Reward Offered After Dog Burned in Possible July 4 Fireworks Prank

Based on pattern and location of the burns, vet believes dog was strapped with fireworks and lit ablaze

By Samantha Tata
|  Friday, Jul 12, 2013  |  Updated 6:58 AM PDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
A 2-year-old pup who may have been the victim of a cruel Fourth of July prank was rescued Thursday, but it’s just the start of what likely will be a long recovery for the badly burned dog. Jane Yamamoto reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on July 11 2013.

Jane Yamamoto, Edwin Calderon, Sue Monroe

A 2-year-old pup who may have been the victim of a cruel Fourth of July prank was rescued Thursday, but it’s just the start of what likely will be a long recovery for the badly burned dog. Jane Yamamoto reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on July 11 2013.

A 2-year-old pup who may have been the victim of a cruel Fourth of July prank was rescued Thursday, but it’s just the start of what likely will be a long recovery for the badly burned dog.

The young pit bull was found July 5 in the Van Nuys, Calif., area and brought to the East Valley Animal Shelter.

While rescuers are unsure exactly what happened to the dog they named Indy, they suspect he may have been hurt by fireworks the day before.

Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team (S.T.A.R.T.) took the dog into their care Thursday. The group, which describes its purpose as removing animals from high-kill shelters in Los Angeles, is offering a $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of whoever injured Indy.

"We named him Indy because we want Independence Day to mark his freedom from those who hurt him," according to a video posted to S.T.A.R.T.’s Facebook page.

In the video, Indy takes ginger steps around his cage. He is suffering from third-degree burns over half his body, including on his stomach, legs and paws.

Dr. Daniel Slaton believes based on the pattern and location of the burns, the dog was strapped with fireworks on July 4.

“Fire from the fireworks are going down his legs, and as it was being lit, he was walking and burning the bottoms of his feet,” said Slaton, lead surgeon at the Westlake Village Animal Hospital, where Indy is undergoing surgery.

Called "sweet and gentle" by rescuers, the 3-year-old pup (pictured below) is being treated by a burn specialist at the private veterinarian hospital, where he’ll have to stay at least another month.

His next surgery is scheduled for Friday morning.

Rescuers are asking for the public’s help to fund Indy’s extensive recovery.

Anyone interested in donating is asked to contact donations@startrescue.org, or mail a check to:

S.T.A.R.T.
PO Box 4792
Valley Village, CA 91617

The organization notes that donations should be sent as "Personal and Gift so no charges are taken out, and kindly write INDY in the memo."

More Southern California Stories:

Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Running Dry
Coverage of the California drought. Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out