Helen Woodward Animal Center Offers $5,000 Reward for Arrest of Animal Abuser

A Forever Family Heard Pongo’s Cries

Spaniel Puppy - Helen Woodward Animal Center

Animal welfare workers worldwide are no strangers to the tragic abuse suffered by innocent animals at the hands of cruel individuals, but our latest fuzzy resident at the Center has even the most stoic staffers shaking their heads in disbelief.  A darling spaniel blend puppy named Pongo was one such puppy recovering from a shocking recent past of abandonment, malnourishment and mutilation.  Thrown into a dumpster with his three canine siblings, Pongo was left for dead with his ears cut off in brutal fashion.  The loving, little puppy, who meekly exposed his belly to anyone willing to provide some kindness, has so touched the members of our staff and Board of Directors that a $5,000 reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest of the person who committed the atrocity. 

“I have worked in animal rescue for over seven years and I don’t remember ever seeing a case like this one”

Spaniel Puppy - Helen Woodward Animal CenterA Helen Woodward Animal Center transfer partner who works primarily with Animal Advocates of the United States, commented “I have worked in animal rescue for over seven years and I don’t remember ever seeing a case like this one.”  In May this year, the four puppies were discovered in Chula Vista, California, when a friend of Luna’s heard cries coming from a nearby dumpster.  Within the dumpster was a closed box holding the mutilated puppies, no more than 5-weeks-old.  Over the last 3 months, all four puppies have been provided veterinary and foster care but only Pongo passed medical approval to begin his search for a forever home.  It is hoped that the remaining puppies will continue their healing and become available for adoption in the weeks ahead.

Luna explained that the puppies may have been the product of inexperienced breeders who thought the ear removal – called “cropping” – would make the puppies cuter and thus, more valuable.  “Cropping” is a practice some professional breeders still employ to certain canine breeds such as boxers and terrier-types but it is rarely, if ever, seen on spaniels.  Luna suspects that once the procedure was crudely done, the offending individuals realized their mistake and simply threw the puppies away.

$5,000 Reward Offered For Arrest of Animal Abuser

While Pongo was searching for his forever family, Helen Woodward Animal Center requested that anyone with information on the individuals responsible for this mutilation contact the Vice President of Operations Rita Truderung by email or by phone at (858) 756-4117, ext. 303.  The tip that leads to the arrest of this individual will receive a $5,000 reward.

Pongo Adoption

A Forever Family Heard Pongo’s Cries

Fast forward to September 4, when Pongo went home with his new family, Phil and Colleen Grossfield, their two children and their senior rescue dog and senior rescue cat.  The San Diego family are dedicated animal rescue adopters.  We received quite a number of applications but ultimately the Grossfield family was the perfect fit for Pongo.

Thank you for giving me a forever family

Pongo AdoptionThe adoptions department sent this note:  “Pongo went home with a delightful family.  The couple was so nice and thoughtful they called each day after they met him to see if we had decided who would be taking Pongo home.  They went on a shopping spree at our store and left with armfuls of toys and supplies.  Our little Pongo would not stop licking the woman.  We felt like he was saying “thank you for giving me a forever family”.  They promised to send lots of updates which we all look forward to reading.

We are sending loving thoughts to the remaining puppies as they continue their healing and hope they become available for adoption in the weeks ahead! We’ll keep you updated on Facebook and Twitter!


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