Owners Looking for Those Responsible for Beating Dog

Danville, VA - Rumors are swirling around a suspected case of animal abuse in Danville. A dog was found mutilated on Oakland Avenue Tuesday afternoon.

The Humane Society, the owner of the dog and now PETA want justice for the animal, but determining what happened has not been easy.

The Humane Society offered a $3,000 reward for information that may lead to an arrest. PETA has just upped the amount to make it $5,000.

Details are sparse, but they hope someone or something will be held accountable.

According to his owner, Dakota, an 8-year-old Jack Russell terrier, was a sweet little dog filled with life and love.

"This was my best friend. He didn't deserve to get hurt like that," said Candice Brening.

Dakota's life came to an end Tuesday when he was found lying bloody on a sidewalk. The dog was covered in wounds and had large sections of skin ripped from its body.

"It was one of the worst things I've seen in the 18 years I've been here," said April Hogan, manager of the Humane Society Shelter. Hogan said there was nothing they could do to save him.

"We ended up having to put the dog down because of the injuries."

Dakota's owner is hoping the $5,000 reward will lead to the arrest of whoever is responsible.

"I want justice to be done to whoever did this," said Brening.

But one neighbor says the responsible party isn't a person at all.

"I did see it happen..."

Donald Averett said he came out of his home near Halifax Road and saw Dakota being attacked by another dog.

"Like a Rottweiler - some brown and black dog - shaking it around like a rag doll. It wasn't a person."

Until the investigation is concluded, there is no closure for Dakota's family, but they're holding onto the memories they have of their beloved pet.

"I loved him, and I hope he's safer now wherever he is," said Brening.

The Humane Society and the owner both feel like some of the dogs' wounds could not have been caused by another animal, and they do think a person was involved.

Danville police were asked to look into it but have not released the details of the investigation.