Outrage Over Abused Dog Leads to Memorial Fund
Jan 19, 2006, 08:15 AM EST Memorial Fund Started for Mauled Terrier
By Chris Duffy
The Winnebago County Sheriff's Department tells Action 2 News it received several phone calls with tips as it investigates a pit bull found mauled in the Town of Black Wolf.
Humane Society workers and police say there's evidence the terrier was used as a bait dog to train fighting dogs.
The pit bull terrier, named Sophie by Humane Society workers, had to be put down because of its serious injuries.
Three animal lovers anonymously donated $3,000 for a reward for an arrest and conviction in the dog fighting ring. And ever since Sophie's story made news, more people have donated to the Oshkosh Area Humane Society, which is now starting a permanent fund in Sophie's name.
Joni Geiger says in all her years of working with animals, she's never seen anything as brutal as what she saw last week. "It's hard to believe someone could do that to an animal."
She said Sophie's body appeared to be victim of years of vicious dog fighting. "Animal fighting is prevalent in our area, and we need to know how to recognize it," she said.
Which will soon be easier to do. The shelter received a quick $750 in random donations. It sparked the idea for Sophie's Fund, which will be dedicated to teaching law enforcement officers to recognize signs of animal abuse.
"We're just absolutely amazed at the amount of people that really care about Sophie," Geiger said.
Sheriff's department officials say they're pretty sure the $3,000 reward isn't peoples' main motivation for calling and helping the investigation. They're convinced many people just have no tolerance for animal cruelty.
"To see people respond to this the way they have really does make you feel really good, and I think the good guys are going to win here. I really do," Geiger said.