Reward offered for information on puppy abuse
SPCA Tampa Bay is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for abusing a 5-month-old boxer puppy so badly his front left leg needed amputation. The puppy, named Beau, "has a broken leg, not once but twice, and that leg had to be amputated, two skull fractures and a broken jaw bone," SPCA Tampa Bay CEO Martha Boden said. The agency began investigating the case in June when Kat Burke of Pinellas Park called the SPCA abuse hotline. Burke said Beau suffered a broken leg in May and her niece, Kimberly Walker, claimed the animal got its leg caught in a door.The dog's leg was placed in a soft cast On June 19, Burke said she got a panic call from her niece telling her "that Beau's leg was broke again, it was the same leg and she was on her way home." Burke said the dog was lying on a couch whining. "I had them surrender him to me and then once I got him on June 19th; I took him to Haines Road Animal Hospital and we started treatment immediately," Burke said. In addition to the broken leg, Burke learned Beau had a fractured jaw, broken ribs and a skull fracture. She added the original leg fracture had become infected and there was nerve damage, so the decision was made to amputate. Burke contacted the SPCA because she said a veterinarian told her the injuries were caused by abuse. "It just tears your heart out," the SPCA's Boden said. On June 29, the owner, Rebecca Walker, asked for an injunction for protection against domestic violence from her husband Todd Walker. Todd Walker served time in state prison for felony battery and incest with a relative. In her petition for protection Rebecca Walker wrote; "Todd was watching my dog Beau ... Todd called me and said that my dog was on the couch whining." She went on to add, "He is being investigated by SPCA. I am cooperating with them and fear he will retaliate." Walker also checked off that her husband had committed or threatened to commit domestic violence, previously threatened, harassed, stalked or physically abused her, and intentionally injured or killed a family pet. Efforts to contact Todd Walker were unsuccessful. Boden said the SPCA's investigation was inconclusive, so they are offering a reward for more information. "We need more information from people in that community that can help us understand what has happened to this puppy, so that we can share with the police department," Boden added. According to a Pinellas Park police report, Burke contacted investigators in late July about the case. The report, written by Cpl. Michael Lynch states that as of Aug. 1, "no contact has been made with Rebecca Walker or Todd Walker. The investigation will continue during which time I will attempt to interview both about this case." Pinellas Park police have not responded to phone calls. As for Beau, his wounds are healing. Burke planned to fix him up and send him and adopt him out, but she said after all they've been through with the shock, the surgery, making decisions on amputating his leg, she just couldn't let him go. "I just fell in love with him and he wiggled into my heart and that's why I adopted him," she said. If you have information that may lead to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for abusing Beau, call SPCA Tampa Bay at (727) 586-3591 Ext. 135.