An animal rights group is offering a $5,000 reward after two men were seen beating a dog with a baseball bat in Fairfield.
Tom Turner witnessed the attack when he went outside to investigate loud noise in the alley in front of his home. Turner said he saw a man using a chain to hold a dog up on its hind legs while another man beat it with a baseball bat.
"Literally they had the chain strangling him," Turner said. "You could see the dog was on his hind quarters and the guy was cracking his skull."
Turner said when the men saw him they took off in their SUV.
"It's sick. It's sick behavior," he said. "There's something wrong in America to treat an animal or a person like that."
Turner's neighbor, Mekayla Benton, also came out to help. Benton drove the dog to an animal shelter, but the dog did not survive.
"The dog was friendly. We were driving it to the shelter," Benton said. "It tried to smile as were going there. You could tell it had the biggest headache, but after all that it wasn't aggressive at all."
Turner hopes the dog, which has been named Justice, will get just that, justice.
"These guys need to be locked up and get some mental health because there's something wrong," Turner said. "Anytime you do something like that you're missing something."
The Animal Legal Defense Fund, non-profit law organization based in Cotati, is offering the reward.
David Rosengard, a staff attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund, provided the following statement on Wednesday:
The Animal Legal Defense Fund works to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. Part of that work is ensuring brutal crimes like this are addressed not only for the sake of victims like Justice, but also because studies have demonstrated time and again that this sort of violence is not isolated – someone who would beat a helpless dog to death is more likely to do violence to humans or other animals.
The reported facts of this case are also particularly conducive to a reward offer. In some animal cruelty cases, the animal victim is the only available ‘witness’ when investigation begins – and those animal victims, of course, are unable to help identify their abusers. This is not one of those cases. Here, witnesses have provided a partial description of the three perpetrators involved and their vehicle – even down to a partial license plate number. These facts heighten the likelihood that someone will recognize the perpetrators – or already knows who they are and what they did. Our hope is that a reward offer will encourage that someone to do the right thing, and come forward with this critical information.