A puppy was dropped off at a Hollister animal shelter Wednesday morning with its ears cut off, prompting the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for Monterey County to offer a $1,000 reward to help find the person or people responsible.
A four-month-old brown and white puppy was left Wednesday at the drop box at the Hollister Animal Shelter at 375 Fifth St.
The puppy, who has been named Oliver by SPCA staff, appeared to have its ears cut off and cauterized in a crude attempt at ear cropping, according to Beth Brookhouser, the director of community outreach with SPCA for Monterey County.
"It appears they probably used scissors without any sort of anesthesia or pain medication," Brookhouser said. "Whoever did it, it looks like they also tried to cauterize the wounds, because there's some blackened burn marks too."
The Hollister Police Department contacted SPCA for Monterey County for assistance in the investigation, and the puppy was handed over to their center, located at 1002 Highway 68 in Monterey, for examination.
Brookhouser said Oliver is expected to survive, but "he's never going to look the same." She said veterinarians are going to put the puppy under anesthesia later today to look at the wounds more closely.
Oliver is "definitely in pain, but a very sweet puppy," Brookhouser said. "Since the moment he came through the door he's been happy and licking everyone he meets."
Brookhouser said the staff is not sure what breed the puppy is. "We don't think he's a pitbull, although he may have some in him," she said.
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The owner "most likely thought he was a pitbull and wanted him to look tough and did this cruel act," Brookhouser said.
She said ear cropping is something that should always be done by a licensed veterinarian using proper procedures, pain medications, and follow-up care.
The SPCA for Monterey County investigates animal cruelty and shelters homeless, neglected and abused pets and livestock. The $1,000 reward is for information leading to an arrest and conviction in connection with the case.