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R.I. SPCA, private donor offer rewards in abandoned dog case

December 25, 2013

PAWTUCKET—The heartless act of throwing a puppy, locked inside a dirty pet carrier, into a dumpster has prompted a pair of rewards to be offered for information leading to the arrest of whoever was behind it.

The 10-week-old Jack Russell Terrier mixed breed was discovered last Thursday inside a dumpster at the intersection of Harrison Street and West Avenue. Passersby heard the puppy crying and called police.

Pawtucket Animal Control Director John Holmes said that while the puppy appears to be healthy, he was slightly dehydrated and very hungry when he was brought to the Pawtucket Animal Shelter. Also, from the amount of feces in his carrier, he could have been in there as long as a couple of days, Holmes noted.

Holmes said that Dr. E.J. Finocchio of the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has offered a $500 reward and a donor who wishes to remain anonymous has offered a $2,000 reward with the same goal: obtaining information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever abandoned the puppy. Both rewards are being administered through the RISPCA.

Holmes said that since the story first appeared in Saturday's Times, the Pawtucket Animal Shelter has been deluged with phone calls from people wanting to adopt the puppy, as well as offering donations of dog food, blankets, and cash.

Holmes said that 50 adoption applications have been received and are waiting to be reviewed, while phone calls are still coming in. “We think it's fantastic so many people are calling in, but there are going to be a lot of hearts broken because the puppy can only go to one person, Holmes noted. “We're letting everybody know that we will keep them updated, but that we already have so many applications.”

Holmes said the puppy is still being cared for at the shelter while the police investigation is underway. He said the young canine is still running around and appears energetic. “We're taking good care of him here,” said Holmes.

Holmes added that while he is glad for all of the attention that is focused on the puppy, there are approximately 16 adult dogs also at the city's shelter in Slater Park who are currently available for adoption.

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