PETA offers $5,000 reward for help in dog-dumping case

Hillsborough County now searching for driver

TAMPA, Fla. - PETA is now offering a $5,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person seen in dashcam video dumping a dog onto a Tampa street before driving away.

Hillsborough County Pet Resources and Tampa Animal Control Services began investigating when a witness shared his dashcam footage of the incident he witnessed on August 7. 

Dash-cam video captured the car pulling over, opening the door, letting a dog out and driving away. The incident happened at North Blvd. off of Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd in Tampa.

The driver who captured the incident on dash-cam says he tried to catch the dog, but it kept running after the car. He later posted the video to Facebook, where other community members shared their outrage.

"Disbelief, it's inhumane," said Jerit Gaddis. "I don't know who or why somebody would do that." 

Gaddis installed a camera on his truck's dash after a recent string of car break-ins. He never imagined it would capture what appears to be such a callous act. 

"I say lock him up," said Gaddis. 

Vanessa Wiley and her husband live near where the dog was abandoned and searched for it for several hours.

"I was completely heartbroken for that dog," Wiley said. "I mean nobody wants to see an animal get abandoned like that."

Gaddis reported the incident to police and described the vehicle as a 4-door gold Chevy Cavalier from the mid 90s. His description of the dog was a fawn red nose pitbull, not neutered and weighing about 60-80 pounds.

Pet Resources officials now reminding anyone facing difficulty caring for a dog or cat that they have options.

The Pet Resources Center Shelter on Falkenburg Road is an open admissions shelter and accepts all dogs, cats, puppies or kittens regardless of age, breed, size, or medical condition, Hillsborough County officials said.

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay also accepts animals and said people should always look at them as an option instead of abandoning an animal.

Watching the video of this incident was very difficult for Humane Society of Tampa Bay CEO Sherry Silk.

 

 

 

"When you see the dog running after the car, it's heartbreaking," Silk told ABC Action News.

Abandoning an animal on the side of the road is never an acceptable option and could leave the pet owner facing animal cruelty or neglect charges, according to Hillsborough County.

"Think how confused that dog must be, running after his owner," Silk said. "I guess it's still on the loose. Who knows what will happen to that dog. It's deplorable."

"The fear, sadness, and confusion that this dog must've felt after being pushed out of a car and forced to watch his owner drive away from him is hard to fathom," says PETA Vice President Colleen O'Brien. "PETA urges anyone with information about this cruel incident to come forward immediately so that whoever is responsible for abandoning this loyal dog can be held accountable."

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact Animal Control Investigator Kristie Lewis at 813-744-5660.

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