An animal rights organization is offering a $5,000 reward for information about the person or people who neglected and then abandoned a dying English bulldog outside the Sonoma County Animal Services building in Santa Rosa.
The Cotati-based Animal Legal Defense Fund released a statement, which said the white bulldog died Oct. 1 — the same day he was found by animal services personnel when they arrived at work in the morning.
The sickly, extremely emaciated dog reeked of infection when he was discovered in a wire pet crate tucked in some bushes. The pup, who was nicknamed Gus, had maggots and fleas crawling all over him and had a serious wound between his legs, according to the statement.
Security camera footage shows that Gus was left at the site at about 10 p.m. Sept. 30.
The Animal Legal Defense Fund says those responsible may be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, with punishment ranging to up to three years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. California law stipulates that any person who subjects animals to needless suffering be punished.
"Our hearts break for this dog, who suffered from starvation and untreated infection until his death," said the fund's Executive Director Stephen Wells. "Animal neglect is a serious crime, and we urge anyone who has any information about this case to come forward and help get justice for Gus."
People with information about this incident can contact Sonoma County Animal Services at 707-565-7100.