Los Angeles

Another Dog Shows Up at Animal Hospital With Burns

Another dog was found with chemical burns in the High Desert.

Taco, a 5-year-old chihuahua mix, was found Thursday in Apple Valley with burns on his back.

Taco was taken to the Pets R Us Animal hospital to be treated for burns to his back. This makes at least nine dogs that have been brought to Antelope Valley shelters with similar burns in the past two months.

Taco was found wandering alone in 100-degree heat in Apple Valley, near Bear Valley and Kiowa roads.

The skin on his back is dying and falling off from what appears to be a chemical burn, which the vet estimates to be a week old.

"He was fear aggressive and scared, in a lot of pain," said Cheryl Holbrook, an animal rescuer. "He kept pulling with his mouth at his back."

Doggie Smiles Rescue received a call to pick up Taco from residents who were afraid he had some kind of disease.

His wounds match those found on at least nine other dogs in the area since July.

Rescuers believe somebody is torturing the animals by pouring caustic chemicals down their backs.

"It's horrible," said Beth Newhill, with Doggie Smiles Rescue. "Animals can't speak for themselves. Animals have feelings and it hurts them. Stick your hand in a bucket of acid and see how bad it hurts."

Taco is being cared for at the same animal hospital as Chrissie, a pit bull who was also burned. She's recovering but officials don't know what caused her injuries.

"We have done a skin biopsy on Chrissie," said Beth Newhill, an animal rescuer. "All they could tell us was a caustic chemical burn."

The animal rescuers fear one or more disturbed individuals are responsible for torturing the dogs.

Newhill said.

"I don't know why they would do it," Newhill said. "I don't know what kind of sick fun they could get out of it. It's obviously hurting them."

Los Angeles County Sheriff's investigators are trying to determine whether the dogs were maliciously hurt or whether their wounds could have been caused by something in the environment.

They're not sure all the cases are connected since the dogs have been found over a wide area.

Taco was rescued in San Bernadino County, 60 miles from the Antelope Valley.

Two of the dogs have died.

A $50,000 reward is being offered for information, if it turns out to be criminal.

After he's healed, Taco could be up for adoption in a couple of months.

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