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SPCA: Pit bull thrown from pickup reunited with family

Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk SPCA says

Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk SPCA says someone threw a dog from a window of a pickup truck on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, around 9 p.m. near the Mastic Beach Post Office. A witness stopped to see if the dog was OK and it jumped into the witness' vehicle. The dog was stressed, suffered head trauma and had healed scars on its face and may have been used as a bait dog in dogfighting. Credit: Suffolk County SPCA

The male pit bull thrown out the window of a pickup truck last month in Mastic Beach has been reunited with its family after being treated by a veterinarian for head trauma, the Suffolk SPCA said Tuesday.

Hap is "happy to be home" after the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals detectives found the dog's owners, SPCA Chief Roy Gross said in a news release.

Investigators have upped the reward from $2,000 to $3,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever threw the dog from the vehicle at about 9 p.m. on Feb. 19, near the U.S. Post Office on Mastic Road, according to the Suffolk County SPCA.

Gross said that "someone knows something about what happened to this dog" and he hopes the reward "will entice this person to come forward."

The dog, described as a 3- to 4-year-old male pit bull mix, was "thrown from the driver's side passenger window" of a dark-colored four-door pickup, Gross said.

The dog was adopted out by Save-a-Pet Animal Rescue in Port Jefferson, Gross said, after it was in the Brookhaven Animal Shelter.

It got loose from the family home earlier in the day on Feb. 19 when one of the children opened a door, Gross said in a telephone interview Wednesday.

When Hap was thrown from the truck on Mastic Road, people driving in a vehicle behind the truck thought at first garbage was being tossed to the roadside, Gross said.

"But the witnesses saw that it was a dog," he said. "It looked to them like the dog was running back to the truck. Then, when the witnesses stopped to see about the dog, the dog just jumps into their vehicle."

Gross said the witnesses took the dog home; when they saw its injuries they called the SPCA.

The dog was "stressed," Gross said, adding that it had sustained head trauma. The dog wore a black collar and is housebroken, according to Gross.

The dog also had an injury above its eye, Gross said. Investigators believe that injury occurred some time after the dog bolted from the house and before it was thrown from the pickup, Gross said. Being tossed from the pickup did not cause that injury.

Before being reunited with its family, the dog was under the care of a veterinarian because of the severity of its injuries, the SPCA said. Gross did not disclose the family's identity.

Investigators said that anyone with information about the case can contact the SPCA at 631-382-7722. All calls will remain confidential.

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