A reward of $5,000 is being offered by an anonymous person for the identity of the person who threw a dog from a pickup in Lehigh on the afternoon of March 3.
Donna Ward, director of the Lee County Domestic Animal Services said she responded to a call from a man throwing a dog from the truck into the yard of an abandoned house in Lehigh.
A witness said the vehicle was an older model, black or brown, Chevy Silverado with a camper top.
PHOTO SPECIAL TO THE CITIZEN
Lee County domestic Animal Services released this photograph of a dog that was thrown out of a window in Lehigh Acres. The dog was badly injured and had to be euthanized. A reward is being offered to someone who can identify the person who committed the offense.
Ward said one of their officers took the young, male, Florida Curr with a broken front leg to the shelter on Banner Drive in Fort Myers.
Ward is asking for anyone who may have information about this incident to call 239-533-7387, Ext. 2, or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800 TIPS.
Veterinarians at the animal shelter said the dog had a broken front left leg. They determined that the break had actually occurred several weeks earlier, Ward said. There were also other wounds and abrasions and the dog appeared to have an eye injury which also left it blind.
"The poor dog was really a sad thing to see," Ward told The Citizen this past weekend. "But with all the problems, it still was wagging its tail."
Unfortunately the dog's injuries were bad enough that he could not be saved and it had to be euthanized.
"This dog suffered unimaginable pain for weeks with an exposed leg bone. A total lack of veterinary care contributed to an appalling level of neglect and cruelty that this, still affectionate dog endured," said Lt. Tony Backhurst, a supervisor of field operations. "We are depending on the public's help to solve this crime."
Director Ward said anyone may call the Sheriff's Office or the Crime Stoppers number and be eligible for the $5,000 reward.
Ward noted that Animal Services has initiated an investigation into this abandonment. Under State Statute 828, it states "any person who abandons any animal in a street, road or public place without providing for the care, sustenance, protection, and shelter of such animal is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree."
If the person is found guilty, the offense is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 and or the person could be sent to prison.
Ward said there is never any need ever to abandon a pet, injured or not.
"We ask that the pet be brought to the animal services at 5600 Banner Drive in Fort Myers.
She also said she understands that there are pet owners who are having difficult financial times and may be unable to care for their pets adequately.
"If that is the case, we urge those folks to bring their pets to our shelter. Those on public assistance should bring proof," she said. "We will take the pet and feed it and do all we can to bring it up to healthy standards," she said.
Animal Services provides free pet food and Ward said the shoppers at Publix supermarkets throughout the area donate enough food to feed the animals at the shelter.
"Without their help, we don't know what we would do," she said. Shoppers buy animal foods, often at two for one prices, and drop them in a bin at a Publix store. We get the food and it supplies us with enough to feed those animals we have.
"Anyone who is unable to provide care for their pet is urged to contact Lee County Domestic Animal services for options available to low income pet owners or owners receiving public assistance.
"It is never acceptable to abandon an animal," Ward said.
She said there is a real interest in finding the person who threw the dog from the pickup and information in identifying that person will earn a tipster a reward.
The public is reminded that if someone has information for Animal Services, they may call at any time, day or night. The number is 533-7387 and if you call at night, select Option 2 and leave a message.