Suffolk County SPCA is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprit(s) responsible for cruelly taping a German shepherd’s muzzle shut over the weekend.
The dog was found on Montauk Highway in Lindenhurst on Saturday, April 9. Suffolk SPCA responded to the call and the Babylon Animal Shelter picked up the distressed animal.
“We are getting leads and following up on them, were still asking for the same information,” Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross explained, noting that the reward still stands, and all calls will be kept confidential.
Gross said the crime was likely committed Friday night, April 8, since the 3–4-year-old German shepherd was still clean and not dehydrated, despite being unable to eat or drink. “The dog is safe now, which is the most important thing, but think of what could’ve happened. After being abused, it was on that busy road, its mouth taped shut, unable to breathe properly,” he added, pointing out how friendly the dog was upon meeting it. “Think of how frightened that dog must’ve been. If I could’ve named it, I would’ve named it Lucky.”
According to Gross, the SPCA receives about 3,000 animal cruelty cases—usually abandonment or neglect situations—each year in Suffolk County alone. Heinous crimes like the German shepherd, however, are rare.
The group is also still seeking answers for an even more terrible case.
Suffolk SPCA received a call on February 29 regarding a murdered 7-month-old Pitbull mix puppy found hanged from a tree in a wooded area near the corner of Martha Avenue and Bellport Avenue in Bellport. What began as a $2,000 reward, like this recent case, ballooned to $21,500—which is still being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) who perpetrated the crime. While the pit bull case is still being investigated, Gross encourages people to not give up hope in finding the criminal(s) at fault.
“It could take months, but we’re turning over every rock, and putting up thousands of posters in search for the person who committed this savage act.”
A memorial for Roxie, the puppy found hanged in February, is being held this Sunday, April 17, from 3–5 p.m. at Martha Avenue Recreational Park in Bellport, where many people, groups and legislators will gather to honor the dog.
Gross stressed that education is key when helping victims of animal cruelty. “An animal cannot pick up a phone and call us for help,” Gross said. “The SPCA is happy to give a presentation at schools, synagogues—really anywhere in Suffolk County—at no cost, in order to help educate people about animal abuse, even if it helps just one animal.”
The SPCA chief also said his organization currently has a supply of free doghouses available for dog-owners who can offer proof that they can’t afford to buy one of their own, a service which Gross remarks as being extremely important, especially in the heat of the upcoming summer months. “We aren’t encouraging people to leave their dogs outside, but if you must, please get an appropriate, legal shelter for your dog. We’ll always provide free doghouses to those who need them, as long as we have the supplies.”
If you have any information regarding the German shepherd found with its muzzle taped shut, the hanged pit bull puppy, or any other past or current cases of animal abuse, the Suffolk County SPCA can be reached at 631-382-7722. All calls will be kept confidential.
For more info, visit suffolkspca.org.