FORSYTH, Ill. – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is offering up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a person who abandoned a dog in a crate on the side of a rural highway in Illinois on Tuesday.
In a news release, the animal rights organization said the large, dead dog was found near the village of Forsyth in Macon County.
Sgt. Ron Atkins, the animal control administrator for the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, said the agency received a complaint of a dead dog on Tuesday at about 10:20 a.m. CST, WCIA-TV reported.
Deputies found a dog in a crate in a ditch. The animal was wearing a pink collar decorated with cartoon bones, according to the Herald & Review newspaper of Decatur. The dog had a brindle coat and the crate was covered by two blue blankets.
A cause of death has not been determined, but officials said the dog appeared to be emaciated and may have been alive when it was abandoned at the scene, WICS-TV reported. Officials have not determined the owner of the animal.
Officials are investigating the case but have not identified a suspect.“This dog evidently wasted away and was dumped on the side of the road like garbage, either dead or dying, and no doubt terrified and miserable, desperate for warmth and comfort,” Colleen O’Brien, PETA’s senior vice president, said in a statement. “If there are other animals in the culprit’s custody, they could be in grave danger, and PETA urges anyone with information to come forward right away.”
It was the second case of animal cruelty in the county in a month, the Herald & Review reported.
On Dec. 23, officers took five dogs into custody from an address in Decatur after receiving complaints that the dogs were suffering from the extreme cold, according to the newspaper.
Mark Miller, Jr., 42, and Nyssa Richards, 39, were both charged with animal cruelty and neglect and will appear in court on March 14, the Herald & Review reported on Dec. 29.
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