WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 – Riverside County animal control officers located a missing dog that was part of an ongoing cruelty investigation.
Commander Rita Gutierrez and one of her officers visited a property in San Bernardino County where the dog was believed to be located. She ultimately took custody of the female pit bull and checked it into a veterinary hospital for examinations and continued care.
The thin dog was part of a social media campaign sparked by a Riverside woman who described her neighbor’s dog as “starving.” The woman photographed the dog at its Fetlock Way property in Riverside’s Canyon Crest area and posted the picture on Facebook, sparking a call for action.
Last week, the owner of the dog was put on notice to take the dog to a state-licensed veterinarian. If the owner failed to adhere to the notice of violation, Riverside County officers were prepared to impound the dog.
On Thursday (Feb. 26), animal control officers served a search warrant at the property, but the dog was not there. Based on numerous social-media posts and the owner’s comments to a Riverside Police Department representative, Animal Services officers suspected the dog was taken by an animal activist.
On Monday (March 2), the dog was pinpointed to a location in San Bernardino County’s Morongo Valley area.
The dog will remain in Riverside County protective custody. Riverside County Animal Services is pursuing an animal cruelty case, based on the dog’s condition, and will file paperwork with the District Attorney’s office. Animal Services will also work with the Riverside Police Department on a theft investigation.
The friendly female, whose name is unknown, has been thoroughly examined and, to date, not been diagnosed with a specific illness. She has already gained some weight since she was taken from its yard.
The owner of the dog has been contacted by Riverside County Animal Services. She has failed to return repeated calls and notices left at her home.