Reward offered in cruelty case

Published 10:01 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Law enforcement in Isle of Wight County are working to find out who sexually abused a dog that was found running loose several weeks ago in the Tyler Drive area of Windsor.

Veterinary care led to the discovery that a plastic end to a broom handle was lodged inside the female beagle/hound mix, which rescuers have come to call Huggles. Now, an investigation has been launched, and an animal rights organization is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information.

The resident who found the dog several weeks ago brought her to the Isle of Wight Animal Shelter and turned her over to shelter staff, according to a press release from the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. The dog was screened by shelter personnel and later was seen by a local vet, who determined she needed some minor medical care. Huggles was also spayed, and there were no noticeable complications. She was transferred to a beagle rescue several days following the procedure.

Huggles, a dog found in Windsor in April and later discovered to have been sexually abused, shows off for the camera. Law enforcement in Isle of Wight County are seeking tips on the dog’s former owner.

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However, Huggles declined, becoming lethargic and experiencing vaginal bleeding. Veterinarians associated with the rescue initially thought she had developed an infection from the spay procedure and began treating her for it. However, her condition continued to get worse. X-rays were taken and exploratory surgery was performed. It was during the surgery that clinic staff discovered the part of the broom handle, which was about 3 to 3.5 inches long. It was removed, and Huggles is still in the custody of the rescue.

“This was an intentional attempt to harm this animal,” the press release stated.

According to a press release from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the dog was found on April 29 and the surgery happened on June 14.

“Someone knows the person or persons who sexually abused and tortured this dog with a broom handle, leaving her to suffer in pain for weeks,” PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch stated in the press release.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office at 357-2151. Tipsters can also text a tip to the word CRIMES and begin the tip with the letters IOWCL.