TULSA — Those who saw the maggots eating the flesh away from the wounds are calling it one of the worst cases of animal abuse they have ever seen. The brutality of a case, in which authorities say someone poured acid on five puppies, led two animal rights groups to offer $5,000 to find whoever did it. Authorities say they believe someone committed the act to derive pleasure from the puppies' suffering. The animals were found July 16 with severe caustic chemical burns covering their bodies. Three of the five animals were burned and injured so severely they had to be euthanized. A boxer was turned over to a local breed rescue group. The Humane Society of Tulsa is caring for a male pit bull, now named Pepe, who is about nine months old and will be ready for adoption in a few weeks. Gina Gardner, president of the Humane Society of Tulsa, said she has no doubt that the injuries were excruciating for the dogs. Pepe, who is recovering, was burned from the top of his head to the tip of his tail, she said. Chief Deputy George Haralson with the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said it is unknown how many dogs may have been victims. They may have crawled away to die alone in the isolated woods north of the city, he said. "We are doing everything we can to bring justice to the puppies,” said investigating deputy Bobbie Harris. Animal cruelty is a felony, but aside from seeking justice for the animals, authorities also are concerned that anyone who could do such a thing to puppies might pose a threat to society in general. Sgt. Willie Lewis said studies show sexual homicide offenders usually have a history of animal cruelty and about half of the convicted rapists and an estimated 30 percent of child molesters committed animal abuse during childhood or adolescence. Call the Tulsa County sheriff at (918) 596-5638 or Crime Stoppers at (918) 596-COPS.
Pepe, a 9-month-old pit bull terrier, pictured with Humane Society representative Joshua Hicks, has visible wounds along his back from chemical burns that occurred nearly 2 weeks ago. Pepe was one of 5 dogs found with similar burns. Authorities are offering $5,000 to find out who tortured the animals. By Larry Levy, for the Oklahoman
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