the perpetrator(s). People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue (SCGRRESCUE) are also offering rewards, raising the total sum to $29,500.

The burn victims include a golden retriever, Cavalier King Charles spaniel and several pit bulls. They were found between July 20 and Aug. 20 in the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale in Los Angeles County and Rosamond in Kern County.

Derek Brown, deputy director of L.A. County Animal Control, told the Los Angeles Times he has never seen “anything with this number of animals in a short period of time. It’s not something we see regularly at all.”

The golden retriever, who’s been named Fergus, has become somewhat of a poster dog for the burn survivors. He even has his own Facebook page. Fergus, who’s about 1-year-old, was found in early August and taken in by SCGRRESCUE.

The group’s veterinarian believes someone doused Fergus’ back with gasoline or lighter fluid and set him on fire, the L.A. Times reports. For the past month, Fergus has been in an animal hospital, receiving treatment for third-degree burns that caused nerve damage. He’ll be released from the hospital next week and stay with a foster family until he’s ready to be adopted. As you can imagine, there have been plenty of offers.

Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department “are working diligently with animal care professionals and chemical experts to determine the origin of the substance that is causing the injuries,” the department said in a statement Sept. 1.

The department added that investigators haven’t been yet been able to determine if the burns are the result of “an intentional criminal act or some other cause.”

Wait, what? “Some other cause?” What, did these seven dogs all somehow manage to accidentally burn their backs? No, they did not, and the sooner the sicko (or sickos) who did it is found, prosecuted and locked up — hopefully for a long, long time — the better. As SCGRRESCUE noted on its Facebook page, “The kind of deviant scum that would hurt innocent animals do not stop there.”

This is a fact. Serial killers like the Boston Strangler (Albert DeSalvo), Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer all started out by torturing animals, usually dogs, before moving on to humans.

For these and other reasons, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is finally beginning to pay attention to animal cruelty cases. For the first time in its history, this year it started tracking animal cruelty cases, including those involving intentional abuse and torture. So, once investigators inevitably determine the burns are a criminal act, perhaps the FBI will get involved.

In the meantime, despite their horrific ordeals, Fergus and the other surviving dogs are expected to make slow but full recoveries. I wish them long, very happy lives.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Gore at 661-940-3851 or the L.A. County Department of Animal Care and Control at 661-974-8096.

To provide information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), text TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637) or use the Crime Stoppers website.

Photo Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

290 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Antoinette Gonzales
Antoinette G1 years ago

I personally experienced the sight of one of the victims. I was walking past a strip mall that had a Petsmart adoptions going on that day and I spotted a young Pit Bull who had her head hanging down. I walked over to her and asked if I could pet her and that's when I saw the damage of the burn that ran along the top of her head in a line to her tail. It sickened and disgusted me to know end she was precious and so timid that I couldn't hold the tears back that welled up in my eyes. I knew that she was a victim of this S.O.B. because I live in the High Desert in California and these crimes are occurring not too far from me. Everyone gets their karma - it's like a boomerang effect.

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mari s.
Mari S1 years ago

Fergus == you're beautiful === help us find the idiot-monsters who are cruelly abusing our dogs!

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Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran1 years ago

breaks my heart that someone can do that to doggies.

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Deborah Servey
Deborah Servey1 years ago

I keep saying it--the abusers should receive the exact same fate as the animals they abused. Want to bet that animal abuse would end real fast???

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Jennifer H.
Jennifer H1 years ago

Just shoot him and save lives and taxpayers money. You know this is going to escalate into more severe crimes so just catch him and stop it now.

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Lolli M.
Lolli M2 years ago

A monster is on the lose, catch him and hang him!

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pam R.
pam r2 years ago

Beyond HORRIBLE! Please find this NUY CASE. This will only escalate & YOUR CHILD, or an ELDERLY person MAYBE NEXT.

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pam R.
pam r2 years ago

Beyond HORRIBLE! Please find this NUY CASE. This will only escalate & YOUR CHILD, or an ELDERLY person MAYBE NEXT.

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Jennifer M.
Jennifer M2 years ago

Sad and horrible.

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