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Shelter offering reward for information about dog with severe chemical burns

SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — The Shelby County Animal Shelter announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in a suspected animal abuse case that prompted hundreds of shares on social media. 

A severely injured dog was found wandering the streets last week in Shelby County, about 12 miles northwest of Shelbyville. An unidentified good Samaritan called for help after spotting the pup near 900 North and 400 West, the shelter said.

The dog — now named “Justice” — had a collar around his neck but no microchip or tags identifying his owner. 

He was treated at an Indianapolis clinic for extensive chemical burns, tongue lacerations, sepsis and dehydration, among other conditions. The burns extended inside his mouth and throat, making it impossible for the dog to eat without the help of a feeding tube. 

Within a week, his condition had improved enough for shelter workers to feel “hopeful” about the possibility of a full recovery.

“His feeding tube has made a big difference and he is now able to walk around the clinic,” shelter employee Chris Browder said Saturday in an email to News 8. “His swelling has gone down from his face and we can now see that he has brown eyes.” 

She thanked social media followers for their tips, prayers and donations, and urged anyone who recognized Justice to speak up.

“We are not going to stop until we find those who hurt this dog,” said Browder. “We owe him that.” 

Animal neglect or abandonment is typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor under Indiana law; intentionally torturing or mutilating a dog is a felony.

Anyone with information related to the investigation can email Chris Browder or call 317-392-5127.