Somebody's cruel idea for a joke could have cost one dog its life. But after two days at an animal hospital, the injured pup is nearing a return to its owner.
Dexter, a 2-year-old Dachshund living in Stockton, Calif., was the victim of a heinous crime Wednesday. According to witnesses, an unidentified person strapped an M-80 to the dog's back and ignited the explosives.
Dexter suffered a nasty gash on his neck measuring about 3 inches by 10 inches, according to the Family Pet Clinic. According to staff members at the pet hospital, the dog was recovering in good spirits and even earned the nickname "Rocket" from workers. He was said to be very affectionate.
Police believe the criminals were two African-American adult males of about 25 to 30 years of age, meaning the crime was not the simple act of an immature child. Other details provided by a witness state that one suspect wore a white t-shirt and grey-black jeans, while the other wore a blue-grey t-shirt and blue jeans.
On Friday, Dexter's owner, Shukriyyah Albaaqee, came forward to claim the dog, saying Dexter had run away Wednesday morning. Albaaqee produced pictures of the dog to verify her status as his owner. She is now joining in the pursuit of the perpetrator and plans to press charges if and when the guilty party is apprehended.
As of Friday, few details were known about the attacker, but authorities hoped a significant reward for information would help them solve the case. Crime Stoppers contributed $1,000 to a reward pot while Red Rover, a national animal protection organization, put up $2,500.
The true surprising act of kindness came from a man in nearby El Dorado Hills. Despite having no connection to the case or the dog, Michael Andrews was so moved by the story that he offered up $5,000 of his own money as a reward for more information about the guilty person. That brings the total reward to $8,500.
The crime committed on Dexter was not the first act of animal cruelty in Northern California this month. On May 4, a cat in West Sacramento was set on fire with the use of an accelerant. The cat had to be euthanized due to painful injuries and the possible loss of limbs. A suspect for that crime has yet to be brought into police custody.
No date for Dexter's release from the Stockton animal hospital is known.
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