BY ANDREAS YILMA
NAUGATUCK — A reward is being offered to locate those responsible after a young abandoned husky was found in poor health with a chain embedded around his neck.
Three concerned citizens found the husky roaming in the area of Platts Mill Road on May 13 around 1 p.m. near the border of Waterbury. That location is near a recreational area and by a Naugatuck River access. Those who found the dog were worried about its physical condition, its inability to move well and that the dog’s skin had grown over the chain. The dog was lured into their car by using food and subsequently the husky was transported to to Naugatuck Animal Control where it was named Justice, Naugatuck Police Sgt. Danielle Durette said at a press conference Monday afternoon.
Durette said Justice, who is 1 to 2 years old, underwent a successful surgery at the Central Valley Animal Hospital where veterinarians removed a 28-inch metal link chain that weighed about 4.7 ounces. The vets determined the dog had an abscess wound due to the chain, a fever and was in a poor physical condition
“There is a current active police investigation into this matter,” Durette said. “We are looking for any individuals that are involved.”
Desmond’s Army Animal Law Advocates, Inc., based in Winsted, has offered a $1,500 reward to information leading to the identity of the animal abuse suspects.
“We want the community to be able to help us out with figuring out who is involved for Justice,” Durette said. “Justice for Justice.”
Desmond’s Army Animal Law Advocate president Zilla Cannamela said rewards are key in the organization’s mission to help bring perpetrators to justice in animal cruelty cases.
“We commend and thank Naugatuck Police Department for taking animal cruelty so seriously because animal cruelty is statically linked to domestic violence, social violence and it is a gateway and red flag crime and anyone that can do this to an animal is quite capable of doing that to a person,” Cannamela said.
Steven Rupis, a Naugatuck police officer and animal control officer who oversees daily operations, said the borough averages about five animal abuse cases per year.
How long the chain was around the dog was not known, police said. But it had to have been attached for a significant period of time to have skin growing over it.
The animal hospital also performed a full exam on Justice but didn’t find any other kinds of wounds, Durette said.
Cannamela, who has huskies, said all animal abuse cases are of interest and no one case is more important than the other. However, she said, “I consider this to be extremely egregious because of the amount of time for the skin to grow over a chain and how long that chain had to be there.”
Durette said police are asking that people living near where the dog was found to check their home security camera footage for possible information about the perpetrators.
Rupsis said Justice has gained about 5 pounds since he arrived in animal control’s possession.
Justice is not available for adoption at this time since he’s still recovering but officials will not notify the public when that time comes.
Rupsis said Justice will most likely be adopted through a rescue or to someone who has experience with dogs.
People can contact officials about the case through the Naugatuck Police Department routine line at 203-729-5222, the confidential line for people who would like to remain anonymous at 203-720-1010, or by emailing Naugatuck Animal Control at email@example.com