About a hundred people gathered Sunday at Martha Avenue Recreation Park to honor Roxie, a pit bull mix found beaten to death and hanging from a tree in Bellport on Feb. 29.
Local animal lovers spoke on behalf of the 7-month-old pit mix and later left a wreath of pink and white flowers at the corner of Martha and Bellport avenues, close to where the puppy was found.
“Roxie represents so many other animals that have suffered a similar fate but often go unreported, unnoticed and forgotten over time,” Lillian Lennon an East Moriches animal activist, said on a makeshift podium during the memorial. “We will not be silent. We owe our commitment to Roxie,” and the other animals on Long Island who have been abused, she added.
Many of the attendees wore black T-shirts and pins with the puppy’s likeness that were sold at the memorial.
Organizer and animal rights advocate Samantha Mullen, of Shirley, said at least $5,000 was pledged by donors at the memorial, which would increase the $21,500 reward currently being offered by the Suffolk County SPCA for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
“Suffolk SPCA will look under any rock that you may have crawled under and we will flush you out,” said Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross said, addressing the “sadistic lowlife,” who killed the pit mix.
Many of the attendees are members of area animal organizations, but some, like Alfred Lucchesi, of Shirley, simply wanted to pay his respects to a dog that suffered a “horrible death.”
“I just love animals, and I can’t stand to see them hurt. It’s terrible what’s happened to this puppy,” Lucchesi, 74, said before leaving a miniature red Frisbee at the intersection near the wreath.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Suffolk County SPCA at 631-382-7722. All calls will be kept confidential.