From My FOX Tampa Bay
Police and animal control officers in St. Petersburg confiscated a 3-month old puppy with ears that had been tied off with rubber bands.
An officer responded and found the boxer-pit bull mix puppy with its ears tightly tied with rubber bands.
The officer took the dog to the SPCA of Tampa Bay, where vets said the ears were necrotic and would have to be amputated.
SPCA workers say some people will do this to make a dog's ears fall off, purportedly to make them look more menacing. They say it is also done to get rid of extra flesh another dog can grab onto in a fight.
The SPCA scheduled surgery for the puppy right away.
"The ears have to be amputated right now," said Megan Trethewey with the SPCA. "They are just hanging dead flesh. So we have to have a vet come in and remove them for her as well as any infection."
The puppy has been given pain medication and antibiotics. After she heals, she will be put up for adoption.
In the meantime, SPCA officials are investigating.
"This is animal cruelty in one of the worst ways and someone needs to be held
responsible for their actions," said lead investigator Jill Purl.
Update January 7, 2011 12:30pm - The following article is from Tampa Bay Online:
Abused puppy had ears surgically removed
Nikki, the 3-month-old boxer and pit bull mix whose ears were cropped with rubber bands, had to have those ears surgically removed, according to Megan Trethewey, a spokeswoman for SPCA Tampa Bay. She has been given medication for pain and to stave off infection.
Nikki is recovering at the agency's facility in Largo.
Someone tried to crop the dog's ears by applying tight rubber bands to them, to cut off blood circulation.
"Some people think that it makes the dog look more menacing or threatening to other people," said Trethewey. "And the other reason is dog fighting, so … when they're in the pen together … they do not have the extra flesh to grab upon," she said.
St. Petersburg police received a call Thursday morning from Nikki's owner, Arron Watkins. He told police that somebody had stolen his puppy last Thursday and that he found the dog in a neighbor's backyard.
Watkins insists he did not apply the rubber bands to the puppy's ears.
"I don't believe in dog fighting. And I don't believe in cruelty to animals" Watkins said.
Police and an SPCA Tampa Bay investigator are trying to determine who mutilated the puppy. Police found Nikki at a home at 1215 Fifth St. S., just around the corner from Watkins' house. They questioned the resident, Shaton Sampson, and a 16-year-old who lives at the house. But so far, no arrests have been made.
The Humane Society of the United States, meanwhile, announced today it is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the conviction of those responsible. A reward of $700 was already offered, so now the total reward amount is $3,200.
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the criminal investigations division of the SPCA Tampa Bay at (727) 586-3591 ext.135.
Update January 19, 2011 12:52pm - The following article is by Libby Hendren, WTSP:
Nikki the dog with botched ear cropping ready for new home
applications to find a new home for a 3-month-old puppy found with a botched ear cropping.
The boxer-pit bull mix, now named Nikki, had bloody ears tied with rubber bands when she was found a week ago. You can fill out an application and pay a $10 fee to be considered.
She'll be available in about 10 days to go to a new home.
Investigators are still trying to find those responsible for the attempted cropping. A $3,200 reward is offered for information that leads to an arrest.
If you would like to donate to cover her medical expenses, click here.