A $1,000 reward is being offered for information in connection with a dog's heat stroke death that Massachusetts officials are calling "shocking."
A young Chihuahua was found trapped, unconscious and foaming at the mouth, inside a carrier about halfway up the driveway to the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts in Brockton on Tuesday, according to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' law enforcement department.
The shelter's manager rushed the female dog to the Lloyd Animal Medical Center in Stoughton but it died on the way.
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Officials said the dog, which was about 1 year old and weighed 10 pounds, had a temperature that registered at 110 degrees, which was the thermometer's highest reading and about nine degrees higher than normal.
Tuesday's temperatures were in the 90s across the region.
"The dog, when I took her out (of the carrier), it was almost uncomfortable to hold her, she was so hot," shelter manager Joyce Caranci said.
The dog was brown and white and otherwise appeared in good condition, according to the MSPCA. She didn't have ID tags or a microchip.
"We have no witnesses and we have no surveillance video, so it's going to be very tough," MSPCA spokesperson Rob Halpin said. "The only thing we have is a description of the carrier and a very clear description and photos of the dog."
Anyone with information about the animal's owner is asked to call the MSPCA's toll-free law enforcement hotline at 800-628-5808. The $1,000 will be awarded to whomever provides information leading to a conviction.
"This is a shocking instance of animal cruelty in which a young dog suffered an agonizing and totally preventable death — and we’re asking for the public’s help in bringing whoever is responsible for this to justice," MSPCA Law Enforcement Officer Nadya Branca said.
Caranci said she wants the dog to have some justice.
"I've seen a lot of things that aren't pleasant and aren't great, but it was heartbreaking," she said.
Animal cruelty is a felony in Massachusetts punishable by up to seven years in state prison and a fine of up to $5,000.