Reward in Case of Dog Thrown into Rouge River Grows to $6,000

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A $6,000 reward now awaits anyone with information that helps convict whoever tied a rock to a dog and threw the animal into Michigan’s Rouge River. The increased sum is thanks to a contribution from the Humane Society of the United States.

Originally, the Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter put up a $1,000 reward to help track down the criminal, but the Humane Society has added another $5,000 to the pot.

On the night of August 26, a passerby saw the dog, a Labrador-retriever mix, in the river. The Dearborn Heights police were notified, and pulled the dog up from the riverbank.

The dog managed to escape physical injury, although he was covered in mud and experienced significant mental trauma.

“It took the dog a couple of days to calm down from what I’m sure was a horrifying experience for him,” said Sandy Boulton, spokesperson for the Dearborn Animal Shelter, “He’s really a marvelous dog. He seems kind of easygoing. He’s just the kind of dog with a question mark over your head: ‘Why would they do it to any being, and why would they do it to such a nice dog?’ ”

Shelter workers have dubbed the survivor “River,” and according to Elaine Greene, executive director of the shelter, the dog “appears to be very friendly, and we are disturbed that anyone would do such a thing to him.”

Jill Fritz, Michigan state director for the Humane Society of the United States, explained why the organization contributed to the reward fund, saying, “We hope that this reward will bring forward anyone with information about who may have deliberately left this sweet dog to drown.” 

Said Boulton, “Someone has to know this dog; ‘So-and-so’s dog has been gone for 10 days. This looks like so-and-so’s dog.’ We’re hoping they leave tips to help the Dearborn police solve the case.”

Anyone with relevant information should call the Dearborn Heights police at 313-277-7408.

Sources: CBS Detroit, Detroit Free Press