The reward offered for information about the dumping of seven dogs' bodies at a Hempstead sump has been boosted to $6,000 after an animal lover's donation, the Nassau County SPCA said Wednesday.
The donor, whose name was not released, gave $1,000 toward the reward because "animal cruelty is the precursor to other violent crimes," said Gary Rogers, president of the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The bodies of seven dogs, each in a black trash bag, were spotted Sept. 12 in a state transportation department sump on Dietz Street near South Franklin Street , the SPCA said. A dog's leg was seen sticking out of one bag.
A pedestrian on Dietz Street saw the bags through the fence, Rogers said. All contained light brown brindle pit bulls — four female and two male adult dogs and a male puppy that was about 3 months old, he said.
Officials believe the dogs were dumped together and died not long before they were discarded, but how is a mystery because no signs of injuries and other maladies were apparent on the dogs, Rogers said.
"It looked like they were just thrown over the fence," he has said.
Investigators are canvassing the area for video surveillance and hoping a necropsy will provide clues on how the dogs died.
"It's just been challenging because no one in the community seems to be stepping forward," Rogers said. "Somebody knows about this. We'll keep looking."
The statute of limitations on misdemeanor animal abuse is two years, the SPCA president said, but it's hard to solve cases within that period. However, the SPCA does not close any unsolved animal cruelty case, he said.
"We just can't accept this," Rogers said, noting that several serial killers started by hurting animals.
Authorities were worried not just because animal abusers often abuse people, but also because dumping in a sump creates a public health problem.
Investigators ask anyone with information to call the Nassau district attorney's tip line, 516-571-7755, or the SPCA at 516-843-7722. Callers may remain anonymous. The $6,000 reward will be given for information leading to an arrest and conviction.