A $12,000 reward is being offered in the case of a puppy that was hung on a tree deep inside a wooded area of Bellport and beaten to death.
Children on Monday found the female dog, an 8-month-old pit bull mix, near Martha and Bellport avenues, just south of Sunrise Highway, said the Suffolk County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The puppy was fawn and white colored with large grayish spots and had a pink leash and collar — details that investigators hope will jog someone’s memory to help find the killer or killers.
Although the puppy’s body did not show outward signs of injuries, a necropsy found strangulation, likely by hanging, and repeated, blunt force trauma to her stomach, said SPCA head Roy Gross.
“It’s absolutely horrific,” he said Thursday. “It is so upsetting to see something like this, thinking how this dog must have suffered at the hands of demented maniacs.”
Investigators also are concerned because studies have shown strong correlations between animal abuse and child abuse and domestic violence.
“Unfortunately any individual that can do something of this nature is capable of committing a more horrific crime,” Gross said.
The reward was initially $2,000 when the SPCA released the news Thursday afternoon, but the bounty quickly rose with animal lovers’ outrage.
The Guardians of Rescue in Smithtown and the Suffolk SPCA have each decided to chip in $3,000, while the NY Bully Crew in East Patchogue and two of their supporters have offered up $6,000.
Gross said more pledges from other groups and individuals are coming in.
The SPCA asks anyone with information to call them at 631-382-7722 and said calls will be kept confidential.