In what was described as an “extreme case of animal abuse,” a dog discovered in Germantown suffering from extreme burns died Monday night.
On Sunday, a young female pitbull named Chloe was found on the 700 block of Gray St. covered in severe burns on its entire body, the result of being doused with accelerant, set afire and left to die, according the Pennsylvania SPCA.
After her discovery, she was brought to ACCT Philly – the city’s animal control shelter – but due to the extremity of her injuries, she was transferred to the Pennsylvania SPCA as a case of animal cruelty.
“We recognized immediately it was a cruelty issue,” said Wendy Marano, spokesperson for the SPCA.
Veterinarians at the SPCA’s Shelter Hospital evaluated Chloe, giving her pain medication as well as providing treatment for the burns.
Chloe was then transferred for intensive treatment to a specialty hospital through the Animal Alliance of New Jersey based in Lambertville, NJ, one the Pennsylvania SPCA’s largest rescue partners.
‘It was really touch-and-go,” said Marano, noting that attending veterinary staff was cautious about Chloe’s chances.
Despite being stabilized, Chloe eventually succumbed to her injuries.
A reward is offered
The Pennsylvania SPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Department is actively investigating the case.
The SPCA will soon take custody of the dog’s body, and will then perform a forensic examination on the remains. Veterinarians were precluded from forensic examination of Chloe while still alive, owing to the extent of her injuries.
Results can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, said Marano, who noted that the accelerant used is unknown.
Officers have already located the owner of the dog and determined that Chloe had been living near the location where she was picked up. Evidence has been collected from the likely crime scene and is currently being processed.
The Pennsylvania SPCA is offering a $500 award for information.
Based on the current investigation, HLE officers believe that there are multiple witnesses who may provide leads as to who committed this crime, which is a first-degree misdemeanor.
Based on what Marano characterized as public “outrage,” the SPCA is now offering a $1,000 reward for information.
However, this is not the first time in recent memory that badly-burned dogs have been discovered in the region.
In May, a burned dog’s corpse was found in Fairmount Park near Cecil B. Moore Ave. In June, the charred remains of a small dog were discovered in Coatesville.
In both cases, however, post-mortem examination indicated that the dogs had expired prior to being set on fire.
“It’s horrible,” said Marano of the two incidents, “but it’s not illegal.”
Along with Chloe, these episodes add up to a troubling pattern in the eyes of the SPCA.
“It’s a disturbing trend – to set a helpless creature on fire,” she said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Pennsylvania SPCA’s anti-cruelty hotline at (866) 601-SPCA.